There are many useful resources on the web for environmental mould-related issues. We provide specific references on our environmental mould-related pages, but the items listed here are all readily downloaded and are unusually helpful. If you want to read more deeply, this is the place to start. In many cases, we provide two links to a document. One link is to the document as we found it, another is to the website that held the link to the document. As websites do get re-arranged from time to time, we usually provide both types of links in an effort to ensure that you can find the information. Please let us know about broken links or new material that you find.
The (E):EPA IAQ web site is a great resource. A broad range of topics are covered in great detail and the EPA has summarized its offerings and related topics on a useful (E):publications page.
Among our other favorite publications are the following:
- Anonymous. The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. EPA 404/F-08/008. Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency, September 2008. This is an thorough and practical (E):summary that covers all types of indoor pollutants, not just the fungi.
- Anonymous. Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals. Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency, April 1998. This (E):document is the doctor-oriented version of the EPA’s The Inside Story. It covers much more than just fungi and is very instructive.
- Anonymous. Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? EPA 402-K-97-002. Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency, October 1997. The title says it all. Read (E):this before having your ducts cleaned!
- Anonymous. Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers. Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency, December 1991. A massive publication, but well worth it. Don’t be put off by the title–this (E):document has things for homeowners as well. The discussion in (E):Appendix C of Moisture, Mold, and Mildew is quite useful.
- Anonymous. Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, EPA 402-K-01-001. Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency, March 2001. This (E):document‘s discussion of sampling strategies is helpful, as are the concrete guidelines for safe ways to proceed with mold remediation (cleanup).
- The “Adverse Human Health Effects Associated with Moulds in the Indoor Environment.” document has been taken down by the (E):American College of Occupational and Environmental Health and is no longer available.
Other General Documents
We found (and find) each of these to be useful. There is often overlap with other documents, but each of these has something else to teach us. Don’t overlook the document discussing mold remediation and its lessons for how something as simple as paint can be enlisted in your fight against moulds!
- Mold: Prevention Strategies and Possible Health Effects in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, November, 2005. Downloadable from the CDC’s (E):web site, this document is a thorough survey of approaches to flood-damaged buildings.
- Mold in my Home: What do I Do?. Berkeley, CA: Indoor Air Quality Section, California Department of Public Health (CDPH), July 2012. Downloadable from the California Department of Health’s IAQ web site, this document is a brief but helpful general review of environmental mould issues. It is especially useful in its explanations of the omnipresent nature of moulds and their ability to return after cleaning.
- World Health Organization for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mold, published in 2009.
- Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments. New York City, NY: New York City Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental & Occupational Disease Epidemiology, November 2000. This is another outstanding review article by a local Department of Health, this time from the New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A very thorough discussion of this area from assessment to remediation.
- Anonymous. Fungal Contamination in Public Buildings: A guide to recognition and management. Health Canada, 1995. Health Canada provided these statements on diseases caused by enviromental moulds. The document reviews ideas for exposure limits based on data from surveillance studies.
- Anonymous. Mildew, Technical Bulletin #16. Porter Paints, 1999. Don’t laugh! Porter Paints manufactures a series of mildew (fungi)-resistant paints under the tradenames of Portersept®, Acri-Shield®, and Acri-Pro®.
Things Specifically About Stachybotrys chartarum
For better or worse, this is the fungus that gets the press. Yes, it makes toxins. But, what do they do? Do they really cause disease in people? We subscribe to the CDC view that the analysis of the Cleveland cases that propelled Stachybotrys into the limelight has some analytical problems and is not consistent with types of symptoms produced by exposure to Stachybotrys toxins in other settings. However, (A):read for yourself and see what you think!
- Anonymous. Questions and Answers on Stachybotrys chartarum and other molds. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2000. View this (E):webpage on the CDC Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch’s (E):Asthma website. These contain a nice discussion on the true lack of knowledge about Stachybotrys.
- A review article from 2003 (written by faculty at Case Western Reserve) is also available. Page 155 of this report outlines the history and problems with attributing pulmonary haemorrhage and other symptoms to Stachybotrys and as a cautionary note states, “…objective studies often reveal poor correlation between complaints (on retrospective questionnaires) and actual pathology. Thus, a main concern lies in determining if there is actually disease beyond mild upper airway inflammatory responses and whether these symptoms are due to fungus as opposed to other contaminants.”
Finally, these sites each offer a little something else of value:
- (E):University of Minnesota Department of Health and Environmental Services. The local environmental health group at the University of Minnesota has been very proactive about controlling fungi in their air and buildings. Many of their insights are summarized here.
- American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (E):home page. This organization is interested in the development of TLVs, or Threshold Limit Values, for a variety of potentially toxic materials.
- The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology provides a (E):Pollen Count page that might surprise you. But, then again, maybe not!
- Mealey Publications provides an interesting list of (E):legal issues related to environmental moulds.
Interesting Articles on the Web
- (E):New York Times, 12 Aug 2001: Haunted by Mold. Using the recent Dripping Springs, TX as a springboard, this article illustrates well the fear and hysteria that mold contamination can produce. The article has a somewhat sensationalist tone, and the lack of a strong scientific basis for the observed symptoms is not stressed until the end of the article. However, the article does capture well the current mainstream sentiment about mold-related issues.
- (E):Insurance Journal, July 2001: Homeowners, Insurance Industry Clash on Mold Issues. Some insight into the public policy debate that is ongoing. Strong opinions on both sides!
- (E):Insurance Journal, July 2001: Mold in Buildings. This article reviews some of the recent legal issues, including a discussion of the Dripping Springs, Texas case.
- (E):Insurance Journal, June 2001: Jury Sends Message to Insurance Industry in Toxic Mold Case. An analysis of the implications of the Dripping Springs, TX judgement.