Health Department Offers Help for Mold Cleanup

For immediate release: September 16, 2011

Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – Mold can be a special problem for homeowners who are cleaning up after flooding, water damage or simply extended rainy or wet conditions.

Mold is a fungi that travels through the air as tiny spores, and can grow and spread quickly under wet conditions. Mold is an allergen that irritates the eyes, nose and throat and can cause serious reactions and respiratory problems for people with allergies or chronic conditions such as asthma.

“If it looks like mold, or smells earthy or musty like mold, you can assume it’s mold” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “There’s no need to test. The presence of mold or water damage is reason enough to take action to keep mold from spreading. It’s best to get rid of anything that can’t be cleaned effectively.”

The Health Department offers detailed information about mold cleanup on its website at www.healthvermont.gov, and recommends wearing protective eyewear, rubber gloves and an N95 respirator (available at most hardware stores) to filter out airborne particles like mold spores that can cause health problems. N95 respirators are available at no cost from Health Department district offices around the state.

“As always, keep children and pets away from flood-damaged areas while cleanup work is underway, and wash hands often and well to keep germs from spreading,” said Dr. Chen.

General mold cleanup guidelines –

For more information on health and safety concerns – including detailed instructions for cleaning homes, yards and properties, disinfecting and testing drinking water, and food safety – go to the Health Department’s website at www.healthvermont.gov and select “After the Flood.”

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