AIHce Indianapolis



RT 211
Update on Health Effects Research and Guidelines on Mold, Moisture and Damp Buildings

Monday | 2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. |

Biosafety and Environmental Microbiology, Indoor Environmental Quality, Mold

Arranger: J. Springston, TRC Environmental, New York, NY. Moderator: D. Weekes, InAIR Environmental, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Monitors: J. Springston, TRC Environmental, New York, NY; R. Strode, Chemistry & Industrial Hygiene, Inc., Wheatridge, CO.

It has long been established that damp and moldy buildings are associated with adverse health effects, particularly allergies, asthma, and other respiratory ailments.  Fundamental changes in the way that buildings are constructed, which were largely driven by the energy crises of the early 1970s, resulted in structures that have reduced drying potentials, water vapor transmission potentials and hygric buffer capacities, and an increase in the amount of materials that are susceptible to mold growth.  The addition of poorly designed and/or maintained HVAC systems to these buildings has, for the most part, only exacerbated the problem.  As a result, the number of “sick” buildings due to moisture control problems has significantly increased over the past 30+ years.  Climate changes, resulting in more frequent and severe storms, along with the associated flooding, also can potentially result in large numbers of damp and moldy buildings.  Publications on the remediation of mold and moisture problems in buildings include those recently released by Health Canada, the World Health Organization, the EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Advances in research have also provided a better understanding of what levels of dampness are problematic, the nature of the association between dampness and asthma, and effective strategies to reduce excess moisture indoors.

  • New U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Guide on Moisture Control in Public and Commercial Buildings. P. Morey, ENVIRON, Gettysburg, PA.
  • ASHRAE Position Document on Indoor Mold and Moisture Accumulation in Buildings. L. Nguyen, D. Weekes, InAIR Environmental Ltd., Ottawa, ON, Canada.
  • Blood from Turnips — Why Many HVAC Systems Can’t Control Indoor Humidity. W. Baker, Michaels Engineering, La Crosse, WI.
  • Population Health Effects of Mold and Damp Buildings. J. Miller, Carlton University, Ottawa, QC, Canada.
  • Clinicians’ Guidance on Mold and Moisture. P. Schenck, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT.