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Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. Over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people. Those most at risk are infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with compromised respiratory systems or asthma and allergies and people with weakened immune systems.

Water intrusions into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Damage can result from storm water intrusion, plumbing failures, long standing leaks and poor humidity control. Some amounts of mold spores are normally present in moist environments. If the humidity and moisture levels are not returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation provide food sources for mold to flourish.

Mold growth can be removed from non-porous surfaces by thoroughly cleaning and rinsing. After removing the mold growth, a solution of 10% household bleach (1½ cups household bleach per gallon of water) can be used as a disinfectant. Be sure to wear gloves, a mask and eye protection. Never mix bleach with ammonia as toxic fumes may be produced. Keep the bleach on the treated surface for approximately 10 minutes before rinsing or drying.

Visible mold growing in the home should be considered a health risk and controlled by eliminating the mold and conditions that support its growth. If you or a member of your family have health problems that you believe could be related to mold in your home, you should see a doctor and explain your concern.

More Useful Information and Links on Mold:

California Department of Health Services 
        Mold in My Home: What do I Do?

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
        Mold Resources
        A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture & Your Home
        Indoor Air Quality:  Biological Pollutants
        Indoor Air Quality:  Tools for Schools

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention