1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

September 13, 2008

:257 Mold Respiratory Protection

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:257 EcoTip: According to the EPA – the minimum respiratory protection that should be worn when working around or disturbing mold is an N-95 disposable face piece respirator. After hurricane Katrina, CDC found that about one out of three recovery and aid workers were not able to identify what a proper filter type respirator was by looking at pictures. In addition according to a study published in the Journal Emerging Infectious Disease only 24% (129 of 538) wore the N95 respirator devices properly. The most common errors were not tightening the nose clip (71%), incorrectly placing the straps (52%), and wearing the respirator upside down (22%).

For extensive work around mold – EPA recommends more effective respiratory protection – which will be the topic of tomorrow’s post.

 N95 disposable face piece respirator is only effective if worn properly.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256

This is the second in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

According to the CDC study:

Of 159 residents interviewed, 82 (51.6%) were male; the overall mean age was 51 years (range: 18–81 years). Nearly all (96.2%) residents responded affirmatively to the question, “Do you think mold can make people sick?” One hundred eight (67.9%) correctly identified particulate-filter respirators as appropriate respiratory protection for cleaning of mold. Sixty-seven (42.1%) had cleaned up mold; of these, 46 (68.7%) did not always use appropriate respirators.

Basic mold awareness training and training regarding cleaning small areas of mold is available on-line at http://www.restcon.com/training.restcon.com/MAT/index.php

On-line respirator training is available at http://www.restcon.com/training.restcon.com/WRPA/index.php

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