09 Sep , 2021
Moulds can be a health hazard in buildings that are already built or under construction. Some moulds are toxic. Touching them—or breathing in their spores—can be harmful. Symptoms include:
People allergic to moulds may get nosebleeds and a severe cough. If your immune system is weak, you should not work in mould-contaminated areas.
Not everyone exposed to toxic moulds will develop symptoms.
Moulds are colourful and woolly. They can be almost any colour—red, blue, brown, green, white, or black. They reproduce by releasing spores into the air. More mould may grow where the spores land.
Mould thrives on cellulose material that is wet, or water soaked. This includes drywall, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, particleboard, insulation, and plywood. Moulds love dark, moist places and can grow at room temperature. Mould can appear on damp materials in as little as 48 hours. Mould has been found in portable classrooms with moisture problems. This is usually a black mould that looks slimy.
You may be exposed to moulds when you work in damp locations or water-damaged buildings.
Visible mould may be just the tip of the iceberg. More mould may be growing out of sight behind walls, under floors and carpets, and above ceilings in a ventilation system.
If you find mouldy areas on a job, tell your supervisor. The company may arrange to have tests done. Samples must be taken and analyzed to see whether the mould is dangerous.
Toxic moulds must be removed. There is no way to work around them. Removal calls for special procedures, including protective equipment such as respirators, coveralls, and gloves.
If mould removal is required, it’s the company’s responsibility to train and equip you for the job. Follow these safe work procedures:
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