“Suiting up” for mold remediation
Mold remediation is an extremely important service. However, it is one that requires the workers performing the service to be exposed to certain harmful conditions. Not only is exposure to the mold itself a risk, but the various biocides that are used to combat mold could be quite harmful as well. Workers should follow the guidelines laid out by their employer when preparing to enter a work area.
Of course, at the very least these standards should reflect the guidelines laid out by the CDC. When about to enter a structure that has mold damage in it, the CDC recommends covering up extremities as much as possible, through long-sleeved shirts and pants, as well as some sort of sturdy glove and waterproof boots. There are two other types of safety wear that the CDC recommends. The first is goggles or some other form of eye protection. The CDC also says that one must be wearing a respirator that is at least labeled as an N-95. It can be labeled a higher number, such as an N-97, but it must not be lower than N-95.
The N-95 respirator is made to have a very close fit to the face and is labeled with “95” because it filters out 95% of the toxins that can be found in the air. Of course, when faced with working in an environment with many unhealthy substances such as mold and biocides in the air, it is obvious why at least this level of protection, if not a greater one, is desired. The FDA stresses that these masks are the most effective when they have been adjusted to hug the face of a person as much as possible. Special mention is also made that these masks are not meant to be used on children or people with facial hair. The FDA also cautions against people with certain medical conditions that affect breathing using the N-95 respirator. This is because it may actually negatively affect those individual’s ability to breath.
When all is said and done, mold remediation is not an easy task. However, if an individual has adhered to the guidelines when “suiting up” to enter a hazardous work environment, the whole process can happen with peace of mind. If you’re an environmental contractor or consultant with revenues generally under $10 million with 50% or more of revenues derived from environmental services, learn more about our Environmental Package policy for even more peace of mind.