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Microbial growth in homes

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  • 1. Microbial Growth in Homes Presented by: Bernard L. Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP The Windsor Consulting Group, Inc. 14 Sheinfine Avenue, South River, NJ 08882 Email: windsgroup@aol.com TEL: (732) 221-5687
  • 2. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Over a million species of fungi and bacteria ● Less than 10% microorganisms identified ● Fungi are multi-cellular – bacteria single cell ● Hyphae from fungi grow to form mycelium 2
  • 3. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Hyphae are vegetative or reproductive ● Vegetative hyphae get nutrients for fungus ● Reproduction may produce aerial hyphae and spores ● Spores released from colony to disperse fungus 3
  • 4. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Fungal growth depends on ambient temperature, free water, nutrients, and time ● Fungi lack chlorophyll – get energy from organic compounds ● Fungi excrete enzymes into food and digest substrate and absorb water-soluble compounds 4
  • 5. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Temperature: Range 0oC (cryophile) to 50oC (thermophile) Most growth between 20-30 oC ● Water: Most fungi require free water but Asp. species extract moisture from the air ● Nutrients: Minimal – organics with carbon 5
  • 6. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Time: Adequate moisture and nutrients at suitable temperature First few days: Produce vegetative hyphae Once hyphae base established over 5-7 days then start spore production for fungus flourish and spread 6
  • 7. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Fungi and/or bacteria comes from: ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ Plants Food Soil Air Contaminated indoor/outdoor materials 7
  • 8. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Environmental Health Hazards: ◘ Irritation of eyes, nose, throat, and skin ◘ Infections – local or superficial (athlete’s feet); local and deep (lung); or invasive 8
  • 9. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Environmental Health Hazards: ◘ Infections – brain abscesses, corneal ulcers, endocarditis, necrotizing esophagitis, cysts, liver disease, meningitis, peritonitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, and fatal systemic diseases 9
  • 10. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Environmental Health Hazards: ◘ ◘ ◘ as Allergies up to 20% of the US population Most serious allergic problem is asthma UK study showed wheezing in children a predictor for fungal growth in the home 10
  • 11. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Environmental Health Hazards: ◘ Mycotoxins: Metabolites of fungi that can have detrimental effects in humans Often produced when nutrients limited Affect immune system, blood, nervous system, genetics, and some are human carcinogens 11
  • 12. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Environmental Health Hazards: ◘ Endotoxins: Metabolites of bacteria causing detrimental effects in humans Fever, malaise, elevated white blood cell count, respiratory distress, shock, and possible death 12
  • 13. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Indoor Indicating Fungal Species Alternaria sps. Aureobasidium sps. Cladosporium sps. Trichoderma sps. Aspergillus sps. Chaetomium sps. Penicillium sps. Fusarium sps. 13
  • 14. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Common Outdoor Fungal Species Ascospores Botrytis sps. Pithomyces sps. Myxomycetes sps. Basidiospores Epicoccum sps. Ulocladium sps. Periconia sps. 14
  • 15. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Moisture Control Key to Prevent Microbial Growth ◘ Check moisture content of lumber – Wood is considered dry (<19% moisture) ◘ Cover building materials delivered onsite ◘ Seal framed house with plastic sheeting ◘ Insert driers to reduce moisture content 15
  • 16. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Moisture Control Key to Prevent Microbial Growth ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ Store building materials on pallets Cover dirt with plastic sheeting Cover exposed building materials Schedule construction on drier days 16
  • 17. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Moisture Control Key to Prevent Microbial Growth ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ Fix leaks and seepage along foundation Remove water from basement or slab Keep windows and doors closed Avoid condensation in HVAC ducts Install dehumidifiers inside residence 17
  • 18. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Inspection Key to Prevent Microbial Growth ◘ Suppliers to inspect all building materials ◘ Cover loads delivered to construction site ◘ Framers and site construction managers check lumber for visible fungal growth ◘ Report unsatisfactory building materials 18
  • 19. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Inspection Key to Prevent Microbial Growth ◘ Check flashing around windows and doors, roof vents, and chimney ◘ Gutters drain water away from house ◘ Adequate ventilation in attic space ◘ Report water leaks immediately 19
  • 20. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Testing for Microbial Growth ◘ Inspect all building surfaces ◘ Air samples for fungal or bacterial counts ◘ Surface samples for fungal spores mycelial fragments, and mycotoxins 20
  • 21. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Testing for Microbial Growth ◘ Surface samples for bacteria and endotoxins ◘ Air temperature and relative humidity ◘ Moisture measurements of affected building substrates 21
  • 22. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Remediation for Microbial Growth ◘ Define work area and Level I-V ◘ Set up containment barriers, air locks, and decontamination chambers ◘ Post warning signs for other trades and emergency response personnel 22
  • 23. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Remediation for Microbial Growth ◘ Install air filtration devices and air movers ◘ Inspect containment for leaks ◘ Test airflow and static pressure inside the containment barrier 23
  • 24. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Remediation for Microbial Growth ◘ Remove damaged building materials ◘ HEPA vacuum all affected building substrates ◘ Damp wipe affected surfaces with a biocide 24
  • 25. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Remediation for Microbial Growth ◘ ◘ ◘ ◘ Dry building substrates with dehumidifier Apply antl-microbial coating Inspect work for quality of workmanship Clean work area, tools, and equipment 25
  • 26. Microbial Growth in Homes ● Post-Remediation for Microbial Growth ◘ Visually inspect all building surfaces for visible microbial growth, dampness, and containment of work area ◘ If acceptable, conduct air and surface sampling inside/outside work area 26

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