The Ministry of Health and Environment urges the  public to take action to prevent and control mold growth following the passage of Hurricane Maria. Moisture that enters buildings from uncovered roofs, leaks or flooding, increases mold growth.

Molds have the potential to cause health problems and can trigger allergic reactions and aggravate respiratory conditions. Mold will also gradually damage the material on which they grow. Failure to control moisture and mold can present short and long-term health risks.

TIPS TO CLEAN UP MOLD AND PROTECT YOUR HEALTH

  1. Protect yourself- Put on personal protective equipment (cleaning type gloves, N95 respirator/mask, and goggles) to protect your skin, mouth, nose, lungs and eyes during the handling or cleaning of areas infected with mold.
  2. Dispose- of anything that is damp (books, ceiling tiles etc.) and cannot be dried quickly. Any item with signs of mold growth that cannot be cleaned and dried completely should be disposed of. If necessary take photographs of discarded items for filing insurance claims
  3. Ventilate- Open all doors and windows to increase air circulation and removal of spores.
  4. Drying it out– Dry your building and everything in it as quickly as possible
  5. Don’t mix cleaners– Do not mix cleaning products because doing so can create toxic vapors.
  6. Wet surfaces– Wiping of dry surfaces can cause mold spores to become airborne. Spray surfaces with cleaning solution before scrubbing
  7. Scrub surfaces– Apply cleaning solution and remove all mold you can see. Allow to sit for a few minutes and wipe. Dry right away.
  8. Don’t cover it, remove it– Painting or caulking over mold will not prevent mold from growing. Fix the water problem completely, dry it out, and clean up all the mold before you paint or caulk. Do not sand wood with mold growth

 

Here are guidelines for using disinfectants for removal of mold

 

  1. Use of white vinegar . Do not dilute the vinegar, apply to surface and leave sitting for 30 minutes. Scrub and wipe mold away. Surface does not require rinsing which will prevent mold from coming back.

 

  1. Use of Borax powder: mix one cup of Borax to one gallon of water, apply to surface and leave sitting for few minutes. Scrub and wipe mold away. Surface does not require rinsing which will prevent mold from coming back.

 

  1. Use of Bleach (10% bleach solution): Mix one cup of bleach to one gallon of water, apply to surface and leave sitting for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. Bleach does not kill mold growing on dry wall and wood.

 

The Ministry seeks the cooperation of the public in following the advice given.

 

END

For more information about indoor air quality and mold growth, contact:

Ferdina Carbon

Chief Environmental Health Officer

 Environmental Health Department

Ministry of Health and Environment

 133 Bath Road, Roseau

Tel# 266 3467 / 266368 or 616 7640