How to Determine "Acceptable Levels" of Mold

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How to Determine “Acceptable Levels” of Mold

Currently, there are no federal guidelines to determine what levels of mold pose a health risk or is considered an “elevated” level. Each individual responds to mold in a different way, especially children, the elderly or those who have compromised immune systems.

However, there is a general consensus that mold counts should be lower indoors as compared to outdoors. (Lower than the outdoor air that you breathe on a regular basis.) Mold concentrations outdoors vary greatly with respect to time, species, and amount. Exposure to airborne mold outdoors, where levels often exceed thousands of spores per cubic meter, is considered safe for the general public. There are many other factors that can impact this such as the weather outdoors and the person’s overall health, especially if they have allergies or asthma. For people with allergies to mold however, there may be no practical level of exposure, either indoors or outdoors, that would not create discomfort or harm.

Visible mold growth inside of your home is never acceptable. Once mold adheres to a food source such as drywall or wood, this indicates that the mold levels are elevated beyond an “acceptable level” for an indoor environment. Mold growth can occur on areas throughout your home that cannot be seen by the naked eye; behind walls, in your ducting and other hidden areas. This can be trickier to determine, but this also means that you have elevated mold counts, higher than “normal”. If you are concerned that you have a mold issue inside your home, make sure to contact a mold professional. Comprehensive Mold Management can come out and determine if mold is present and perform air quality testing, if necessary. 

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