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Archive for Mold Testing

Jun
21

Wallpaper Can Be a Source of Toxic Mold

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toxic mold in MassachusettsDid you know an estimated 40 percent of American buildings, including at least 25 percent or more of all homes, are believed to be affected by toxic mold in Massachusetts?1 Some of the mycotoxins produced by molds can be more problematic than pesticides and heavy metals even, in part because their concentration can be far larger, but also because they tend to affect more biological systems than pesticides and heavy metals do.2

 

 

 

Is Your Wallpaper Making You Sick?

Researchers are warning that wallpaper can be a significant source of fungi that contribute to air pollution and sick building syndrome. The study3 in question discovered three types of fungi common in household wallpaper: Penicillium brevicompactum, aspergillus versicolor, and stachybotrys chartarum.

These three fungi are also common food contaminants. When these fungi grow in wallpaper (or elsewhere), their mycotoxins can quickly spread into the air and dust.

 

 

 

The Toxic Roots of Many Illnesses

One of the difficulties with molds is that they can affect many types of surfaces. They can also aggravate just about any health problem you already have.

Any area with over 60 percent humidity will lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. This explains why wallpaper and its glue backing is a suitable host for these deadly microbes.

Gram-negative bacteria, which grow with mold, are particularly dangerous. They die and release their cell walls, referred to as lipopolysaccharides or endotoxins. Endotoxins can severely exacerbate asthma and other inflammatory conditions.

 

 

 

Common Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Common health problems attributed to poor and potentially toxic indoor air quality courtesy of mold growth include but are not limited to the chart below. If you have any of these issues, it may be worthwhile to consider the indoor air quality of your home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to ID a Mold Problem

How do you know whether hidden mold might be posing a health risk? The first step would be to conduct a visual inspection. If you can’t see any visible traces of mold, take surfaces samples anyway and use a moisture meter to determine the moisture level in the area.

Wood flooring should have a maximum moisture content of 10 to 12 percent. Anything above that is a breeding ground for mold. Exterior walls should not have a moisture content above 10 percent. You need to identify the mold itself, and not just look for spores in the air.

One of the best options is to hire Purely Green Environmental for a complete and thorough mold inspection. They pay attention to details and that is required for the best outcomes.

 

 

 

Is It Safe to Clean Mold on Your Own?

If all you have is a small area of surface mold, you probably don’t have to call in an expert. However, only attempt to clean it if it’s limited to the surface of a small area. Any deep-rooted mold will require professional assistance. An often cited recommendation is to kill off mold with bleach or ammonia. Do NOT do this.

Instead, for minor visible surface mold, first wipe the area with straight white vinegar. Mix a couple of tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) into a quart of water, and scrub off any surface residue of the mold. You could also use an ozone generator to help rid the air of any mold spores.

**All words and information courtesy of mercola.com and Dr. Mercola**

 

 

 

Footnotes

1. news-medical.net June 25, 2017
2. Mercola.com, Mold: Hidden Pandemic Sweeping Across America July 30, 2013.   3. Mercola.com, Mold: Hidden Pandemic Sweeping Across America July 30, 2011

Mar
21

The Dangers of Black Mold

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black mold groton ma

In today’s world, there are dangers everywhere.  One place that should always be safe is your home.  Unfortunately, there can be hidden dangers there as well! Black mold, or Stachybotrys Chartarum, is a toxic mold commonly found in homes that are not adequately ventilated or have water leakage.  Symptoms of black mold poisoning can range depending on the severity and length of exposure. How confident are you that your home is safe? Purely Green Environmental can test for black mold in Groton, MA as well as surrounding areas.  Focusing on creating a greener, healthier environment for people, Purely Green Environmental can assist in eliminating pollutants in your home. 

The Environment

The number one causing element of mold growth is moisture.  Therefore, any space in the home that is exposed to water is a candidate for potential mold growth.  The most susceptible areas include basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, and kitchens. Once black mold begins, spores are released into the air then attaching themselves to drywall, carpets, insulation, and sub-flooring.   

Most Common Ailments

Although symptoms of black mold highly depend on the length of exposure, the following are a few of the most common.  In general, ailments from black mold are involved with the respiratory systems.  Chronic coughing or sneezing, irritated eyes, nose and throats, rashes, headaches, and even chronic fatigue can all be signs of mold in the home.  Prolonged exposure to black mold is more dangerous.  Symptoms can increase in severity and expand to hearing loss, blurry vision, and in some cases, the development of cancer.

Be Proactive

Black mold tends to have a distinct odor.  If you notice a strong, musty smell in your home along with unusual symptoms, be sure to contact a professional immediately.  Having your home tested right away will not only keep your family safe but save a potentially costly removal process from occurring.  In addition, having proper ventilation throughout the home is essential.  Vents should all be linked to the exterior of the house.  Professional waterproofing services are also available for areas such as the basement. 

 

Founded in 2002, Purely Green Environmental has successfully been keeping families safe.  If you believe your home has mold growth, contact them today to schedule testing.  Purely Green Environmental will take samples of the air and mold growth, identifying the exact type of mold in your home.  They will help create a plan for the removal of black mold in your Groton MA home and post-remediation clearing.  Also servicing New Hampshire, contact them today at (888) 291-3773!

 

Feb
21

Four Things To Do After Water Damage

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mold testingWhen you and your family face the aftermath of excess water damage, it can be overwhelming. It’s essential, however, that in the midst of all of the chaos you take the steps you need to bring your home back to a manageable state. Purely Green Environmental understands that this is also a prime time for mold growth. Prompt action is prudent. From mold testing and beyond, here are some tips you can use to make your home more safe.


Take Photos

If the damage is beyond a simple remedy or low-cost fix, you will need to file a claim with your homeowners insurance. They will need proper and thorough documentation to be able to assist you in the best way possible. Take the time to photograph the water damage before you file your claim. Be sure to capture as many details as possible.


Get Tested

When excess water leaks into your home substantial mold growth can occur. It is challenging to manage mold, but professional mold testing can determine the proper treatment plan. Most of the time, you will need to hire a certified mold remediation company, but occasionally the mold growth is minor and can be tackled by the homeowner. The test will help determine what types of mold you are dealing with and the best plan to remedy the problem.

 
Wear Protective Clothing

Mold can have adverse effects on health.  You can safely navigate your home with protective clothing after a professional deems the space habitable. Emptying the contents of the water damaged area is the beginning step.  Be sure to cover any exposed skin and wear proper breathing materials to protect yourself.  If you have mold illness, there is no safe way to work in the environment and you will need to hire a certified mold remediator for that task.


Waterproof

It is a good idea to be proactive before your basement succumbs to water damage. Many companies offer waterproofing products as a preventative.  Professional services can also be utilized and typically offer free up-front estimates.


Excess moisture is never ideal and restoring your home is imperative.  For mold testing that you can trust, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.

Nov
28

Bacteria in Schools

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Bacteria and other germs thrive where there are lots of people. As an adult, you probably know healthy general practices on how to stop spreading germs. Cover your mouth when you sneeze, don’t put your mouth on the water fountain, all that fun stuff. The problem is that there are lots of organisms out there that can make you sick. Mold growth from damp surfaces can also wreak havoc. Read on to see how you can make your school a healthier place with mold testing.

Check for Leaks and Cracks

Mold likes to live in places that are dark and damp – like basements! Before the snow hits, make sure to check for cracks or leaks in the building’s foundation that could let in moisture. If the moisture doesn’t dry properly, mold could start to grow. Leaky faucets or toilets can also create a viable environment for mold to thrive.

Mold Testing

If you’re not sure where mold could be hiding in your school, consider contacting a mold testing firm like the professionals here at Purely Green. Although we also check the obvious spots, we can also take a sample of the air and test it for the presence of mold and other hazardous substances. If we find some, we’ll let you know the best way to take care of the problem and make sure it doesn’t return. We even come back once you think the mold is gone to test again!

Remind Your Students

Although we check for mold and other airborne organisms here at Purely Green, you can also stop the spread of other germs by reminding students – and teachers – the proper practices to stay healthy! Testing shows that some water fountain spigots have even more bacteria than a toilet seat! Reminding students to wash their hands and keep their mouths off the water fountain can help keep your student body healthy throughout flu season.

Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to try and rid a heavily trafficked building of all germs. But taking preemptive steps like checking for potential leaks and getting mold testing can help keep things running all year smoothly. For more information, visit our site here.

Nov
12

How to Live with Good Germs

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People want to be clean. They want their bodies, homes, workplaces, and cars to be free of germs and bacteria. And for a good reason! We’ve been taught that these things make us sick and cause problems. But you’ve probably heard the terms “good bacteria” and “bad bacteria” right? Probably in a yogurt commercial or something. But this applies to our atmosphere as well! Here at Purely Green, we want you to live in a healthy home – not one devoid of all helpful organisms. Our mold testing system is designed to locate and help you resolve any mold growth issues while maintaining a healthy balance of other microbes.

It Lives in the Walls

One study, conducted by scientist Brigette Anderson, found that drywall comes prepacked with fungi! She saw various types of fungus, including toxic black mold, that waits in your wall until they get wet. Once they get wet, then they can grow and prosper. Although toxic black mold is dangerous, it’s possible some of the other fungi might be beneficial for human health.

American Showerheads

Shower heads are another example of bacteria living peacefully in your home. According to this NPR report, shower heads are lined with a biofilm of bacteria, of which a little falls through the shower – and subsequently on our heads – whenever we bathe.

What’s Good?

Eliminating all bacteria in your home might seem like a reliable solution to reduce the risk of disease. But just like any other plant, animal, and organism in our ecosystem, we have to co-exist. Some bacteria are harmful, and that needs to be addressed. In these cases, it’s best to have a firm like the professionals here at Purely Green conduct mold testing. In other cases, the microbes around you help you live your best life. Think about it: fungi, cheese, yogurt, and antibiotics are all organisms we’ve learned to live with.

Don’t be scared of bacteria in your home. Arm yourself with the knowledge of knowing what’s present, and what’s harmful. Choosing a testing firm with accurate mold testing can help you eliminate harmful bacteria while maintaining a healthy balance. For more information visit our site here.

Oct
25

Where Can Mold Hide?

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When you first think of mold in your home, your mind probably drifts to dark, damp spaces. Basements and crawlspaces are susceptible to mold, sure, but it can also appear in many other places in your home. Make sure you perform regular mold testing to assure your home is free and clear of harmful mold.

Kitchens

The kitchen is probably the third or fourth room to come to mind when you think of places for mold to hide. After all, it gets a lot of use, right? How can mold possibly accumulate in an area with so much activity? But consider the appliances in this room. Leaking sinks, garbage disposals  and older refrigerators are a hotspot for mold growth, so make sure to clean them regularly and fix any leaks to prevent it.

Bedrooms

Bedrooms are probably the least likely place people are going to suspect there is mold. But it is possible! It may seem gross, but your mattress collects sweat. Over time and without proper cleaning, mold can start to grow. When you’re performing an air quality or mold test in your home, make sure not to skip this space. You can vacuum your mattress and spot clean stains to reduce your chances of mold problems.

Bathrooms & Basements

Ah, the number one (and two?) culprits of mold growth in your home. Both of these spaces are consistently damp and hard to dry out. In your bathroom, mold can hide around leaky pipes and shower curtains, while cracks in basement foundations can cause water to find its way into your home without any way to escape.

Mold testing can help you identify if there is mold in your home. The earlier you can determine a problem, the sooner you can call in professionals to act. If you think you may have a problem in your home, call us at (603) 345-1900 to schedule a mold testing appointment.

Categories : Mold Testing
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Sep
12

Signs of Toxic Mold

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Mold is everywhere in the outdoor environment. There are over 100,000 identified species of mold out there, and not all of them are toxic. Some are even used in medicine! So how do you know which ones are dangerous and which are okay? Generally speaking, you don’t want any form of mold growing in your home. Here at Purely Green Environmental, we’re dedicated to providing quality toxic mold testing for your home.

Keep it Outside

As stated above, mold is bountiful in outdoor environments. The fungi are necessary for a balanced ecosystem but can wreak havoc once inside. They thrive on cellulose-based objects, like wooden furniture or a wet carpet. Not only can the spores take over your space, but they can also become a health hazard when airborne. Inhaling mold spores can cause respiratory issues like coughing and trouble breathing.

Moisture Problems

Mold is a result of excessive moisture in your home and can be present in any area where water isn’t given a chance to dry. Studies show that up to 50% of households have unknown moisture problems – each of which has the potential to explode into a mold epidemic. Performing routine air quality tests for toxic mold is important to keeping your home healthy.

Importance of Air Quality Testing

The good news is that early identification can drastically reduce the cost of remediation. Additionally, once the source of moisture is resolved, there is less of a chance for the mold to come back. This means that you only need to address the problem once if you do it right. The experts here at Purely Green will perform both an initial assessment and post-remediation assessment to ensure all the toxic mold is removed from your home. We can even provide quotes and recommendations for remediation specialists so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Toxic mold removal is extremely time sensitive. Identifying mold growth in its early stages means that it’s concentrated in a smaller area, so there is a smaller remediation cost. Additionally, you can probably avoid drastic and costly measures if the problem is caught early. Call (603) 886-0345 to speak with a mold testing expert here at Purely Green.

Aug
12

The Six Steps of Our MA Air Quality Testing

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Here at Purely Green Environmental, we take a somewhat different approach to air quality testing. Backed by degrees in both chemistry and biology, we use our scientific backgrounds to do more than identify the problem. We will also provide solutions to resolve and prevent it from recurring. Our education instilled a comprehensive and systematic way to solve problems, and our MA air quality testing is no different. We use a step by step process to make sure we find the source of the contamination and use the correct procedures to fix it.

Gathering Information

The first step to solving any puzzle is to gather as much information as you can. We listen to our customers and understand that you know your home better than anyone. Our expert staff wants to know it all – your home’s history, any potential ventilation problems or water damage, and even any symptoms a family member is experiencing. This data will help in your overall assessment and developing the best course of action.

Visit the Scene & Test the Evidence

Every good detective knows you have to visit the scene to gather information firsthand. You can think of our MA air quality testing experts like mold detectives – they try to find the suspect before it causes any additional damage. This usually takes 1-4 hours, depending on the size of your space. They keep their eyes open for signs of water damage and mold growth. Our staff will also perform lab tests on air samples taken from your home to determine the presence of airborne contaminants.

Solve the Problem

Once the results are in, we’ll convey them to you in the easiest way possible. This allows you to understand what caused the mold growth and how to fix it. Our team also provides you with quotes for remediation specialists in your area so that you can find the best service for your home. After remediation is complete, our team returns to your home and completes a post-remediation assessment.

It’s important to feel safe and comfortable in your home. Let us help you get that peace of mind. For more information, call (603) 886-0345 to speak with a member of our team.

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Jul
29

Dangers of Black Mold in Boston MA

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Here at Purely Green Environmental, we’re trained to identify the signs of black mold in Boston, MA, allowing you to remediate the problem and feel safe in your home. If you suspect your home may have a mold problem, call someone sooner rather than later. Delaying remediation can cause the damage to be exponentially worse.

What Does Mold Look Like?

Mold is abundant and grows easily outdoors, but finding mold indoors can be cause for concern. If you can visually see the mold  or you smell something musty, it’s possible you have growth in your home. There are various types of mold, characterized by a fuzzy, leathery, or cottony texture, and can be white, gray, green, pink or black.

What Are the Dangers of Black Mold?

Black mold in Boston, MA is especially dangerous because of its toxicity to human health, as well as the potential for structural damage. Black mold releases spores as it feeds on organic material. This food can be a range of building materials, including insulation, drywall, or carpet. Damage to drywall and insulation can cause your home to become less insulated, raising heating and cooling costs year round. Your home is susceptible to this type of damage if its exposed to too much moisture and is unable to dry correctly.

Black mold can also be expensive to have removed, so the sooner you identify the problem, the less opportunity that it has spread.

Concerning your health, black mold inhalation traditionally causes respiratory problems, such as coughing and sneezing, as well as eye irritation. Headaches and fatigue can also be symptoms of black mold exposure. As in building damage, more prolonged exposure can cause more severe health problems.

If you suspect your home may have a mold problem, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Consider an air quality assessment from the professionals here at Purely Green Environmental to diagnose your black mold in Boston, MA properly.

May
29

Four of the Pollutants Houseplants Absorb To Improve Air Quality

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air quality testing in MassachusettsToo often when we provide air quality testing in Massachusetts, we discover numerous pollutants that are dangerous and compromise the health of those living in each affected space. Since particles are impossible to see, it’s not easy to maintain air quality without the help of an expert. However, there is one small thing you can do to make an impact: buy house plants. Surprisingly, some houseplants can absorb pollutants that would be harmful if spread. There are plenty of low-maintenance options, from spider plants to bamboo palms. If you haven’t invested in plants yet, you may want to after realizing which pollutants can get managed better with them.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is very common in homes. It’s one of the most common pollutants found indoors and often causes nasal or eye irritation, it impacts allergies and asthma and also has neurological effects in some cases. Its popularity in building materials and furniture makes it a threat to indoor air quality that cannot go unaddressed.

Benzene

This pollutant is often part of vehicle exhaust systems, cigarette smoke, detergents, and more. Even small levels of exposure can lead to unconsciousness, headaches, dizziness, and other unfortunate side effects that compromise health. Along with formaldehyde, it is considered a human carcinogen.

Xylene

Rather than a carcinogen, xylene is a toxic solvent. Xylene is present in paints, thinners, gasoline, and more. Whether you expose yourself to xylene for a short or long period, the effects are enough to warrant air quality testing in Massachusetts. Short-term exposure can cause dizziness, headaches, and other irritations. Long-term exposure ushers in dangerous side effects like liver damage or respiratory failure in some cases.

Trichloroethylene

Much like xylene, trichloroethylene can appear in household items. Some of the most common are wood stains, finishes, paint removers, cleaners, and more. It is a carcinogen as well with substantial impact. Minimal exposure to trichloroethylene leads to throat irritation, nausea, and other adverse effects that are similar to those of formaldehyde or benzene.

It may be a bit frightening to consider how many chemicals can affect air quality, but it’s excellent that houseplants like peace lilies, Boston ferns, or other plants can absorb them. While only thorough air quality testing can diagnose and repair any indoor air quality issues, plants can sometimes lessen the impact of dangerous pollutants. For expert air quality testing in Massachusetts that will provide the answers you need, call Purely Green Environmental at (888)-291-3773.