Molds are a common occurrence in most workplaces and a warning sign for potential damaging health effects. Therefore, the business must have a mold plan in place to prevent and control the spread of this risk.
What Causes the Growth of Molds?
1. The Presence of Moisture
Molds require a certain amount of moisture to grow and thrive. As such, molds tend to grow in areas prone to excessive water damage or rainfall. Places such as the bathroom and kitchen, basements, rooftops, and storage units are all possible factors for the proliferation of mold.
2. The Presence of Food Contamination
Contaminated foods such as decayed meats and leftovers can easily serve as a food source for molds to grow. The presence of unwanted odors may also prompt the growth of mold.
3. Poor Wall Construction
The presence of cracks and crevices will serve as an ideal setting for the growth of molds. Such areas must be sealed up to prevent this from happening.
4. The Presence of Pests
Pests provide an ideal food source for molds to grow and also serve as vectors for spreading molds. Controlling pests is thus an excellent approach to preventing mold from growing within a workplace.
Risks Associated with Molds in the Workplace
1. Allergic Reactions
An allergy attack will often manifest itself as a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. Severe allergies may also result in breathing difficulties, nausea, and vomiting.
In the event of such a reaction, the area must be immediately evacuated and the affected individual medically treated.
According to a recent study published by the American Journal of Public Health, employees exposed to unhealthy mold levels may be at a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis or COPD symptoms. The symptoms of this infection include a persistent cough and shortness of breath.
On rare occasions, molds have also been associated with hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It is a lung disease that may slowly cause disability.
3. Skin Rash or Hives
Skin rashes are another common effect of exposure to mold and are usually characterized by a red patch or bump on the skin.
The rash may be itchy or painful due to the inflammation caused by contact with mold. It may also persist for a few days before disappearing completely.
According to the Asbestos Disease Foundation, chronic exposure to airborne mold can cause asbestosis. Asbestosis is characterized by progressive damage and scarring of lung tissue. It can also lead to emphysema, congestion of the lungs, and chronic cough.
To avoid this from happening, the company should contact a mold removal business that can eliminate the mold and treat the air in the area to ensure it is healthy.
5. Reduced Productivity
According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control, researchers found that employees exposed to mold regularly may have reduced productivity. It may be due to the health risks associated with mold exposure, such as increased coughing and sneezing.
Mold can also give off a bad smell, which can be unpleasant and subsequently affect the employees’ morale.
6. Damage to Property
Mold poses a serious threat to property and equipment in the workplace. It is because the growth of molds will lead to the rotting of materials such as wood, books, or furniture.
Additionally, mold affects the integrity of the building, causing the walls to weaken and making the structure more vulnerable to natural disasters.
Mold growth will also cause deterioration of building materials such as plaster, gypsum, and cellulose, which may result in leakage. Workplace mold removal procedures should be implemented immediately to prevent this from occurring.
7. Cardiovascular Problems
According to a recent report published by the South African Medical Journal, individuals exposed to mold have greater chances of contracting coronary heart diseases.
8. Disruption of Business
As mold grows, it may spread to other areas of the workplace. Spaces may need to be closed off to prevent this from happening, which will likely lead to a temporary shutdown of the workplace.
9. Cost of Cleanup and Remediation
Mold can be a costly problem for businesses. It is not just the cost of cleanup but also the lost revenue that is likely to affect a business’ financial position.
Additionally, the damage caused by mold may result in lawsuits against the company.
The presence of mold in the workplace can be a severe risk to an organization. As such, the company must take all necessary steps to prevent the growth and spread of mold. Contact us today for effective mold removal and remediation at your company.