Mold: Information for Wisconsin Residents
These resources are intended to help educate Wisconsin residents
regarding the impact of mold exposure on their health. The links found above were developed based on a review of reputable and relevant
guidance from government, educational and professional organizations. The
information in the position statement below and Frequently Asked
Questions was developed through a joint effort between the Wisconsin
Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Section of the
American Industrial Hygiene Association (exit DHS)
whose contributions are kindly
acknowledged. We encourage you to explore the information provided . If you
still can't find what you're looking for, or you want more
information, contact the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Bureau of
Environmental and Occupational Health, PO Box 2659, Madison, WI 53701-2659, (608)
266-1120, or email the webmaster at DHSWEBMAILDPH@wisconsin.gov.
Position Statement Regarding the Impact of Mold on Health:
Molds grow abundantly in outdoor plant and soil
materials. Molds produce spores that are normally found in both indoor and
outdoor dust. Mold growth is familiar to most people when it is seen as a
fuzzy patch or stain spreading across food or damp surfaces. It is known
that many molds produce chemicals that can be toxic if eaten. Little if
any of these chemicals are commonly found in indoor air and are not
suspected to be a health hazard to the general public.
Mold exposure from breathing indoor or outdoor air can be irritating
and can aggravate allergies and asthma. Health effects of mold can be a concern where
exposures are very high, such as in sawmills, grain elevators, and
agricultural settings. Where there are people with severely weakened
immune systems, such as in hospital transplant units, mold infection can
be a serious concern and exposures should be aggressively controlled. A
physician should be seen whenever health effects are experienced.
It is not practical to expect a building to be completely free of mold,
nor is it necessary. However, mold growth on indoor surfaces is a sign of
moisture presence, the cause of which should be identified and corrected.
Indoor mold growth should be removed regardless of mold type, using
appropriate cleaning methods for small spots and careful attention to dust
control, seeking professional assistance for larger amounts.
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