Mold and Asbestos are THE silent hazards of real estate redevelopment. Do you know how to spot them? Which one is worse for your health?
What is Mold?
Mold is a commonly feared word among building owners and property managers. Depending on the type of mold spore species, it is a fungus that can be toxic in large concentrations. Mold will grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture of any kind. It can also permeate from the outside through open doorways, ventilation, windows and even air conditioning systems.
What Causes Mold?
In order for mold to grow and thrive, it needs moisture (water) and oxygen. Moisture can come into contact with a building by a range of sources: leaky pipes, lack of building maintenance, plumbing mistakes, poor building design, and any other serious water related issue.
Where do I find it?
Common areas of mold include: attics/basements, showers, areas around heating and cooling appliances, ventilation ducts, carpets, crawl spaces, kitchen sinks, and behind walls.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a set of 6 naturally occurring mineral fibers that appear in rocks and soil. It was widely used in the construction industry due to its strong properties, flexibility and resistance to heat and various chemical compounds. It is now commonly restricted and/or regulated as exposure to heavy, toxic amounts may lead to mesothelioma.
What are Asbestos Containing Materials? (ACM)
ACM stands for Asbestos Containing Materials. Examples of ACM that may be exposed are cement pipes, flooring backing, plaster, textured paints/coatings, ceiling tiles, insulation materials, fireproofing materials, heating and electrical ducts, roofing shingles, adhesives, spackling compounds and many more. For an extensive list please visit https://www.asbestos.com/products/.
Which is worse for your health?
When exposed to asbestos on a long-term basis, Asbestos is proven to have more negative health effects than mold. Asbestos may cause serious health complications such as heart disease, mesothelioma (type of cancer), and other lung complications. Symptoms of exposure include: coughing, chest pain, swelling in neck or face, difficulty swelling, loss of appetite and weight loss,
Exposure to mold can cause flu and allergy like symptoms. These can range anywhere from coughing to fever, all depending on the type of mold and the exposure time.
There is a solution.
ESE Partners is a licensed and certified environmental Asbestos and Mold consultant firm. Services include ACM surveys (renovation and building permits), limited ACM surveys (identification of business risks), mold assessment, lead-based paint surveys and property condition assessments. Read more about our due diligence capabilities here: https://www.esepartners.com/ese-environmental-services-due-diligence-remediation-compliance/environmental-due-diligence/