Monday, December 10, 2012

Part II Mold Factsheet Hurricane and Flood Cleanup Workers

December 10 2012 - This is Part II of a 2 part blog post series.

Part II - As stated on the NYCOSH website


The main way that mold gets into people’s bodies and affects their health is by breathing it in (inhalation). Hurricane and flood cleanup workers should always wear a respirator when working around mold. Workers should:
• use the right respirator and filters and make sure the respirator is “NIOSH approved”
• be fittested for the right model and size by a professional
• know how to put the respirator on and perform seal checks each time it is worn
• change filters or use a new disposable N95 respirator at the beginning of each work day (or more often if necessary).
• Dust masks and surgical masks are not respirators. They do not protect against mold.
• All employers, including contractors, must comply with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134).
• OSHA law protects all workers, including undocumented workers.

For small cleanup/ripout jobs (example: up to 3 sheets of sheetrock), use:
• an N95 disposable respirator (a reusable half face respirator with N95 filters is better), and
• non‐latex, vinyl, nitrile, or rubber gloves, and
• tight‐fitting goggles designed to keep out dust (no holes or vents).
A small mold cleanup job is:
• 10 square feet or less of heating, ventilation, or air conditioning equipment, ducts, or insulation,
• or 100 square feet or less of building materials such as ceiling tiles or sheetrock.

For large cleanup/ripout jobs (example: more than 3 sheets of sheetrock), use:
• full‐face respirator with N, R, or P100 filters (or powered air purifying respirator [PAPR] with
HEPA filter), and
• disposable protective clothing that covers the entire body, including head and shoes, and
• non‐latex, vinyl, nitrile, or rubber gloves.
A large mold cleanup job is:
• more than 10 square feet of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, ducts, pipes, and
insulation, or
• more than 100 square feet of building materials such as ceiling tiles or sheetrock, or
• any size area, indoors or outdoors, where a lot of dust is generated during work operations, or
• any place where there is a lot of visible mold.

For any area with known or suspected mold contamination:
• Wet down mold‐contaminated surfaces to prevent mold dust from getting into the air.
• Use HEPA vacuum cleaners only ‐ no dry sweeping or non‐HEPA vacuums.
• Bag, secure, and discard disposable personal protective equipment after it is used.
• Clean reusable personal protective equipment before reusing.
• Wash hands and face with soap and clean water before eating or smoking.
• Shower with soap and clean water before driving or returning home.
• Be aware that you may also be exposed to harmful chemicals like asbestos and lead that may require additional protection.

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