Mirage International, Inc.

901 N.W. 80th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73114     (405) 879-9788  bluemail

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Health and Mold

Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings

Investigate and evaluate moisture and mold problems

Assess size of moldy area (square feet)Consider the possibility of hidden moldClean up small mold problems and fix moisture problems before they become large problemsSelect remediation manager for medium or large size mold problemInvestigate areas associated with occupant complaints Identify source(s) or cause of water or moisture problem(s)Note type of water-damaged materials (wallboard, carpet, etc.)Check inside air ducts and air handling unitThroughout process, consult qualified professional if necessary

Plan remediation

Health and Mold

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

Indoor Air Quality

Factors Affecting Indoor Air Quality

The indoor environment in any building is a result of the interaction between the site, climate, building system (original design and later modifications in the structure and mechanical systems), construction techniques, contaminant sources (building materials and furnishings, moisture, processes and activities within the building, and outdoor sources), and building occupants.

The following four elements are involved in the development of indoor air quality problems: Source: there is a source of contamination or discomfort indoors, outdoors, or within the mechanical systems of the building. HVAC: the HVAC system is not able to control existing air contaminants and ensure thermal comfort (temperature and humidity conditions that are comfortable for most occupants).

Pathways: one or more pollutant pathways connect the pollutant source to the occupants and a driving force exists to move pollutants along the pathway(s). Occupants: building occupants are present. It is important to understand the role that each of these factors may play in order to prevent, investigate, and resolve indoor air quality problems.

 

Learn About Lead

Health

In addition to exposure to lead in air, other major exposure pathways include ingestion of lead in drinking water and lead-contaminated food as well as incidental ingestion of lead-contaminated soil and dust. Lead-based paint remains a major exposure pathway in older homes. 

Once taken into the body, lead distributes throughout the body in the blood and is accumulated in the bones.  Depending on the level of exposure, lead can adversely affect the nervous system, kidney function, immune system, reproductive and developmental systems and the cardiovascular system.  Lead exposure also affects the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.  The lead effects most commonly encountered in current populations are neurological effects in children and cardiovascular effects (e.g., high blood pressure and heart disease) in adults.  Infants and young children are especially sensitive to even low levels of lead, which may contribute to behavioral problems, learning deficits and lowered IQ.

Lead is persistent in the environment and accumulates in soils and sediments through deposition from air sources, direct discharge of waste streams to water bodies, mining, and erosion.  Ecosystems near point sources of lead demonstrate a wide range of adverse effects including losses in biodiversity, changes in community composition, decreased growth and reproductive rates in plants and animals, and neurological effects in vertebrates.

Learn About Lead

Who is at Risk?Children

Lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Babies and young children can also be more highly exposed to lead because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths. Children may also be exposed to lead by eating and drinking food or water containing lead or from dishes or glasses that contain lead, inhaling lead dust from lead-based paint or lead-contaminated soil or from playing with toys with lead paint.

Adults, Including Pregnant Women

Adults may be exposed to lead by eating and drinking food or water containing lead or from dishes or glasses that contain lead. They may also breath lead dust by spending time in areas where lead-based paint is deteriorating, and during renovation or repair work that disturbs painted surfaces in older homes and buildings. Working in a job or engaging in hobbies where lead is used, such as making stained glass, can increase exposure as can certain folk remedies containing lead. A pregnant woman’s exposure to lead from these sources is of particular concern because it can result in exposure to her developing baby.

Environmental Problem in My Building, What Do I Do? (Part II)

Step Four:  Corrective Measurers

Where the survey has identified the problem or material which is severely damaged, deteriorated, or causing problems, the building manager should decide which of the following three methods of corrective or remedial measures are going to be utilized.

REMOVAL: In most situations, removal will initially be the most expensive method.  However, depending on the circumstances, removal can be an economically preferred option.  Remember, removal is the only permanent solution.ENCAPSULATION:  Encapsulation is a very successful option in dealing with environmental problems and involves covering the material or contaminated area with a strong impervious sealant.The sealant’s (encapsulant) function is to enclose and prevent the exposure from the material or contaminated area.  In case of asbestos pipe insulation, elbows, or tees, the adhesive lagging is applied to cover and provide a hard-shell coating.  Encapsulation requires periodic inspections, quarterly or annually, to monitor the condition of the ACM.ENCLOSURE: The enclosure method permanently encloses the problem.  The enclosure must be completely airtight and this method is best used only where access to electrical, plumbing or ventilation services are not required.Step Five:  Immediate AttentionFor situations that require immediate attention, a contractors services can be retained on the following terms:        Guaranteed Price Contract- to complete the initial removal or encapsulation work required for a fixed lump sum price.Service Contract – on standing offer or on a time and materials basis. The contractor must be available to service your problem, just as your mechanical contactor services your air conditioning.  Every building manager should have a service contractor in case of an emergency.Step Six:  Air MonitoringWith any type of removal, encapsulation, or enclosure air monitoring is a vital part of your liability protection, before during and after any abatement as outlined above, air monitoring should be conducted.  This shows the work was accomplished within regulatory compliance and protects claims of exposure.    It is suggested that air monitoring be conducted at period intervals to protect the building owner from exposure and nuisance claims by any building occupant or visitor.

Environmental Problem in My Building, What Do I Do? (Part I)

Step One:  Assessment and Survey The first step of a management program is to perform a survey to assess the location, identify the type of problem (whether asbestos, lead base paint, mold, or just air quality), the condition of the material or effected area and establish a maintenance record.  Take any corrective actions to limit liability.

 

Step Two:  NotificationThis step identifies where the problem is located for the building manager, maintenance staff, and service contractors.

 

Step Three:  Worker Training A health and safety program should be established including an Inspection policy and employee training.  Employees who are most likely to come in contact or work with the environmental problem material.  Alert all sub trades and maintenance contractors who work within the vicinity of the material or contaminated area.

What to Expect From an Air Duct Cleaning Service Provider

If you choose to have your ducts cleaned, the service provider should:

Open access ports or doors to allow the entire system to be cleaned and inspected. Inspect the system before cleaning to be sure that there are no asbestos-containing materials (e.g., insulation, register boots, etc.) in the heating and cooling system. Asbestos-containing materials require specialized procedures and should not be disturbed or removed except by specially trained and equipped contractors. Use vacuum equipment that exhausts particles outside of the home or use only high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) vacuuming equipment if the vacuum exhausts inside the home.

 

Protect carpet and household furnishings during cleaning.

 

Use well-controlled brushing of duct surfaces in conjunction with contact vacuum cleaning to dislodge dust and other particles.  Use only soft-bristled brushes for fiberglass duct board and sheet metal ducts internally lined with fiberglass. (Although flex duct can also be cleaned using soft-bristled brushes, it can be more economical to simply replace accessible flex duct.) Take care to protect the duct work, including sealing and re-insulating any access holes the service provider may have made or used so they are airtight.  Follow NADCA's standards for air duct cleaning and NAIMA's recommended practice for ducts containing fiber glass lining or constructed of fiber glass duct board.

Learn About Lead

Learn about Lead

What is Lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals causing of health effects.

Where is Lead Found?

Lead can be found in all parts of our environment – the air, the soil, the water, and even inside our homes. Much of our exposure comes from human activities including the use of fossil fuels including past use of leaded gasoline, some types of industrial facilities, and past use of lead-based paint in homes. Lead and lead compounds have been used in a wide variety of products found in and around our homes, including paint, ceramics, pipes and plumbing materials, solders, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics.

Lead may enter the environment from these past and current uses. Lead can also be emitted into the environment from industrial sources and contaminated sites, such as former lead smelters. While natural levels of lead in soil range between 50 and 400 parts per million, mining, smelting, and refining activities have resulted in substantial increases in lead levels in the environment, especially near mining and smelting sites.

When lead is released to the air from industrial sources or vehicles, it may travel long distances before settling to the ground, where it usually sticks to soil particles. Lead may move from soil into ground water depending on the type of lead compound and the characteristics of the soil.

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

IAQ in Large and Commercial Buildings

Indoor air quality (IAQ) problems are not limited to homes. In fact, many office buildings have significant air pollution sources. Some of these buildings may be inadequately ventilated. For example, mechanical ventilation systems may not be designed or operated to provide adequate amounts of outdoor air. Finally, people generally have less control over the indoor environment in their offices than they do in their homes. As a result, there has been an increase in the incidence of reported health problems.

Health and Mold

How do molds affect people?

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

EPA's publication, Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals, assists health professionals (especially the primary care physician) in diagnosis of patient symptoms that could be related to an indoor air pollution problem. It addresses the health problems that may be caused by contaminants encountered daily in the home and office. Organized according to pollutant or pollutant groups such as environmental tobacco smoke, VOCs, biological pollutants, and sick building syndrome, this booklet lists key signs and symptoms from exposure to these pollutants, provides a diagnostic checklist and quick reference summary, and includes suggestions for remedial action.

A major concern associated with exposure to biological pollutants is allergic reactions, which range from rhinitis, nasal congestion, conjunctival inflammation, and urticaria to asthma. Notable triggers for these diseases are allergens derived from house dust mites; other arthropods, including cockroaches; pets (cats, dogs, birds, rodents); molds; and protein-containing furnishings, including feathers, kapok, etc. In occupational settings, more unusual allergens (e.g., bacterial enzymes, algae) have caused asthma epidemics. Probably most proteins of non-human origin can cause asthma in a subset of any appropriately exposed population."

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Asbestos Removal

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Lead Based Paint Removal

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Mold Removal

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Contact Us:  (405) 879-9788   bluemail

901 N.W. 80th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73114.

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Veteran Owned Company
Member of many Veteran's Organizations
SCDVOB: Service Connected Disabled Veteran Owned Business

General Liability, Workmen's Comp, full liablity coverage.

AWARDS:
Award of Excellence
Commander Award for McAlester Army Ammunitions Depot

Over ten years operations & maintenance contracts with Tinker AFB Emergency Response.

Other Environmental Remediation Services

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 Bat Droppings: Before and After

Training Services

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 Training Programs for Professionals