Mold Remediation

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The In's and Outs with treating a moldy home or office:


(This house in this picture is so infested moving out and complete
 demolition is necessary to remove it. There are several different types of molds competing for existence.  This is where the level of mycotoxins becomes a completely toxic environment for any living creature.) Mycotoxins act almost like mold's living immune system like our own. It is a bi-product from when it is eating.

To save personal Belonging that are sentimental, here are some tips to keep these items and how to clean them for when you're in a clean home. 

1 - Baking Soda, Ammonia, Neem Seed Oil, Oil of Oregano, and Borax are your best friend. 

2 - Mix Cup of Baking Soda, Two Teaspoons of Oil of Oregano and a cup of lemon juice in a bucket of hot water preferred to be heated in a kettle to make it distilled. This mix can clean floors, and wooden objects quite well, and the oil of oregano will stay behind and soak into the wood. This can kill mold. Lemons are a base on the pH scale, and with multiple washes can help drastically cut down on spores. 

3 - Baking soda and Borax in a zip lock bag for: Books, Pictures, or anything paper like item that cannot get wet. Also once a week change the mixture 50/50 and throw away outside. Do not throw away in a garbage can that is indoors, as it will have spores soaked into it. 

4 - Larger items that cannot get wet, I recommend getting plastic storage air tight bins and doing step three on a larger scale. Change weekly and make sure to change mixture outside. 

5 - All laundry, should be cleaned in Ammonia, cup each, if your local area doesn't have bleach added to the water supply. Cup to a warm wash, and put it on a second rinse afterwards on cold. 

This should save much of what you love and wish not to part with. Furniture, well, sadly, that is too risky. I recommend leaving that all behind. Especially your mattresses.


1. Toilets
For a heavy-duty toilet scrub that deodorizes while it cleans, pour ½ cup of baking soda and about 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into the toilet. Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the bowl and scrub away while the mixture fizzes.

For daily cleaning, fill a small spray bottle with vinegar (about 1 cup should do it) and a few drops of an essential oil of your choosing (lemon and tea tree both work well). Spray on the toilet seats, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe the surface clean.

2. Tub and Shower
Tubs and showers can produce some of the toughest grime, but it’s no match for the cleaning power of vinegar. To get rid of mold, spray pure white vinegar on the offending area, let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse with warm water (don’t be afraid to use a sponge if rinsing doesn't clear away the grossness on its own). Alternatively, try mixing together baking soda with a bit of liquid castile soap, then scrub and rinse. If you have a really bad mold problem in the tub or shower. Mix Ammonia 3% clear kind non foaming 50/50 in a bucket with warm water distilled. (Heat regular water in kettle) Wear gloves, and soak a rag you will throw away and saturate the entire tub and shower with the mix. Let sit 20 - 30 minutes with windows open. Shut door and leave. Come back and rinse off and scrub away mold while wearing a mask. If you can put mix in spray bottle and spray down and leave until next shower. Then before you use the tub or shower, rinse off. 

For daily cleaning or to get rid of soap scum, mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar (and a few drops of essential oils if you’re not into the smell of vinegar) in a spray bottle. Spray, let it sit for at least several minutes, and then wipe away.

3. Disinfectant
Skip the bleach and make a homemade germ-killer instead. Just mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap, and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil. Voila!

4. Air Freshener
Defeat less-visible bathroom “uncleanliness” with this homemade, non-toxic air freshener. All you need is baking soda, your favorite essential oil, and an old jar with a lid you don’t mind poking holes in (follow the link for full instructions).

5. Hand Soap 
Once you’re done cleaning the bathroom, it’s time to make yourself clean (or at least your hands). To make a non-toxic, foaming hand soap, mix together liquid castile soap and water (and an essential oil if you feel like it) in a foaming soap dispenser. Fill about one fifth of the bottle with soap, then top it off with water.


6. Counter tops
For a simple, all-purpose counter cleaner, mix together equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. If your counter top is made from marble, granite, or stone, skip the vinegar (its acidity is no good for these surfaces) and use rubbing alcohol or the wondrous power of vodka instead.

7. Cutting Boards
Talk about non-toxic: All that’s needed to clean and sanitize cutting boards (wood or plastic) is… a lemon! Cut it in half, run it over the surfaces, let sit for ten minutes, and then rinse away. If you need some serious scrubbing power, sprinkle some coarse or Kosher salt over the board, and then rub with ½ a lemon.

8. Oven
To clean stubborn, caked-on food out of the oven, just heat the over to 125 degrees and grab your spray bottle of vinegar (see “countertops” above). Once the oven is warm, spray the caked-on stuff until it’s lightly damp and then pour salt directly onto the affected areas. Turn off the oven, let it cool, and then use a wet towel to scrub away at the mess. If that doesn’t cut it, follow the same instructions but try use baking soda in place of salt (just let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing).

9. Garbage Disposal
This one is so cool. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into an ice cube tray and top off the slots with water. Once they’re frozen, toss a few down the disposal and let it run — doing so should remove any food that was stuck to the blades.

10. Microwave 
It’s easy to overlook the microwave while cleaning, but man can it get gross in there. To combat the gunk, pour some vinegar into a small cup and mix in a little lemon juice (exact amounts don’t really matter). Put the cup in the microwave, let the microwave run for 2 minutes, and leave the door closed for several more minutes. Finally, open the door and simply wipe down all the sides with a warm cloth or sponge — no scrubbing required!

11. Sink Drain
To unclog a stuffed-up drain, start by boiling about 2 cups of water. Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, and then add the water while it’s still nice and hot. If that doesn’t do the trick, follow the baking soda with ½ cup of vinegar, cover it up tightly (a pot lid should work nicely), wait until the fizzing slows down (when baking soda and vinegar come in contact, they’ll react by fizzing) and then add one gallon of boiling water.  

12. Pan De-Greaser
To cut through the grime on frying pans, simply apply some salt (no water necessary) and scrub vigorously.

13. Cast-Iron Pans
Kitchen professionals are pretty against using soap, steel wool, or dishwashers to clean cast-iron pans. Luckily, there’s an alternative way to tackle cast-iron grossness: combine olive oil and a teaspoon of coarse salt in the pan. Scrub with a stiff brush, rinse with hot water, and you’re done!

14. Dishwasher Detergent
If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, simply mix together 1 cup of liquid castile soap and 1 cup of water (2 teaspoons of lemon juice optional) in a quart-size glass jar.  Add some of this mixture to one detergent compartment of the dishwasher, and fill the other compartment with white vinegar.

15. Dish Soap
If washing dishes by hand, simply combine 1 cup of liquid castile soap and 3 tablespoons water (a few drops of essential oil optional) in a bottle of your choice. Shake well and use like you would any other dish soap.

16. Refrigerator Cleaner
To clean what is perhaps the toughest of all kitchen “gross spots,” reach for the baking soda. Add about ½ cup of the white stuff to a bucket of hot water. Dip a clean rag in the mixture and use it to wipe down the fridge’s insides.

17. Bleach
For serious disinfectant power, mix ½ cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon castile soap, and ½ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide. Use a cloth to apply the mixture to a wet surface, scrub, and then rinse thoroughly.


18. Laundry Detergent
It’s tough to come by homemade laundry detergents that don’t use Borax, but give this one a try. The recipe calls for glycerin soap, washing soda, baking soda, citric acid, and coarse salt. For full instructions, follow the link!

19. Fabric Softener
Skip the liquid fabric softener and make clothes nice and snuggly the non-toxic way. Make a big batch of softener by adding 20-30 drops of the essential oil of your choice to a one-gallon jug of white vinegar. Add 1/3 cup to each laundry load (just be sure to shake the mixture prior to each use).  

20. Laundry “Scenter”
To add a fresh, clean scent to laundry, make a sachet stuffed with your favorite dried herbs (lavender, peppermint, and lemon verbena are all great options). Toss it in the dryer while it’s in use, and voila: customized, non-toxic scent!

21. Bleach 
For a nontoxic laundry bleach alternative, add some lemon juice to the rinse cycle.


22. Floors
For a simple, effective tile floor cleaner, simply combine one part white vinegar with two parts warm water in a bucket. Use a mop or rag to scrub down the floors with the solution. No need to rinse off! (Note: this one’s not recommended for wood floors).

23. Walls
To scrub down walls, mix ¼ cup white vinegar with 1 quart warm water, then use a rag to scrub those walls down. To remove black marks, simply scrub at the spot with a little bit of baking soda.

24. Windows and Mirrors
For an all-purpose window cleaner, combine 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts water (feel free to add some lemon juice if you’re feeling citrusy), then use a sponge or rag to scrub away.

25. Furniture Polish
For an all-purpose furniture polish, combine ¼ cup vinegar with ¾ cup olive oil and use a soft cloth to distribute the mixture over furniture. For wood furniture (or as an alternative to the first recipe), combine ¼ cup lemon juice with ½ cup olive oil, then follow the same procedure.

26. Silver Cleaner
Put silver utensils and jewelry back to good use the non-toxic way. Line a sink or bucket with aluminum foil, lay out the silver on top of the aluminum, and pour in boiling water, 1 cup of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Let it sit for several minutes and watch as — like magic — the tarnish disappears! Note: If you’re concerned about immersing a particular item, simply rub it with toothpaste and a soft cloth, rinse it with warm water, and allow it air dry.

27. Wood Cleaner

Clean varnished wood by combining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and a quart of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray onto wood and then dry with a soft cloth. (Note: Since olive oil can leave behind some (slippery) residue, this one might not be the best option for wood floors.)


    The one important legal advice I could give anyone out there trying to fight this, is be careful.  There are people who wish to prey on your altered state of mind and wish to make a profit off of your confusion.  For what ever reason, our country shuns the treatment and the aid in healing people with this illness.  I'm sure one day we will see this put to a stop. Mold Removal Specialists, Doctors, and even some help Websites require you to drop quite a bit of money to get very little in return.  Workman's Compensation, Health Insurance Companies and Home Insurance Companies as well are very "nose up" about any home infested or any person sick with mold. There are many reasons this is, however nothing can be done except our voices being heard disagreeing with the treatment at the moment.

     I can assure you the doctors and places I list here are in your best interest.  Certainly remember that when you're starting your quest back onto the road to health.  Some people are not to be trusted off the bat. Always research anyone you take on to help you. I leaned this from experience, so I am passing it on to you to avoid the same horror realizing their not working for you.

  The Environmental Solution: Highly recommended and trusted; natural ways to kill and clean up mold.  Good Doctors, and Natural healing, as well on here.

 MOLD - The War within My Kurt and Ann BillingsMOLD - The War Within - by Kurt and Ann Billings

MOLD: The War Within will enlighten every homeowner, renter, and employee, who is or could become sick from mold or chemical exposures from floods, hurricanes, sick buildings, and the ever present environmental pollution that affects us all. Revealing interviews with prominent experts on mold and chemical related issues bring to life such topics as the: Effects of mold & chemical exposures on human health; Methods of mold testing; Dangers of anti-fungal; antibiotic, & steroid pharmaceuticals; Legal loopholes of mold cases, Healing through natural means. Authors Kurt and Lee Ann Billings began researching mold and chemical exposures after their family became gravely ill from toxic Katrina exposures. The Billings expose the prevalence of fungal misdiagnoses and medical mis-treatments while chronicling their family's frustrating, but ultimately successful, quest for effective treatment of mold and chemical exposures from Hurricane Katrina. They detail their months of research and trials and errors and share their inspirational journey of healing, what worked medically and nutritionally for them what didn't and why.

      In my other Chapters on this site, I've provided links that explain the legal difficulty in opening cases on mold, and why its such a touchy situation.  Feel free to read and educate yourself as to why we are always fighting a loosing battle.  Remember one main thing.  Never give up.  Never loose faith, and always speak out and act against this terrible negligence we suffer with Mycotoxicosis. 

     Linda May in this following article is perfect example of people who prey on those who are weak from this illness.  These kinds of people show be avoided at all costs. Always ask and do research before jumping into anything.


The Air Purifier Necessity:
     Hepa air purifiers are another fight against re-exposing yourself and your family with mold and bacteria while recovering.  Here is a website that has a wonderful list of good air purifiers and some may be expensive but it will pay off in the long run. Many situations that arise; one feels the home is clean because they cannot see anything.  Not correct at all. Just running one of these professional machines for a day will not only upset your stomach when its cleaned, but makes you realize how our petri dish houses work against us in making us more sick.  

      Remember to shop around. Don't feel obligated to keep one if you feel it doesn't work for you and your home.  This is why we all have 30 day trials and return policies.  Never feel you need to tell these people you have mold in your house, or you might not be able to return the item.  They know you might need it for something like that already.   I do have word the the honeywell isn't a preferred product. A friend who is dealing with the illness has not liked it's performance.  These opinions might be different depending on the contaminants, and spaciousness of your dwelling. Also, a reader recently recommend the NQ Air Filter Model. It's a hospital clean room filter used in the SARS epidemic. Get the one w/o UV lites, as my doctor says UV breaks up the mold spores so filters can't catch them. The NQ is about $700.


 BAKING SODA: Baking soda is god's cure all. If you see mold in your home, and you are chemical sensitive, this is a wonderful replacement for ammonia. Baking soda also has thousands of other usages. Items with mold like books, wooden items etc, isolating them in bags with baking soda for a few weeks will kill off the mold and remove harsh odors. Baking soda in some situations is a softer approach to killing mold I.E: On pavement outside, floors, roofs etc. Use it dry in a lawn feeder on all areas with mold. make sure to spread it slow, and even coverage. 

        Costco places sells large bags of baking soda for quite cheap and I always make sure to have it in the house. Is a base, which changes the Ph level in mold, absorbs odors and moisture and just is a natural way to keep things clean and fresh. Baking soda is also a replacement for ammonia in the wash, as it kills mold in the machines. I use them both in my washer and my laundry never smelt better. I still haven't researched enough to see if Baking Soda can Kill the Mycotoxins. More research is needed.

Other Ways to Use Baking Soda:

Health Uses
1. Use it as an antacid.

2. Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

3. Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and use it as toothpaste.

4. Use it as a face and body scrub.

5. Add a cup to bathwater to soften your skin.

6. Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

7. Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.

8. Put two tablespoons in your baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.

9. Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.

10. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

11. Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

12. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

13. Relieve canker sore pain by using it as mouthwash.

14. Use it to relieve bee stings.

15. Use it to relieve windburns.

16. Apply it on jellyfish sting to draw out the venom.

17. Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

In the Home
18. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

19. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

20. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

21. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

22. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

23. Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.

24. After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

25. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

26. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

27. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

28. Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

29. Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

30. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

31. Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

32. Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

33. Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.

34. Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

 In Cooking
35. Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

36. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

37. When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white.

38. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

39. Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.

40. Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.

41. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

42. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

43. Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

Cleaning Purposes
44. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

45. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

46. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.

47. Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

48. Remove grease from pots and pans.

49. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

50. Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

51. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

52. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

53. Clean your shoes with it.

54. Clean garbage cans with it.

55. Use it to wash diapers.

56. Clean the fridge with it.

57. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

58. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

59. Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

60. Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.

61. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

62. Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.

63. Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

64. Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.

65. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

66. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

67. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

68. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

69. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

70. Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

71. Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

72. Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.

73. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

74. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

75. Use it to unclog gas stoves.

The most amazing thing about baking soda is that it’s very cheap. You can do all these things for a very small cost. Baking soda is truly a miracle product, whether it’s used for baking or not.


Make sure to wash all items of clothing, sheets, or any cloth item able to be put into your washing machine.  Ammonia the Clear 3% kind available in most stores everywhere, is your savior.  If you haven't already developed Chemical Sensitivity, you can use this in many areas of the home to rid the cross contamination you've brought home from a bad office, or if you are actually battling mold growth in the home itself.  Please put one eight ounce cup of ammonia into washer prior to any other loads, and make sure to run it first.  Then clean out the hose to the dryer as well as the bin inside the dryer with the Ammonia spray mixture.  (listed below)

     Wash all loads of laundry with one eight ounce of ammonia there on after yet again unless you've developed Chemical Sensitivity. With the complications of Chemical Sensitivity, all common house hold products, detergent, and perfumes can give you a large migraine, or possibly even pass out, all very painful.  if you have this try as best as you can to avoid them at all costs. (For those who suffer with MCS, Baking Soda instruction are applied to the same treatment with Ammonia. It's basically used like comet w/o water. In house can be left on moldy areas, then later scrubbed off. Also used in a lawn feeder pusher to take care of stubborn mold on patios, driveways and decking. Great outdoor treatment.) 


Pressurized Spray Bottle with Ammonia and Water:
(NOTE: click on this spray bottle and purchase this pressurized bottle online.)
     This is a great way to clean every surface after you dust the room.  Making sure to leave it on for some time, then wiping it off with towels or a rag you can dispose of.  One part ammonia to five parts water is the mixture needed.  I also recommend taking down any fan parts including screws and washing them in the tub with the spray and water to remove the build up on the fan.  This dust is also containing mold, dry spores, and bacteria that will threaten your low immune system.  You can also do this with common natural products like baking soda if you are suffering from Chemical Sensitivity, but it might not work as well on the mycotoxins for certain situations. Baking soda is good for floors, cement, roofs and outside flat surfaces. Also it is great for use as a comet like substance just used dry with scrub brush. Good for many other uses as well as written in passage earlier on Baking soda.

(If you do suffer with MCS, then use baking soda dry (as mentioned above) as a replacement in all the same areas ammonia can be used I.E. washing machine and killing live mold growing on organic substances including plants. (It can be used on the actual mold)

     It's important to be careful when cleaning with ammonia. Keep windows open and ventilate the room properly.  This is also a good way to air out the dust that might be in the room as well.  Recommended to use in bathrooms, basements, and any room where its growing.

     Ammonia is the best way to KILL living mold, and remove its toxins that are left behind. Common misnomer is that bleach kills mold.  Clorox has for many years now dropped that statement from all their products.  They realized that it cannot kill mold at all and they're products were faulty and incorrect. This is the reason why.   

When I was in later stage two this was offered to me since I was so terribly sick. You can even take a single eight ounce cup to a full warm bath for about twenty minutes.  Sometimes it pays to wear thin line swimming goggles so the fumes do not effect your eyes as much. Try this only after you have been officially diagnosed with the illness, for it does take some of the regular cells in the body as well as killing the yeast, mycotoxins, and mold.  Its a bit of sacrifice for a better quality of living.  Like said earlier you can look into hyperbaric treatments which has been known to regrow lost cells.


Why Are Biocides Not Recommended for Mold Remediation?

JUNE 19, 2012 BY MBL - Mold and Bacterai Labratories

The economic importance of biocides cannot be overemphasized. The world demand for these chemicals is projected to increase by 5.6% annually to $5.9 billion in 2006. Questions always arise as to whether biocides should be used or not in indoor mold remediation projects. This article is an attempt to explain why biocides may not be recommended for indoor mold control.

What are biocides? Why Are Biocides Not Recommended for Mold Remediation? - Because Biocides are Toxic

Biocides are a broad class of inorganic chemicals and sometimes of biological origin intended for control of pests, insects, bacteria, fungi (molds) and other micro organisms in non agricultural sectors. They are similar to plant protection products (commonly known as pesticides). 

Biocides have a wide range of applications such as:
disinfectants or sanitizers used in hospitals, restaurants, homes, laundries, carpets and drinking water for infection control,
preservatives for materials/products sold in tins (e.g. paint); paper; textiles; leather, metal working fluids; timber and wood composites and other natural and man-made materials,
antifoulants for inhibiting growth of organisms on the hulls of ships, on fishing nets and lobster pots,
pesticides used to control/kill pests such as rodents, insects, etc.
How are biocides classified and how do they control mold growth?

We shall discuss biocides with respect to control of molds in indoor environments. Biocides differ in chemical class and general and specific modes of action. A biocide’s mode of action can be described in general or specific terms. A biocide with broad spectrum activity would be effective against a large variety of molds. Copper based biocides are examples of broad-spectrum biocides. Some biocides may have a very narrow spectrum of activity (i.e., they are effective against a single or a few moulds). Alternatively, a biocide may affect a broad range of molds but by only a specific mode of action. A biocide’s mode of action can also be described as protectant or as an eradicant. Protectant biocides may be applied to prevent mould spores from germinating or penetrating the material to be protected. They must be applied before the mold spores have a chance to germinate. Protectants generally are not effective once mold growth has occurred. Eradicant biocides can kill mold that has already infested the material. Lime sulfur is an example of eradicant biocide that acts by killing molds on contact. Biocides that kill mould are said to be fungicidal. Some biocides only inhibit mould growth rather than kill them and are said to be fungistatic. Fungistatic biocides must be applied repeatedly to suppress mold growth.

Biocides kill or prevent growth of micro-organisms in a number of ways. Broad spectrum biocides may act at several sites within the cell such as the cell wall, cell membrane or other cell contents. Their action may include disruption of cell membrane, inactivation of a broad range of enzymes, denaturing of cell proteins and coagulation of cell contents. Selective biocides have specific effects on cells such as inhibition of cell growth.

Are biocides recommended for indoor mold Control?

Biocides are generally not recommended for indoor mold control primarily due to health concerns. However, careful selection and use of these products may be needed in some situations, for example where immuno-compromised workers are involved or to eliminate infectious agents from grey/black water contamination. Current mold remediation guidelines such as those by the Canadian Construction Association, the Environmental Abatement Council of Ontario (EACO) and the New York City Department of Health also do not recommend use of biocides in mold remediation. Also, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not “approve” biocides for mold remediation applications and cautions against using disinfectants and sanitizers in ventilation systems.
Some reasons why biocides are not recommended for indoor mold control or remediation include: Allergenic spores and mycotoxins do not require the mold to be alive to be a health hazard. It is widely recognized that molds do not have to be alive to cause allergic, toxic, or inflammatory responses to individuals at risk. While application of biocides may stop further mold growth, there is additional health risk due to biocide application. The best approach to limit mold exposure is to reduce the level (amount) of mold by using other recommended methods and subsequently controlling factors that favor growth.

Biocides may not be completely effective against indoor moulds
Microbial growth on building materials may be controlled by using various biocides. However, different microbial genera have been shown to have considerable variation in their sensitivity to biocides. The variation in efficacy of biocides against different micro-organisms suggests that it may not be possible to completely prevent the microbial growth on building materials and thus their incorporation should be carefully considered and tested. Being an enclosed system, the indoor environment may not allow application of protectant biocides due to health concerns as discussed above. For most eradicant biocides to be effective against mold, they must get into contact with the mold. However, since mold is capable of growing deep inside their substrates (in this case building materials), it may be difficult to ensure the biocide has come into contact with the entire mold. Only the mold on the surface of the infested material would be killed. A recent study indicated that incomplete control of Stachybotrys chartarum resulted to production of spores of higher toxicity than those spores from untreated mold.

What Are The Effects of Biocides Exposure to Human Health and the Environment?

Most biocides that would be effective against mold are highly toxic and if used in indoor environments may pose serious health effects to the occupants. The risk to human health and the environment of continuous use of some biocides in indoor environment is not well documented and could be very high.

Why Are Biocides Not Recommended for Mold Remediation?

Biocides are a hazard to living things. Human exposure to biocides applied in indoor environments may occur through dermal, inhalation or ingestion routes. Symptoms of biocide poisoning may include headaches, vomiting, stomach aches and diarrhea  Children, because of their particular physiological and developmental factors would be particularly vulnerable to biocides. Other population groups at risk include the elderly, the immuno compromised and the chronically ill.


Biocides are definitely useful in many areas but their use in indoor mold remediation is limited by their toxicity. In situations where one is dealing with pathogenic molds, use of biocides may be recommended. However, before using any biocide for indoor mold control one would need to consider several factors including:

• The occupants’ health status and risk of exposure.

• The short and long-term health effects to the occupants.
• Exposure control procedures and their effectiveness.
• The efficacy of the biocide to the target mold 
• Potential for personnel and environmental harm.

About the Author

Dr. Jackson Kung’u is a Microbiologist who has specialized in the field of mycology (the study of molds and yeasts). He is a member of the Mycological Society of America. He graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, with a Masters degree in Fungal Technology and a PhD in Microbiology. He has published several research papers in international scientific journals. Jackson has analysed thousands of mold samples from across Canada. Jackson provides how-to advice on mold and bacteria issues. 

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