Published: Summer 2001
PREVENT MOLD PROBLEMS BY
Today's new environmental hazard is mold. Mold has been around forever,
but its harmful nature is just beginning to be recognized. As buildings
are being made more and more airtight, moisture is retained and mold
can grow. Molds can be found almost everywhere; they can grow on virtually
any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can
and do grow on wood, paper, carpet and foods. Often difficult to recognize,
mold is found in many colors and many forms, thriving where moisture
and darkness meet. Mold contamination can cause allergic reactions,
asthma and other respiratory complaints. Long term exposure to mold
has been known to cause serious health problems. If mold is a problem
in your building, you must act quickly to clean up the mold and eliminate
sources of moisture.
There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in
the indoor environment. The focus must be on controlling indoor mold
growth by controlling moisture. The website of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency ( EPA) provided the following useful information about
mold control at www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/
Quickly fix the source of water problems or leaks
to prevent mold growth.
Promptly clean and dry any damp or wet building materials
and furnishings to prevent mold growth.
Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent,
and dry completely. (Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles that
become moldy may need to be replaced.)
Do not install carpeting in areas where there is a
perpetual moisture problem (e.g., in bathrooms or on concrete floors
with frequent condensation).
Reduce indoor humidity to 30% -60% to decrease mold
growth. This can be done:
by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture generating
sources to the outside
by using air conditioners and de-humidifier
by increasing ventilation, and
by using exhaust and whenever cooking, dishwashing
ENHANCE SURVIVAL LIKELIHOOD
Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among
adults in North America. Nationwide, more than 350,000 people
go into cardiac arrest each year. Most of them die. Doctors
have determined that if medical help is available within
a few minutes following a heart attack, the chance of survival
A two-year study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
and the American Heart Association was initiated this year. It will
train volunteer in the use of a small, portable automated external defibrillator
(AED) to determine the potential for saving lives through early use
of this device in heart attack victims, when minutes count for survival.
The AED is capable of 'talking' a non-medically trained person through
the life-saving process. It requires placing two soft pads on the patient's
chest and pressing a button. The machine is designed to detect rapid,
tremulous and ineffectual heart contractions occur in the wake of a
heart attack. The machine itself determines whether the patient requires
an electric shock.
If, as expected, this study proves the value of AEDs, the ultimate
goal will be to make AEDs available at many locations, so that heart
attack victims can have better chances of survival.
Your cooperative or condominium may want to consider purchasing an
AED and making residents aware that it is available for their use in
an emergency.There have been no known lawsuits against lay rescuers
providing CPR as Good Samaritans, nor any against AED users. However,
the perceived potential for a suit against a lay rescuer using an AED
has in some cases been a deterrent for companies or organizations considering
establishing a public access defibrillation (PAD) program. To help overcome
these concerns, the American Heart Association has led an effort to
provide limited liability to lay users of AEDs. New York is among the
states which have adopted comprehensive legislation to provide lay rescuer
FOOD WASTE DISPOSERS ENCOURAGED
Kitchen food waste disposers or garbage grinders were approved
for use in New York City in 1997. These under-the-sink devices
are encouraged for their contribution to reducing the city's
waste stream. State of the art disposers contain no harmful
blades; instead, they hammer waste food to a pulp for disposal
through the sewer system where it is turned into environmentally
beneficial bio-solids with agricultural uses. In addition,
diverting kitchen waste from the curb helps prevent the
presence of rats and other vermin seeking food in the garbage.
Now that the City must export all garbage it collects to distant landfills,
every effort is being made to control the waste stream. Incentives are
being offered for the installation of food waste disposers in new buildings
and apartments undergoing renovation.
Cooperatives and condominiums with aging plumbing will want to check
with their engineers before permitting (or encouraging) the installation
of food waste disposers.