Cleaning Items Exposed to Mold and Mycotoxins

In a Nutshell: Cleaning Items Exposed to Mold and Mycotoxins, Water Damage, and Bacteria

All items or materials which have mold growing on them must be removed from the home. This needs to be performed by professionals following specific guidelines. Protective clothing, negative air pressure, containment barriers and HEPA air scrubbers should be employed by the remediators.

Any cleaning process for these types of contaminants always begins and ends with HEPA vacuuming. In addition, Zephiran Chloride .3% can be used to clean furniture and laundry. Items not damaged by strong hydrogen peroxide can be cleaned with 3 and 1/2% hydrogen peroxide. Sodium perborate or sodium percarbonate can be used to clean laundry items as can 3 and 1/2% hydrogen peroxide. Carbon dioxide based dry cleaning can also be used to clean articles which have sustained water damage, bacteria and mold and mycotoxin exposure. For some, chlorine bleach can be used on select items to destroy mold, bacteria, and mycotoxins. (Care must be exercised in using these cleaning products so that no improper mixing of chemicals occurs. In addition, care should be used around these chemicals so as to avoid damage to skin or eyes.)

For remediation to be effective on items exposed to Stachybotrys and trichothecene, EC3 and CitraSafe enzyme based cleaners in addition to the use of HEPA vacuuming need to be employed. The mycotoxin, trichothecene, is very difficult to destroy, and many items may need to be discarded.

Care must be taken in bringing cleaned or mold and mycotoxin remediated items into a new environment. To prevent the risk of mycotoxin contamination of the new environment, only a few items should be brought into the home at one time. Repeated mold and mycotoxin testing can help insure that the new environment remains free of contaminants.

Institute of inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500)

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