These masks can be purchased at a local home supply store for about $10-12. Try to get one that has a "punch-out" where the nostrils are, because breathing would be easier.
What do P100 and N95 mean?
These respirators are highly efficient, so that tiny particulates, such as mold spores, cannot penetrate through them. The P100 has a better rating than the N95.
Why is wearing a P100 or an N95 mask so important?
Wearing a snug-fitting mask protects your respiratory system and lungs from exposure to mold particulates, including spores and other inflammatory, allergenic particles.
There was a flood in the common area of a Florida condominium. No one realized that water had penetrated into a nearby apartment as well. This apartment was vacant, with the owners living in New York for the summer. One day the son of the owners went to check on the apartment and discovered the extensive mold damage. He walked around the apartment checking this and that, without a respirator.
From that one exposure to severe mold contamination, the young man ended up with a fungal lung infection that may be chronic for life. The risk is not worth the price.
For information on the EnviroHealth mold inspection, call 1-888-735-9649 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Available in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and other areas by arrangement.
Do a respirator fit test:
Other personal protective equipment (PPE) might include:
When to consider VOC filtration with your N95 respirator:
Mod grows, and as it grows, it gives off gases known as MVOCs, or volatile organic compounds from mold. These gases can be allergenic or toxigenic, contributing to mold symptoms, including respiratory. allergenic, inflammatory, and neurological, as well as potentially being immunosuppressant. P100 and N95 respirators remove fungal particulate matter from the air you breathe, but they do not remove gases.
Consequently, if you need to work in an area that has a strong smell of mold, you might consider adding a VOC filter for organic compounds to your respirator. You can't do this with a low-end respirator, so ask first what model would enable you to have an add-on for MVOCs. If you can't find this locally, do an Internet search. One source is www.grainger.com.
Another way to reduce exposure to MVOCs is to ventilate the area by opening windows, perhaps with an exhaust fan in a window at the work area. Make sure nearby windows are closed, and be careful not to exhaust mold spores into your neighbors' property. Open a window across the room for make-up air.
I inspected a house recently where there had been a flood several weeks earlier, and PLENTY of visible mold was present. The homeowner pulled out a simple dust mask as he walked into the house. I stopped him, went to the car and got an extra N95 respirator for him to use. This N95 face mask had cost me $5, a cheap price to protect his lungs. (3M sells 20 disposable N95 masks for $20.)
EnviroHealth Consulting, Inc., 1-888-735-9649
Mold and other environmental inspections available in
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