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Pinto_A Practical Approach to Assisting Sensitized Individuals

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IAQA 18th Annual Meeting & Indoor Environment and Energy Expo (IE3) The views and opinions herein are those of the volunteer authors and may not reflect the views and opinions of IAQA. The information is offered in good faith and believed to be reliable but it is provided without warranty, expressed or implied, as to the merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or any other matter. outozone as being inappropriate for mold remediation, particularly when it is used as a stand- alone technique. Putting It All Together to Protect the Sensitized Person Who is Trying to Heal There is no doubt that the relationship between water-damaged buildings and health effects is complicated. But this has been the case with every material that was eventually determined to be a hazardous contaminant. There will always be more to learn. Nevertheless, it is important to work intelligently with the existing information even as we strive for better data. This is especially true when many of the corrective action steps that can be employed have a proven track record with real-world success in helping sensitized individuals recover their health and lives. At times, the process of trying to deal with a water-damaged environment that needs to be occupied by a sensitized person can seem overwhelming. In those moments both the occupants and the contractor chosen to assist them should drop back to the core concepts related to remediation for people with special sensitivities: There is a connection between many significant health symptoms and contaminated environments that is not explained by the dose/response relationship. Proper remediation must go beyond source removal and deal with residual contamination in the HVAC system, on contents, and on surfaces outside the isolated work area. At a minimum, remediation practices must follow the standard of care and then plus-up from there to address the special needs of the occupants. Attention to detail in all aspects of the work is crucial.A small gap in a barrier or an item missed in the cleaning process could trigger a significant reaction. Everyone should be clear on a specifically-defined endpoint for each phase of the work before it begins. Having a detailed project plan and an individual that acts as a central coordinator for the effort is one way to help such projects proceed smoothly. By the very definition of a sensitized individual, such projects that assist them are notroutine. Even so, a thoughtful approach and a strict focus on completing each step properly can restore buildings to the point where medical intervention can be more effective in resolving health issues and giving these suffering people their lives back. REFERENCES 1. "Germ Culprits in Moldy, Water-Damaged Buildings Identified"; Health.usnews.com; June 22, 2012. 2. "How Our Buildings Are Making Us Sick";Forbes online; August 8, 2012. 3. Cox-Ganser, Jean;"NIOSH Field Studies on Dampness and Mold and Related Health Effects"; 6 th International Bioaerosols Conference, September 6-9, 2011.

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