San Diego’s Channel 10 News recently cited the case of a local human relations manager, Stephanie Brauns, who was experiencing “bad reactions” to her coffee. After a friend forwarded her information about coffee maker contaminations, Brauns investigated her own coffee maker. Unscrewing the top, she made a “horrifying discovery”: mold.
Brauns had good reason to be horrified: Mold can cause serious health problems. And unfortunately, many people experience mold exposure, leading to a host of health concerns, from allergic reactions to respiratory problems, including asthma attacks and even lung damage.
The prime culprit is not coffee makers. Mold exists naturally in outdoor environments, but most humans experience mold exposure in homes—on walls and floors, carpets and upholstery. In these spaces, mold is easily identified and can be remediated with a simple cleansing solution.
In some spaces, however, mold is not easily identified or cleaned. The ductwork of an HVAC system, for example, is both hidden and inaccessible.
Jeffrey May, the author of “My House is Killing Me: The Home Guide for Families with Allergies and Asthma,” notes that mold needs four things to thrive: moisture, oxygen, a friendly surface, and food.
May, who was quoted in a 2001 New York Times article, “The Dangers of Mold in Homes,” noted that over time excessive moisture as well as dust and debris accumulates in the HVAC system, creating the ideal home for mold.
HVAC system mold elimination requires two-steps: