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How can Santa Barbara residents can prevent mold in their rental units?

Posted by John B. Richards
Date
Filed in Mold Exposure

Here are some common sources of indoor mold:

  • Flooding
  • Leaky roof
  • Sprinkler spray hitting a building
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Overflow from sinks or sewers
  • Damp basement or crawl space
  • Steam from showers or cooking
  • Humidifiers
  • Wet clothes hung to dry indoors
  • A clothes dryer that exhausts air indoors

Mold Exposure in Santa Barbara

A recent Santa Barbara Independent article offered a very interesting quote from a Santa Barbara renter:
‘We pay for such poor-quality housing in this town and sadly, after years, lower our standards. If you’ve rented in Santa Barbara, you know you can count on at least one of these problems in a rental: mysterious mold smell under a sink, poorly maintained interiors, windows that are painted shut, bathroom tubs and fixtures so old there is no such thing as “clean,” horrible showerheads, hard-to-work-with property owners. There seems to be an overall attitude of, Well, if you’re unhappy, move— 20 other people will want to rent it out next week.’ —Lori, 32, artist

Health Effects of Mold

According to research, molds release tiny spores and even smaller particles that travel through the air. Everyone inhales some mold every day without apparent harm; however, molds can cause inflammation, allergy, or infection. Allergic reactions are the most well-recognized responses to inhaling mold spores.

Dampness and mold cause health effects both in allergic and non-allergic people. The health effects consistently associated with indoor dampness and molds include:

  • Allergic rhinitis (runny nose)
  • Upper respiratory symptoms, such as stuffy or congested nose or sinuses, sore throat, or irritated nose or throat
  • Lower respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or cough
  • Asthma attacks in those who already have asthma
  • Causation of new asthma
  • Respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis
  • Eye irritation (burning, watery, or reddened eyes)
  • Eczema, and skin rashes or irritation

Prevention

In order to prevent harmful mold exposure it’s important to regularly inspect our rental units for signs of indoor moisture and mold.

Source:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/iaq/pages/indoormold.aspx
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