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Leading Experts Urge Mississippi River Flood-Affected Homeowners Not to Use Bleach to Clean and Prevent Mold Damage

Proper Steps Include Using EPA-Registered Mold & Mildew Products To Avoid Widespread Post-Katrina-Type Loss
ABITA SPRINGS, La., -- The National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI), a not-for-profit cooperative of mold experts and professionals, is urging owners of residential and commercial properties affected by Mississippi River flooding not to use household bleach to remove potentially harmful mold and mildew from water-damaged surfaces.
While bleach may temporarily remove the discoloration caused by mold, the organization said only EPA-registered mold and mildew products labeled as a cleaner, disinfectant, fungicide and/or mildewstat are truly effective at killing the micro-flora that can enable mold to grow, and make property potentially uninhabitable.
Rising mid-Summer temperatures and humidity, and flood-soaked materials of virtually all kinds are a perfect storm for likely rapid mold growth and its attendant effects on air quality and health. Widespread recommended use of bleach alone in post-Katrina New Orleans is believed to have had devastatingly negative effects on owners' and renters' abilities to reclaim their homes, because of bleach's inability to prevent mold and mildew re-growth.
"The bottom line is this -- as research and hard experience have proven, bleach does not kill the organism at its root and can promote mold growth, allowing re-growth. While bleach is effective as an everyday quick, cosmetic fix, bleach is not the thing to use in heavy-duty situations where preventing re-growth may be critical to short- and long-term habitability," said Douglas Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI. "No one wants to see another post-Katrina situation along the Mississippi River, so we want to leave no doubt about these facts--bleach is simply not effective for controlling mold problems."
NORMI has devoted part of its website to information links Mississippi River-affected property owners can follow to find local mold remediation resources, and commercial- and consumer-grade products that are EPA-registered mold and mildew disinfectants effective at killing mold and preventing its re-growth. "Products like Moldex Disinfectant, Anabec, and BacShield, as examples, are strongly recommended for those who are wanting products that really work," continued Hoffman. "We encourage consumers to become label-readers, study the ingredients, look at the testing data, and evaluate the company claims to be sure you are using safe, greener technologies."
Source: The National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors
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