Mold is everywhere and is a naturally occurring fungus. Usually
mold can be controlled by minimizing or eliminating moisture.
However, in certain situations it may present a health problem is
individuals who are sensitive to its spores. It has been in the news:
from multi-million dollar verdicts for residential damages caused by mold
to the evacuations of schools that have mold odors.
Fungi are neither plant nor animal and include mold, yeast and
mushrooms. Fungi are prevalent almost everywhere in the world and
they can grow on nearly any organic substance as long as there is moisture
and oxygen present. In the northeast the main cause of fungal problems
is excessive moisture or humidity. Before any clean up work is
started, the moisture problem must be corrected or even the most complete
removal will be worthless and the fungi will reappear.
Fungi can affect human health in a number of ways. People can be
affected by the inhalation or ingestion of the fungal spores, inhalation of
volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are a product of fungal growth (the
VOCs are the moldy odors often associated with fungi), inhalation of
mycotoxins that certain fungi emit and from the inhalation or ingestion of
fungi that have grown or landed on food or have become airborne when they
have been disturbed.
The health effects of fungal exposure are well-documented, but may be
very difficult to prove. Symptoms may include: asthma, allergic
reactions, headaches, fever, higher susceptibility to illness, rash and
Complete removal of the fungi is the best alternative to the abatement
of the problem. Removal of the fungi is followed by cleaning of the
affected area with a fungicide and the application of a sealant with a
fungal inhibiter. The clean up activities should be conducted in such
a way as to avoid the contamination of unaffected areas.
SEA’s fungal professionals are Board Certified by the American Indoor
Air Quality Council and can test for, evaluate, prepare work plans, oversee
the implementation of the work plans, and conduct clearance sampling to
ascertain the effectiveness of the clean up activities. SEA will
guide you through the clean up process offering you the most cost effective
alternatives for the fungal abatement.
PHASE I - Environmental Site Assessments
Due to the potential staggering liability associated with environmental
problems, financial lenders and buyers of real estate should have an
accurate assessment of the environmental condition of the property, also
known as due diligence. Owners of contaminated real estate may be liable
for clean-up costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response
Compensation and Liabilities Act (CERCLA). SEA conducts Phase I
Environmental Site Assessments to identify potential and actual sources of
environmental contamination related to commercial, industrial, and even
residential properties. Environmental Site Assessments can vary greatly in
terms of scope, cost, and quality depending on the type of property and its
A Phase 1 involves the examination of historical information on the site
and its neighborhood, agencies’ compliance records, hazmat data bases, site
building records, and the use of questionnaires coupled with an interactive
site visit. Findings from the records search are incorporated into the
on-site inspection activity to allow any potential problems identified from
the research effort to be confirmed or nullified by physical evidence
observed at the site. If a Phase 1 indicates a need for further
investigation to determine if an environmental concern exists at the site,
a Phase 2 investigation may be necessary.
PHASE 2 - Environmental Site Investigation
A Phase 2 includes media sampling, testing and analysis. It may include
the development of alternative engineering solutions to the problems
identified in the Phase 1 and 2, and the costing of such potential
abatement activities. Some limited sampling to support visual observations
may be conducted to determine the presence of asbestos, radon, and lead.
The objective of Phase 2 is to obtain quantitative evidence on the presence
of hazardous materials and conditions and to delineate the scope of the
contamination and the cost of cleanup.
PHASE 3 - Environmental Site Remediation
A Phase 3 consists of implementing the remediation activities that will
abate the problems identified and characterized in the previous two phases.
It may include containment or removal of the pollutants, decontamination,
abatement of the site, and remediation. An interim or final closure report
will be prepared documenting the process and presenting SEA's conclusions.
If you have any questions
or comments about Spectrum Environmental Associates, Inc. or the
services we offer, please let us know.
2539 Albany Street
Schenectady , NY 12304