Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mold?

Molds have been part of the environment since humans have walked the planet. References to mold can be found in the Bible and scientists estimate molds evolved more than 400 million years ago. Molds are part of the diverse group of organisms called fungi, which include a wide range of species from tiny molds to large mushrooms.

Fungi are part of nature’s recycling system and play a key role in breaking down organic materials such as plants, leaves, wood fiber and other natural materials. Fungi extract food from organic material, and they grow and reproduce by way of spores. Conservatively, more than 100,000 species of mold exist in the world and at least 1,000 species are common in the U.S. Molds and other fungi are estimated to comprise a quarter of the entire biomass on earth.

As such, molds and mold spores are everywhere. The air we breathe is a virtual jungle of fungal spores and we regularly encounter mold spores as part of everyday life.

Why do Molds Grow Indoors?

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can Mold Cause Health Problems?

Inhalation of fungal spores, fragments (parts), or metabolites (e.g. mycotoxins and volatile organic compounds) from a variety of fungi may lead to or exacerbated immonulogic (allergic) reactions, cause toxic effects, or infections. Illness can result from both high levels, short term exposures and lower level, long term exposures. The most common symptoms reported from exposures in indoor environments are runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, aggravation of asthma, headache and fatigue. In order for humans to be exposed fungal spores, fragments or metabolites must be released into the air and inhaled, physically contacted (dirmal exposure) or ingested.

Whether symptoms in people exposed to fungi depends on the nature of the fungal material (e.g. allergenic, toxic or infectious), the amount of exposure and the susceptibility of exposed persons. Susceptibility varies with the genetic predisposition (e.g. allergies do not always occur in all individuals), age, state of health and concurrent exposures. For these reasons and because measurements of exposure are not standardized and biological makers of exposure to mold are largely unknown, it is not possible to determine (safe) or (unsafe) levels of exposure for people in general.

Is EC-34 Technology Safe To use in The Home?

EC-34 Technology is non-hazardous, non-toxic, and non-flammable environmentally safe and biodegradable. MicroZyme’s formula follows FDA specifications as found in CER-21 Sections 174-184 Generaly Regarded As Safe(GRAS).It contains no harsh chemicals, no chlorine, and no ammonia. EC-34 Technology can safely be used around people, pets, plants, and marine life. Exterior surfaces can be effectively cleaned with without concern for harming plants, shrubs, flowers, or the environment.

Is Bleach Effective in Killing Molds?

Bleach is ineffective in killing mold on porous surfaces such as building materials, carpeting, and padding. “While bleach is often recommended for remediation of surface mold on wood, our [university research study] results illustrate that the treatment does not eliminate the surface microflora,” is the conclusion of the Oregon State University study of the effects of chlorine bleach on mold growth on Douglas fir wood [an important timber crop in the state of Oregon]. The research study was conducted by Professor Jeffrey Morrell, Dept. of Wood Science, Oregon State Univ., as assisted by Adam Taylor [graduate research assistant] and Camille Freitag [Senior Research Assoc.], Forest Products Journal, 54:4, 2004.

Is Ozone Safe To use in The Home and Air Conditioner System?

Use of ozone to “remove” or “kill” mold is ineffective, not recommended, and may be dangerous. Even if ozone were applied at a concentration and for a duration sufficient to “kill” every mold spore in a building (which is a very dubious claim), depending on the mold genera/species present there is a good chance that the process leaves toxic and allergenic particles in the building. A “dead” (or non-viable) mold spore may not grow but it can still be a health concern.

The operative proper word for mold remediation is “clean” or “remove”, not “kill.” In 1997, Dr. Karin K. Foarde of Research Triangle Institute, tested the ability of ozone to decontaminate fungi on building materials. At ozone levels of 9 ppm for a 23-hour exposure, ozone was found to be ineffective. Problems from ozone exposure include:

  • Lung irritation and infection. Breathing pain, coughing, wheezing, difficulty when exercising.
  • Permanent lung damage.
  • Aggravation of pre-existing asthma
  • Increased risk of lung illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Reduced breathing capacity