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Baptist Global Response on hazards

iological exposures[edit]

Mold exposures: Exposure to mold is commonly seen after a natural disaster such as flooding, hurricane, tornado or tsunami. Mold growth can occur on both the exterior and interior of residential or commercial buildings. Warm and humid condition encourages mold growth; therefore, standing water and excess moisture after a natural disaster would provide an ideal environment for mold growth especially in tropical regions.[14] While the exact number of mold species is unknown, some examples of commonly found indoor molds are AspergillusCladosporiumAlternaria and Penicillium. Reaction to molds differ between individuals and can range from mild symptoms such as eye irritation, cough to severe life-threatening asthmatic or allergic reactions. People with history of chronic lung disease, asthma, allergy, other breathing problems or those that are immunocompromised could be more sensitive to molds and may develop fungal pneumonia.

The most effective approach to control mold growth after a natural disaster is to control moisture level. Some ways to prevent mold growth after a natural disaster include opening all doors and windows, using fans to dry out the building, positioning fans to blow air out of the windows and cleaning up the building within the first 24–48 hours.[15] All wet items that cannot be properly cleaned and dried within the first 48 hours should be promptly removed and discarded from the building. If mold growth is found in the building, it is important to concurrently remove the molds and fix the underlying moisture problem. When removing molds, N-95 masks or respirators with a higher protection level should be used to prevent inhalation of molds into the respiratory system.[16] Molds can be removed from hard surfaces by soap and water, a diluted bleach solution[17] or commercial products.