Effects of mold on Student Health

Jacob Callahan

Mold

Mold can grow from any sort of moisture whether it be from steam, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, and flooding. I believe the mold in the bathrooms of Chico state’s off-campus housing University Village is caused by shower steam. The bathroom is poorly ventilated making this room ideal to grow mold on the ceiling and walls.
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Bleach as a solution

Removing mold can be a tricky chore because once something is applied to the mold it releases its spores and can spread more easily. The most common product to kill mold is bleach. Bleach can harm many surfaces it is applied to and does not have a long term effect. The problem with bleach is that it does not destroy the “food source” of mold or the moisture. The moisture still remains in these areas. For mold to grow it needs to be above fifty percent humidity. Using a dehumidifier along with the process of using bleach would be an effective solution.

Biodegradable product

There are biodegradable products that will kill mold and remove the “food source” the mold needs to survive. These biodegradable alternatives do not contain ammonia, bleach, or phosphates. They are not harmful to plants or animals and safe to use around children.
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Concrobium

As a solution my roommate and I used a product called Concrobium. It is a bleach free product using Sodium Carbonate as the active ingredient. It is a product made for consumers that can be found at a local hardware store and is sold at an affordable price. It is a spray that works as it dries, killing the mold’s “food source”. On the area where the product is sprayed there is an antimicrobial barrier left behind. This barrier prevents the spores from spreading and growing more colonies.

Health effects on a UV student

A resident of University Village was willing enough to let me interview them. The resident spends most of their time in their room at University Village. They had the mold in their bathroom cleaned by the University Village staff. The staff at University Village use bleach which can cause health problems or make existing problems worse. This resident did not have any pre-existing respiratory health issues. Although they got mild allergies since moving to University Village while previously they did not experience allergies. Also after getting a cold around the time of Halloween the resident expressed that they were coughing more than they normally did during a cold. This may be just be a particular strain of cold but I believe with the other evidence about their respiratory health that it may directly linked to the mold. There is an obvious problem with the mold affecting ones health. Not everyone necessarily is affected by mold, nor is every bathroom filled with mold but it should be treated for the health issues of those whose health will worsen because of it.