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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Associations Between Mold Remediation Practices and Post-Remediation Verification Testing for Residential Structures in Southern California from 2008 to 2019
by Robinson, Christine, Ph.D., Trident University International, 2020, 193; 28153859
Abstract (Summary)

Background: Exposure to indoor dampness and mold is associated with an increased risk of poor respiratory health. In the United States, $3.5 billion is spent annually on asthma attributed to dampness and mold in homes, and one home, out of every 50 insured homes, files a water damage claim each year. Each of these claims involves incidents that introduce damp and moldy conditions into homes, and mold spores are aerosolized when damp and moldy building materials are disturbed during mitigation and remediation work. The consensus guideline documents, ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard and reference guide for professional water damage restoration – fourth edition: 2015 [S500] and the ANSI/IICRC S520 Standard for professional mold remediation – third edition: 2015 [S520], recommend training, work practices, and cleaning protocols to guide water damage mitigation and mold remediation work. The consensus guidelines also recommend evaluating the completion of projects by the use of a third-party assessment by an Indoor Environmental Professional, which includes air testing for airborne mold spores, physical evaluation, and visual assessment.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the correlations between how closely water damage mitigation and mold remediation work follows consensus guidelines and the results of Indoor Environmental Professional assessments, especially mold spores.

Design: A nonexperimental, correlational design using secondary data was chosen as the ideal method to determine whether consensus guidelines were followed for water damage mitigation and mold remediation work.

Results: There was a significant correlation between how closely work followed consensus guidelines and the Indoor Environmental Professional (pass-fail) assessment (p < .001), with the greatest observed values between (fail + does not follow), (fail + partially follows), and (pass +does follow). There was also a significant correlation between the airborne mold spore count in the work area and how closely the work followed consensus guidelines (p < .001), with the mean rank for spore significantly higher when the work (does not follow) consensus guidelines. Moreover, there was a significant association between the airborne mold spore count in the work area and the Indoor Environmental Professional (pass-fail) assessment (p < .001), with the mean rank of spore for (pass) significantly lower than the mean rank for (fail).

Conclusion: Significant correlations were found between how thoroughly water damage mitigation and mold remediation work followed consensus document guidelines and the Indoor Environmental Professional assessment, especially airborne mold spore testing in the work area. As demonstrated in this study, the more closely mold remediation work follows consensus document guidelines, the more likely the project will pass post-remediation verification and airborne mold spore testing. Furthermore, fewer airborne mold spores in the work area were associated with mold remediation work that followed the consensus document guidelines, although there were significant associations between the manner in which the mold remediation work was performed, specifically, the use of explicit engineering controls. Water damage mitigation and mold remediation professionals that follow the consensus guideline document recommendations may reduce health risks to building occupants, while lowering disease burden and healthcare costs through effectively reducing the exposure to indoor moldy conditions following water damage mitigation and mold remediation work.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dwight, Ryan, Tawil, Bill
Commitee: Corcoran, Dan, Shachar, Mickey
School: Trident University International
Department: College of Health Sciences
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental Health, Health sciences, Public health, Materials science, Health care management
Keywords: Asthma, Indoor air quality, Indoor environmental professional, Mold remediation, Water damage, Southern California, Mold, Respiratory health, airborne mold spores, Healthcare costs
Publication Number: 28153859
ISBN: 9798691217654
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