Review of Mold Issues in North America and Mold Research at Forintek
A Uzunovic, A Byrne, Dian-Qing Yang, P I Morris
Over the last decade, air quality in homes and workplaces has become a high profile issue especially in relation to mold, receiving considerable media, public and legal attention. Forintek Canada Corp. and the wood industry in general have experienced large increases in inquiries regarding mold and the suitability of wood as substrate for its growth. Because wet wood supports growth of fungi the public perceive wood used in building envelope as a major source of mold and this can affect wood’s image in markets and could be exploited by competitor industries. Forintek reviewed the existing and relevant information about mold, substrates that support its growth and the health issues associated with mold and water damaged buildings. Several projects and collaborative efforts with other groups have been initiated to deal with recognized knowledge gaps. This paper covers the history of mold hysteria, recent statements by authorities on mold and health and summarizes some of Forintek’s recent work. This includes: survey of mold and staining fungi on KD lumber; database of literature on mold, building materials and health; limiting conditions for mold growth, hidden mold and its movement into living spaces and a lab test method for mold resistance of wood products.
Keywords: Mold, health, building materials, moisture problems