Mold clean-up practices vary by sociodemographic and allergy factors

J Environ Health. 2020 Dec;83(5):18-21.


We examined mold clean-up practices in a general population (not selected on history of natural disaster). We used a population-based survey (n= 3,624) to assess associations between sociodemographic/ housing/ respiratory health variables and mold clean-up, PPE use, and cleaning agent use. Bleach was the most commonly used cleaning agent with approximately 90% of residents reporting using bleach alone or with other agents. More respondents used gloves (76%) than any other PPE. The use of PPE varied; 42% of bleach users wore a breathing mask/respirator compared with only 19% of soap and water users. Hispanic populations frequently reported mold clean-up. Bleach use was less likely in the West and among Asians. Although "Green" products were rarely used, Asians were more likely to use them. Bleach was the most commonly used cleaning agent for mold, and PPE use was common when using bleach, supporting the need for current CDC safe use recommendations.

Keywords: PPE; allergy; asthma; bleach; fungi; mold; remediation.