The Office of Environmental Health and Safety provides guidance and support for indoor air quality concerns, primarily mold and chemical odors.
Mold Management Program
Molds are a part of the natural environment and generally do not pose a hazard to healthy individuals. They are found everywhere, indoors and outdoors, throughout the year. They enter buildings on shoes, clothing and air currents. Molds need moisture and a food source to grow. Indoors, mold growth becomes an issue where moisture or water is present, especially in poorly ventilated areas. Molds may produce adverse health effects, such as allergy-like reactions, in a portion of the population. The molds found in our indoor environments do not produce mycotoxins.
There are currently no federal standards or recommendations for airborne concentrations of mold or mold spores.
Facilities Services personnel have been trained to manage most mold problems at Boston College. Small areas are treated with an appropriate surface cleaner that kills mold, and the area is checked to determine the source of moisture. If the problem is larger than can be handled internally, qualified remediation contractors are brought in.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is available to answer questions, educate the community, and assess potential mold-impacted areas. They call in consultants when necessary to provide testing. The testing procedure includes air and surface sampling, and takes several days to provide results.
What To Do If You Think You Have Mold In Your Room Or Office
If you observe mold growth or detect musty odors, complete a Facilities work ticket. Someone will contact you to do an inspection and, if necessary, treat the affected area, or develop a plan to manage the mold.
Prevent Mold Growth
Because mold is everywhere, the key to controlling mold growth is controlling moisture.
There are things you can do:
- Residence hall bathrooms
- Don’t take over-long showers, and use the ventilation fan in the bathroom.
- If the fan is not working, put in a work order.
- Wipe up standing water, and clean bathroom surfaces regularly with commercial cleaning products.
- Bedrooms, kitchens and common rooms
- Do not block heating and air conditioning units with furniture.
- Also do not block supply and return air vents. Unobstructed air flow is required for proper ventilation.
- If water condenses on windows, wipe it up.
- If you notice leaking around or under a sink, submit a facilities work request.
- In your office or classroom
- Report leaks immediately.
- If it is humid outdoors and your air conditioning is working, don't open windows! You are bringing in moisture that will condense and create conditions for mold growth.
- Drying efforts, cleanup, and removal of water damaged material should be done within 48 hours of initial water infiltration to prevent mold growth.
If you have questions, send an email to email@example.com.
If you notice persistent chemical odors in your work area, contact Gail Hall, 2-0300.