Monday, January 19, 2009

Differing Mold Perspectives

There are some really interesting perspectives on this whole health-issues-from-mold discussion I've been having with several people. There's two extreme perspectives. In Hawaii, the relative humidity is quite high and the rainy season gets quite wet on the windward side. Lots of locals called me a "princess" or "mainlander" for being concerned with it. Everybody living here I talked to said things like "oh, my clothes always smell that way" or "yeah, our house flooded and the carpet didn't used to be that color, but now it grows in the winter... Oh well." Everybody seemed surprised that I was surprised at mold. Most say it's a fact of life here. Then there's the mainlander perspective. "It's a neurotoxin, leave quickly!". Brian and Jesse calling me to make sure I'd wear a mask when cleaning. Lots of people saying to watch it. I did a lot of research online and the CDC and EPA didn't have a whole lot to say. There were links between molds and respatory aggrivation as well as some sporadic reports of flu-like symptoms. Both agencies recommended fixing the water problem by whatever means and then sterilizing the area. Both said there were no established guidelines to check for toxicity or the level of danger. Neither seemed horribly concerned with it, though none called me a princess for worrying. My landlord even said, at first, "oh, I don't get mold, I leave the windows open and have good flow". But when I asked specific questions and she investigated it turns out she's got mold in nearly every cupboard and kitchen drawer. At low level.

Either way, the critters still don't care. I've thrown a lot of things out and done more loads of laundry than I care to think about. Much cleaning.... The dehumidifier pulled several gallons out of the air and I have to suspect that a lot of it was from the ambient posessions of mine - the rate of water collection in the tub diminished very significantly over three days (1gal/6hrs to 1gal/24hrs). Hopefully my next several days away from the apartment will cook everything alive in there.....

Giant cane spider under my bed... It can stay cause it eats roaches.
Moldy cutting board....
Random bug.


Blogger Liz said...

the little gecko is so cute! and the eyes on the cane spider are nuts.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Mom said...

That spider is huge!! I couldn't sleep I'm g;ad it doesn't bother you!!

3:42 AM  
Blogger Sleepy said...

I forgot that spideys have 8 eyes, whoa, anyways, those leg looking things near the cane's face are pedipalps, they function as an organ of touch, and they can be used to identify the male in spider species (where the pedipalp is enlarged). Just FYI!

8:57 AM  

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