A variety of factors can contribute to the growth of mold in institutional and commercial facilities, but one all-too-common culprit is HVAC (FAN COIL) equipment. The HVAC system, which includes piping and drain pans, can be sources of mold growth and transportation mode for dispersing mold spores throughout a building.
Mold is the common word for any fungus that grows on food or damp materials. Mold can be black, white or almost any color. It often looks like a stain or smudge and it may smell musty.
In order to grow, mold needs moisture and a material it can live on. It then releases “spores” into the air which are small enough that people can actually breathe them in. Breathing in large amounts of these spores and the by-products they produce can negatively impact your health.
Common places for mold to grow indoors are on window sills, fabrics, carpets, and walls in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry area
Toronto is currently experiencing a condo-building eruption. According to Toronto City Council’s Economic Development Committee, Toronto has more high-rise condos (132 buildings of 400 feet or taller) under construction than any other North American city, including larger cities like New York City (95 buildings), Mexico City (88), and Chicago (17).
With all of this condo development, there is much concern about the interior air quality of these and older, more established condominium buildings. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined that many North American buildings—including condos—cause Sick Building Syndrome (or SBS), a condition where “occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building.”
Frequently, SBS is caused by poor interior air-quality conditions The EPA specifically targets “inadequate HVAC systems that do not effectively distribute air to people in a building.” “Bacteria, molds, pollen, and viruses,” observes the EPA, “are types of biological contaminants” living in condominium HVAC systems: “These contaminants may breed in stagnant water that has accumulated in ducts, humidifiers, and drain pans.
Mold Contaminated Fan Coil Units may contain Toxic Black Mold & Mycotoxins.