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Mold Cleanup Practices Vary by Sociodemographic and Allergy Factors

Abstract

We examined mold cleanup practices in the U.S. in a general population that was not selected on a history of natural disaster. We used a population-based survey (n = 3,624) to assess associations between 1) sociodemographic, housing, and respiratory health variables and 2) mold cleanup, personal protective equipment (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 facemask/respirator compared with only 19% of soap and water users. Hispanic populations frequently reported mold cleanup. Bleach use was less likely in the Western region of the country 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, which supports the need for current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safe-use recommendations.


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Speaker / Author:
Scott A. Damon, MAIA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ginger L. Chew, ScD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Month Year:
December 2020
Volume#:
83.5
Page #:
18-21
Publication Month:
December 2020
Healthy Homes