If you are a regular church goer or are part of miscellaneous church activities such as Sunday school (for kids) or youth fellowship meetings, or even if you are attending marriage ceremonies, funerals or baptisms, you could be at a serious risk of being exposed to a mold infestation that could adversely affect your health as well as all others in attendance i.e. guests, visitors, members, priest / minister / rabbi and other church staff. Usually, this is the case when the church’s building has seen several decades without renovation and the prevailing environment has been moderately humid for a long time.
If you inhale in increased levels of airborne mold spores – even for as little as an hour (this is usually the time church services take) – there is a good chance that a mold colony growth could get initiated in your lungs and sinus cavity. Children, especially those who are allergic or are already suffering from an illness, are among those who are worst affected by this. In many cases, churchgoers are unable to pinpoint the church’s musty, nostalgic scented air as the culprit behind their predicament, which is why they spend thousands of dollars on medications and treatments that are useless – simply because they keep on going back to the source of the mold. A prime example of a church building that could be playing host to dangerous mold growths is one that has been damaged by a hurricane/storm and hastily repaired without its interior being adequately dried off: mold thrives in humidity – and the damp, musty corners of the church that don’t see the light of day are an ideal breeding ground for it.
If you experience breathing difficulties or exhaustion soon after you have left the church or even as the service is going on, you must immediately relay your concerns to the priest / minister / rabbi. With their consultation, you (or the church staff) could conduct a mold assessment using mold test kits in order to determine whether there is a mold infestation in the church or not. Be sure to check the air of the church sanctuary as well as other rooms and also in the external airflow from the cooling/heating duct registers. If the church has a cellar / basement, it goes without saying that this could be a very likely mold source. Compare the results of the tests to an outdoor control test. If there is any visible mold, you can collect samples from the mold growth using a ‘Scotch tape lift sampling technique’ that is described in most mold guide websites. Mold kits can be easily acquired from many large home improvement, safety or hardware store. If you are unable to purchase them on your own, you can ask the priest to set up a collection where everyone in the congregation can contribute – since it will be to the benefit of everyone ultimately. If the community agrees to contribute, you may even be better off hiring a professional mold assessor / remediator to get rid of the mold in a very reliable way. Just make sure that you have a good idea of how much the mold removal will cost and whether the contributions will suffice, since mold remediation is an expensive undertaking.
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