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Sci Total Environ. 2008 Jul 25;399(1-3):19-27. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.03.033. Epub 2008 May 5.

Monitoring success of remediation: seven case studies of moisture and mold damaged buildings.

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National Public Health Institute, Department of Environmental Health, POB 95, FIN-70701 Kuopio, Finland.


Based on seven case studies of buildings that underwent different degrees of moisture and mold damage remediation, we aimed to develop methodology for assessment of the success of the remediation process. Methods used in gauging the success included technical monitoring of performance of building structures and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, microbial monitoring of indoor air quality (IAQ), and health effects studies of building occupants. The assessment was based on measurable change in the situations before and after remediation. Based on technical monitoring, remediation was successful in three cases, with partial improvement noted in three cases, whereas no remediation was conducted in one case. Based on microbial monitoring, improvement was detected in one, partial improvement in two and no improvement in two cases, whereas no follow-up was conducted in two cases. Health effect studies (mainly self-reported health status) showed improvement in one case, partial improvement in two cases, and no improvement in two cases, whereas no follow-up was conducted in one case, and in one case, follow-up failed due to low response rate. The results illustrate that it is possible to monitor the effects of remediation using various metrics. However, in some cases, no improvement could be observed in IAQ or occupant health, even if the remediation was considered technically successful, i.e. the remediation was fully completed as recommended. This could be due to many reasons, including: 1) all damage may not have been addressed adequately; 2) IAQ or health may not have been perceived improved regardless of remediation; and/or 3) the methods used may not have been sensitive/specific enough to detect such improvement within the 6-12 months follow-up periods after completion of the remediation. There is a need to further develop tools for monitoring and assessment of the success of moisture damage remediation in buildings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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