Thank you for asking. I hope that you can share my information with other clinicians and patients.
From my experience over many years, the medical community remains unaware of the actual lack of benefits of most “solutions” being marketed to clean, remove, inactivate, or otherwise reduce the impact of fungi and bacteria in living spaces with water-related microbial contamination. The amount of misinformation and confusion is constantly being fueled by companies who see this as a valuable market to gain revenues and profits. Most information that is disseminated to clinicians, contractors, remediators, home inspectors, patients, and homeowners is from marketing efforts of manufacturers of these devices and chemicals rather than from reputable science-based standards and science-based consensus.
Hopefully what I share will help you when advising patients, colleagues, and friends. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Unfortunately UV, ozone, ionizers, hydroxyls (aka photo-oxidizer or photocatalytic generator; trade names include “molekule” “air oasis” “pureAir” “Hi-tech” and many others) , do NOT work in typical home situations. We (my colleagues who recognize the value of science-based information over marketing information) do NOT recommend these as a standard method for reducing the impact or presence of molds and/or bacteria on the building, nor for preventing typical occupant exposures in homes and offices.
Regarding hydroxyl and/or ozone: In some circumstances the carefully planned and controlled use of ozone or hydroxyl generators might be beneficial but it turns out only in high concentrations which are not safe for humans – so the building is unoccupied and then when done must be flushed with fresh air, tested for residual chemicals, etc.
Regarding UV: these are rarely useful as the air flow is too fast to get a good kill rate for mold spores (for example, based on simple calculations, you would need a light bulb over 50 feet long to get the contact time required at typical duct air speeds !).
UV is best used AFTER surfaces are clean, in places like research labs, safety cabinets, and some high risk hospital situations.
The indoor air and indoor environment and mold remediation industries are very good at marketing these types of “solutions” without good basic science to support the cost and the false hope that they work.
If you must recommend something, please recommend that basic, “remove don’t kill” concept and recommend physical removal over chemical or technical solutions. This pertains to actual masses of growth, as well as the spores, growth structure fragments, cell components, particulates with attached mycotoxins, as well as the airborne VOC’s.
In other words, there is no magic potion, no snake oil that is worth buying. The only real “secret ingredient” is elbow grease; actual hard work and attentive detail to remove growth and contamination.
Scott Armour, M.S.
Armour Applied Science, LLC
216-225-5237 phone and text
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