A New Edition of a Valued Resource on Mold

In late January, AIHA published the second edition of Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Indoor Mold, also known as the Green Book. This resource discusses the fundamental principles of evaluating buildings for potential mold problems, interpreting data related to mold, and controlling mold hazards. Approximately 80 percent of the material in the second edition is either new information or substantially different than the first edition. Text reused from the first edition was edited and the references updated; only references that are still available are included in the second edition.  Following are highlights of the new material in the second edition: 
  • The health information is aligned with the epidemiological and medical information on environmental allergens and mold from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
  • Since the first edition was published in 2008, there have been many changes in the taxonomy of the fungi. Many, if not most, of the fungi discussed in the first edition are now called by different names. The names have been updated in the second edition.
  • A great deal of work was done over the past 12 years to update guidelines on mold and dampness. In the second edition, the material on building inspections was aligned with current best practices. This material now incorporates medical and engineering perspectives through the use of new figures and new references. 
The Green Book covers the underlying principles of building evaluation, data interpretation, and remediation and control of mold. Images of mold found in building exteriors and interiors are also provided in the appendix. But the audience for the Green Book extends beyond the industrial hygiene and occupational health and safety professions. Physicians and their patients as well as engineers can benefit from the book’s guidance. Allergists talk to their patients about “facilitating factors”—that is, the conditions necessary for the survival of allergen-producing contaminants. Some of the factors that favor cockroaches and house dust mites also favor mold and vice versa. Physicians have approaches to determine when a professional assessment for mold might be appropriate for patients suffering from allergies. The protocols outlined in the Green Book are aligned with advice on what a physician would expect in a report. The protocols for mold and dampness investigations discussed in the Green Book require detailed investigation of a building’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. These protocols were developed by members of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) who are also members of AIHA. Because of their influence, the Green Book includes terminology and a level of detail familiar to practicing engineers, who will find it useful in cases where a mold issue requires upgrading the HVAC system.  This mold resource was written by industrial hygiene practitioners, academics, government officials, and scientists, and has been scrutinized by external peer review. For more information or to order a copy of the second edition of Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Indoor Mold, visit the AIHA Marketplace. J. David Miller, PhD, FAIHA, is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ont. He is one of the editors of the Green Book, with Ling-Ling Hung and Steven M. Caulfield. Editor’s note: This article was originally published in different form on the SynergistNOW blog on Jan. 29, 2020.

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