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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 06-23-2002
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staceyneil is on a distinguished road
Need Tips on Interior Mold

Someone mentioned the toxicity of the mildew itself but I would like to comment on the toxicity of the things you''re all recommending to get rid of it.....

I am quite allergic to mold and mildew, so, obviously, this is a big concern for me. However, I am also very concerned anout toxicity (particularly carcinogens, as I am a cancer survivor) of cleaning products. When we bought our new boat, which we intend to live aboard, it was a veritable mildew farm. No dorade vents, can you imagine?! The first thing I did was scrub it down. On other boats I have used the diluted bleach solution. However I recently read that chlorine bleach is a known human carcinogen (the vapors that are given off during use.) So I looked into all of the commercial mildew killers. i went so far as to get the companies'' toxicity disclosure statements (forget what they are called) that they file with the gov''t. Well, they all say on the labels "use with adequate ventilation, do not allow skin exposure,etc." but the statement go into more detail about how frighteningly toxic they are. Also carcinogenic. There was one product, MDR Amazon''s Mildew Stain Away, which was not listed as toxic other than giving you some skin irritation if you, like, took a bath in it. I wore a respirator anyway (''cause I''m allergic to the mildew) and rubber gloves. I have to say that mildew has not reappared yet in the places I used it, although it has in the areas where I ran out and used the dilut bleach. And the boats been closed up with the same mildew-infested cushions still in it, for 2 months.

Hope that this is helpful. It''s just that after having gotten a cancer (out of the blue) which is being linked to environmental chemical exposure more each day, I am extremely wary about the millions of toxic chemicals we expose ourselves to all the time. Apparently it is a cumulative effect, so little bits over a lifetime are the real concern.

good luck!
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2002
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MaryBeth is on a distinguished road
Need Tips on Interior Mold


I myself have never used the Amazon products, but have had rave reviews from customers who come into the store glad to see the stuff there. If you also have a quantity of teak aboard, Amazon''s acid-free teak cleaner works quite well. I recommended it to a couple that had small children and a dog on their boat, giving them the information I had gotten from others about the other Amazon products. It worked so well for them, with so much less of the skin aggravation you have when you use other teak cleaners, that they came back and bought 3 more bottles to keep in store.

You are correct, one should never, ever use Clorox bleach (or any mix of chlorine bleach, not necessarily the wonderful brand name without which I would not be able to do my laundry or clean my toilets or disinfect my dogs'' kennels) to kill mold other than in very small quantities or in an open air environment. Exposure in a tight air space to even the cleaners like the Clorox "Clean-up" can release enough fumes to cause hemorrhages in the eyes and brain tissue (yuck, but true). Thus, the warning, "Use in a well-ventilated area."

And, as mentioned before, if storing for the winter, or for any length of time, please use the dehumidifier products available. They really do work with a minimum of effort.

Best Wishes,
MaryBeth
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