Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unexpected hazard: African mold

When we first moved here and lived 20 meters from the ocean, you may recall we had a problem with mold. We were assured by our future roommates that living in a third floor apartment with air-conditioning in Mamba Point would eliminate the alarming incidence of mold spores on our clothes, books, bags, wallets and sheets. Only I don't really like air-conditioning, so living in downtown Monrovia has meant only a slightly lower growth rate of alien spores.

A few weeks ago, my roommate entered our common room wondering if she needed to throw away a favorite necklace because...you guessed it: it was growing mold. I assured her she could just wash it off, until she pointed out that it would just grow mold again. I myself have been regularly rinsing a local necklace I particularly like. When I opened up my jewelry Zip-lock (better for hiding then a conspicuous box), even my silver had a patina of light green.

When I packed for our extended stay in Robertsport a few weeks ago, my Guatemalan travel bag had colorful embroidery on one side -- and mold on the other. When I picked it up to examine in more closely, small mushroom clouds of mold puffs into the air and settles in an invisible film on my skin. I try not to panic.

Instead, I google "hazards mold." It was a little scary. Of course, you could google "hazards popcorn" and I'm sure you'd find something, but here's where we stand. The EPA site tells me, "The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture." Did you know that I live in the second-rainiest capital city in the world? I am screwed.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm... that may be a tough battle to win. I think I tried cleaning things with rubbing alcohol during the El Salvador rainy season. What I used to hate was how my clean clothes started to grow mold so fast. Then I would have to hand-wash them all over again. I guess it made me stronger, eh?

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