Hazardous materials found in public and commercial buildings can wreak havoc on people's health. Imagine living in a home or going to work and being exposed to mold, mildew, toxic chemicals and inhaling their fumes and particulate matter daily. Some of these environmental health risks are hidden – they're invisible and don't have a smell or a scent. The greatest risks to our personal and communal health are found in the environments where we spend the most time due to continuous, prolonged exposure.
Over the past forty years, people have been warned of the dangers of materials like lead and to keep children away from peeling paint. Lead is also found at dangerous levels such as our soil, water and the food we eat.
In addition, mold and mildew can pose a serious threat to your health and well being and the integrity of your property. Extensive growth can weaken the building's structure.
Libby Hikind, Founder and CEO has discovered and recommends her two mold spore reducing measures. Libby now uses hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning tool, the same hydrogen peroxide you use on cuts and scrapes and whenever the air starts to bother her, indoors she closes all windows, turns on her AC and her Dyson Pure Cool TP01 – Hepa Air Purifier & Fan.
Recent studies are finding multiple health risks associated with air and water born pollutants, substances like mold and mildew. The worst types of molds could lead to chronic respiratory illnesses, COPD and have now been linked with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, severe allergic reactions and possibly certain types of cancer.
Warning Signs of Possible Mold and Mildew in Your Environment
Visible growth: Any black or discolored spots on the walls are a clear indication of a problem.
Musty smell: If you detect a moldy odor in a particular room or area, this could mean it's growing inside your walls or under the floorboards.
Allergies: If you or any of your staff members are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a runny nose, watery eyes, throat closing, itching, and other allergic reactions, fungal growth could be the culprit.
The Grantwatch.com website lists medical and healthcare related grants to individuals to organizations, clinicians, researchers, and other individuals operating in the health fields. Grants also encompass the health and wellness sphere and other health-related initiatives. In addition, GrantWatch lists grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the environment both in the U.S. and abroad.
Here is a current grant open to USA nonprofit organizations working to protect natural resources, strengthen communities and the food system, and enhance public health. Applications are invited from both small and mid-sized organizations for either specific projects or general operating support.
Applications are invited from both small and mid-sized organizations for either specific projects or general operating support. Priority is given to applicants that address the funding priorities from a holistic perspective including by reducing environmental health hazards.
- Reducing Environmental Health Hazards
- Improving air quality
- Cleaning up water supplies
- Reducing other exposures to toxic materials
And here are two grants for improving drinking water quality currently listed on GrantWatch:
Grants to California LEAs, Preschools, and Day Care Centers to Improve Drinking Water Quality, Deadline: Ongoing through 6/30/2019
Grants to California local education agencies serving grades K-12, child care facilities and preschools to improve the quality of driving water. Projects must be located at schools within or serving a disadvantaged community. Projects may involve the installation of equipment necessary to ensure clean water, as well as the provision of interim water supplies.
Grants to USA Nonprofits to Protect Drinking Water and Natural Gas Resources, Deadline: 7/12/2019
Grants to USA nonprofits to address environmental issues, specifically the protection of clean drinking water resources, as well as efforts to challenge the development of natural gas use and infrastructure in New York State. Funding is intended for projects that promote enforceable water policies and that advance cleaner and more accessible energy systems.
Through preservation grants, landmarks can get funding for historical homes, libraries, museums, film, art, cultural and religious institutions for remediation from health risks such as asbestos and mold. Grants for remediation can sometimes also be found on GrantWatch under housing or financial assistance.
Reducing health risks:
- Using water filters, even some of the most basic can remove lead from water. Check to make sure the ones you use do.
- Don't use plastics that have been exposed to high temperatures. Don't drink beverages or eat foods that plastic might have leached into.
- Only use microwave-safe containers to heat food and beverages.
- A ventilation system that exchanges stale polluted air for fresh and filtered air will keep your office healthy.
- Install a properly-sized, whole-home or building ventilation system. Older homes have two conditions that lead to high levels of airborne pollutants: the building "envelope" allows dust and pollen and other contaminants in through air leakage, and there’s not enough controlled mechanical ventilation to clear the indoor air. In situations like this, tightening up the building envelope and installing a controlled ventilation system will lead to a cleaner indoor environment.
- For those who already have a respiratory illness, fresh and filtered air can improve their quality of life by eliminating the majority of pollutant triggers.
- Get as much fresh air as possible, preferably out in nature.
- Clean vents and replace air filters regularly.
- Be mindful of the air you breathe and the water you drink! To learn more about how to prevent airborne particulate matter exposure, visit the MAA Center website.
Small businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, public and private foundations frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at GrantWatch.com. Sign-up here to receive the GrantWatch weekly grants newsletter prepared specifically for your organization's location.
About the Author: The author is a staff writer for MWBEzone.