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Glossary of Mold Related Terms


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Supply Air


1. Control of physical factors in the human environment that could harm development, health, or survival. 2. Process of putting an environment into a state that will not harm human health.


One of three groups of antimicrobials registered by EPA for public health uses. EPA considers an antimicrobial to be a sanitizer when it reduces but does not necessarily eliminate all the microorganisms on a treated surface. To be a registered sanitizer, the test results for a product must show a reduction of at least 99.9% in the number of each test microorganism over the parallel control.


See "Sick Building Syndrome.


An allergic condition that usually affects the skin or lungs. Once exposure to a substance has caused a reaction, the individual may be sensitized to it, and further exposure may elicit an adverse reaction even at low levels.


The waste and waste water produced by residential and commercial establishments and discharged into sewers.


A channel or conduit that carries waste water and storm water runoff from the source to a treatment plant or receiving stream.


Sulfur hexafluoride; a physiologically inert gas used as a tracer in building investigations.


Term sometimes used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and/or comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a particular building, but where no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be spread throughout the building.


A solid residue from air or water treatment processes. Can be a hazardous waste.


The airborne solid and liquid particles and gases that evolve when material undergoes pyrolysis or combustion.

Soil Gases

Gases that enter a building from the surrounding ground (e.g., radon, volatile organics, pesticides).


1. A substance capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances. 2. The liquid component of a solution in which a substance is dissolved.


Sources of indoor air pollutants. Indoor air pollutants can originate within the building or be drawn in from outdoors. Common sources include people, room furnishings such as carpeting, photocopiers, art supplies, etc.

Stack Effect

Pressure-driven airflow produced by convection as heated air rises, creating a positive pressure area at the top of a building and a negative pressure area at the bottom of a building. The stack effect can overpower the mechanical system and disrupt ventilation and circulation in a building.

Static Pressure

Condition that exists when an equal amount of air is supplied to and exhausted from a space. At static pressure, equilibrium has been reached.


The destruction of all living organisms in water or on the surface of various materials. In contrast, disinfection is the destruction of most living organisms.


One of three groups of antimicrobials registered by EPA for public health uses. EPA considers an antimicrobial to be a sterilizer when it destroys or eliminates all forms of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their spores. Because spores are considered the most difficult form of a microorganism to destroy, EPA considers the term sporicide to be synonymous with "sterilizer."

Supply Air

That air delivered to the conditioned space and used for ventilation, heating, cooling, humidification, or dehumidification.


1. Surface active agent used in detergents to cause lathering. 2. Surface active agent that cleans.


Cooperative interaction of two or more chemicals or other phenomena producing a greater total effect than the sum of their individual effects.