Aspergillosis in Dogs

By | Indoor Air Quality, Mold | No Comments

You may have just seen the Aspergillus info card we posted last Wednesday. So, you may know that Aspergillus is a common mold in the environment. While we know mold affects humans, you may not have known that it affects your dogs as well.

Aspergillosis is an opportunistic fungal infection.

The two types of Aspergillus infections are nasal and disseminated. The nasal version is most common in dogs with a more elongated snout such as a German Shepherd.

The nasal version occurs when a dog sniffs an area where the spores of Aspergillus is present.

Symptoms of the nasal version include:

  • Sneezing
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Ulcers at the tip of the nose
  • Pawing at or rubbing the nose
  • Swollen nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Long-term nasal discharge from the nose
    • Can contain mucus, blood or pus

Fungal infections commonly go to the lungs.

Disseminated aspergillosis is when the infection spreads from the nasal cavity into the rest of the body.

These symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Spinal pain and lameness
    • This can cause inflammation of the dog’s bones and bone marrow.

Dogs with immunodeficiency are at higher risk.

Prevent Mold Growth After a Storm

By | Mold | 2 Comments

The Atlantic Hurricane Season has arrived.


This means severe wind and rain.

Hurricanes can create all sorts of water damage and it is important to make sure mold doesn’t grow.

The health effects are numerous:

  • Obstructive lung diseases
  • Irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rashes
  • Fungal diseases

Mold can form very quickly on wet materials. Wood and other materials that look dry can still be wet enough for mold to grow.

Environment Specialist, Janie Harris, has some tips on how to prevent mold after water damage:

  • First take an inventory: List a room-by-room inventory of missing or damaged goods.
  • Dry all wet materials as quickly as possible. If possible, use air conditioning or heat with fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Remove wet carpeting right away. It’s best to discard it but if it can be salvaged- clean, disinfect and dry it quickly. Never reuse flooded padding.
  • Cut away wet wallboard and remove all damp insulation right away. Even if the wallboard appears dry- wet insulation will stay wet long enough for mold growth.
  • Clean items with non-phosphate detergents. Never use bleach. Disinfectants can kill molds, but they do not prevent regrowth.
  • Do all you can to speed the drying of subfloors, slabs and wall framing before replacing insulation, wallboard and flooring. Use air conditioning, heaters, fans or a dehumidifier. Contractors who specialize in water damage restoration have special equipment that dry materials faster than other methods.
  • Test the moisture content of studs and sheathing before replacing insulation.
  • DO NOT use vinyl wallpaper. It will prevent drying on the inside.
  • Damaged areas of the roof should be covered with a water-proof tarp. This prevents additional damage.
  • Remove wet insulation from the attic.

Moisture or humidity above 60% is ideal for mold growth.

Humidity around 45% is the best to prevent mold growth and keep your skin from drying out.

Keep Your Children’s Toys Mold-Free

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Mold can form on children’s toys when they aren’t taken care of appropriately. Mold can develop on toys that are kept in the basement, or left in a damp area outside. Bath toys that aren’t properly dried out can develop mold. The mold can easily damage children’s growing immune systems and cause respiratory problems and allergies.

Here are a few ways to prevent and clean mold:

  • Boil the toys in hot water to remove mold. Squeeze them out then lay them out where they can dry quickly.
  • Clean them with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

White Vinegar: Mix one gallon of water with half of a cup of white vinegar. Let the toys soak for one hour, squeeze them out and scrub them down.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix two parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide in a bucket. Soak the toys, scrub them, rinse them with water then let them dry.

  • Plug up the holes that allow bath toys to squeak. Water can seep in and start mold growth. It can easily be done with a drop of hot glue.
  • Run the toys through the dishwasher or washing machine.

If you think you may have mold in your home or building, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us for a Free Estimate.

Visit Our Mold Division

National Healthy Homes Month

By | Asbestos, Home Improvement, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold, Radon, Safety | No Comments

Celebrate National Healthy Homes Month!


June 2017 is the Second Annual National Healthy Homes Month.

Indoor Air Quality has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the five most urgent environmental risks to public health. HVACR manufacturers, distributors, and contractors are installing more indoor environmental products noticing that IAQ plays a large role in employee health and performance.

People spend most of their time indoors; National Healthy Homes Month offers concepts and tips for keeping those inside spaces healthy and safe.

The theme for this National Healthy Homes Month is Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home. Each week in June; NHHM will focus on the “Principals of Healthy Homes” with associated set of activities:

  1. Childhood lead poisoning prevention
  2. Residential asthma intervention
  3. Injury prevention
  4. Smoke free public housing
  5. Safe indoor pest control
  6. Radon Safety
  7. Disaster Recovery

A series of webinars will also be happening throughout the month.

For resources and activities updates, visit the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.

Download the NHHM Planning Guide from the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes


Introducing Jason Young, Indoor Environmentalist

By | Baxter Group, Inc., HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold | No Comments

Baxter Group, Inc. welcomes our new Indoor Environmentalist, Jason Young.

Baxter Group, Inc. welcomes our new Indoor Environmentalist, Jason Young. With nearly 20 years of experience with indoor environmental quality and air filtration, Jason takes our indoor environmental division to a whole new level. He’s tested emission sources in oil refineries, trash to steam facilities, medical waste facilities, printing facilities etc.…

He’s tested and certified entire production facilities mostly in the Semi-conductor or pharmaceutical industries, has performed HEPA filter leak testing, Laboratory Fume hood testing, Laminar flow device and Biological Safety Cabinet testing and certification.

Jason is here to help with all your indoor environmental quality needs. He’ll work with you to identify the problem and provide the proper remediation resources.

Services we offer:

  • Global Harmonization Establishment and Maintenance
  • Odor Investigations
  • Comprehensive Indoor Air Quality Assessments
  • Testing for TVOCs, PCBs, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, dichloroethene (ethylidene chloride), carbon tetrachloride, asphalt fumes, ammonia, ethanol, nicotine, new rug odor, total petroleum hydrocarbons, silica, endotoxins, mycotoxins, PCR – ERMI, bacteria, and so much more.
  • Dust Sampling
  • Drinking Water Analysis
  • Testing for Sick Building Syndrome
  • HVAC Cleanliness Inspections
  • Preventative Maintenance Programs

Spring Maintenance Checklist

By | Asbestos, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold, Radon | No Comments

 Spring Maintenance Checklist

For facilities managers and homeowners alike, Spring starts with cleanup. Some tips to remember while performing Spring maintenance and cleanup:


  • Reduce your chance of being exposed to contaminants through proper use of personal protection equipment,
  • Minimize the use of chemicals that leave residual compounds and could impact building occupants,
  • Increase ventilation before, during, and immediately after cleaning, and
  • Be alert to signs of inadequate ventilation, evidence of water intrusions or moisture marks, and evidence of mold growth.


A good Spring Maintenance Checklist includes the following:


  • Gutters and downspouts are draining water away from the buildings
  • Gutters and downspouts are debris-free
  • Trip and fall hazards are removed
  • Choking hazards are eliminated
  • Sharp edge hazards are addressed
  • Fencing is secure around pools or trenches
  • Rodent infestations are addressed
  • Window wells are debris-free
  • Exterior drains are debris-free
  • Interior drains are debris-free
  • Puddling inside or outside is addressed
  • Sump pumps are tested and properly working
  • Dehumidifiers are tested and properly working
    • Set at 45% humidity
    • Filters clean
    • Draining properly
  • Roof shingles and flashing are intact
  • Chimney and chimney flashing are intact
  • Attic vents are clear of congestion
  • All painted surfaces, inside and outside, are intact
  • Flashing below windows and doors are intact
  • No broken or cracked glass in windows
  • No leaks around windows and doors
  • Dryer vents are clean
  • Exhaust ducts are clear
  • Any evidence of water or moisture damage is addressed
  • Washer and dishwasher hoses and connections are secure
  • No evidence of water pipe leaks
  • Refrigerator drip pan is clean
  • No damage around sinks, showers, or tubs
    • Sink, tub, and shower are drains operating effectively
  • Hot water heater and boiler have no leaks
  • Septic tanks are not full
  • Bath and kitchen exhaust fans are operational
  • All exhaust and HVAC filters are clean and operational
  • All electric cords are intact
    • Ground fault interrupters are operating properly
  • Smoke and CO alarms are charged and operating properly
  • Insulation in attics and crawlspaces are intact
  • Radon manometer is reading appropriately
    • Proper radon measurement taken (every two years)


Spring and Summer become so much more enjoyable when maintenance has been performed and major catastrophes prevented. Once all these items are checked, follow up with projects to maintain the property or get it up to “snuff”.

Can I Clean It?

By | Mold, Uncategorized | No Comments

Seeing mold is not the only way to detect mold. Strange odors can often indicate mold, however, it may not be in the room where it is being smelled. The odors can travel through air vents and infiltrate spaces where there actually isn’t any mold. Where there’s moisture, there could be mold. It’s common knowledge humidity is a molds best friend. But to the untrained eye, rust on pipes and warping drywall or wood may not seem like a sign of mold. And those itchy eyes, runny nose, and headaches have just been part of a cold, but those too are warning signs that there could be mold.

A certified indoor environmentalist has the training and specialized equipment to assess, resolve, and prevent indoor air quality issues, providing the client with the procedures to remove the mold permanently.

Some homeowners try to fix minor house problems on their own instead of calling in a professional. Mold is no different. The homeowner can clean up the mold if it is minimal, but mold is a spore and will spread if not taken care of properly. It can only worsen from there, damaging the house and emptying pockets to continually fight it.


For more information, visit our Mold Services page or call Baxter Group, Inc. at 717-263- 7341.

Baxter Group, Inc. Educational Programs

By | Asbestos, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold, Radon, Uncategorized | No Comments

Bring awareness to your company, safety team, or organization on topics surrounding healthy indoor environments. Baxter Group, Inc. will come to you! Learn about healthy environmental living and the know-how to stay healthy at home and in the office. Our professionals provide various educational programs on safety topics, specific contaminant topics, and many more. All programs can all be tailored specifically to meet your group’s needs.

Topics include:

  • Healthy Homes
  • Healthy Buildings
  • Asbestos
  • Lead-Based Paint
  • Mold
  • Radon
  • HVAC Contamination
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

Education can include:

  • Identification
  • Health Effects
  • Hazards
  • Safety Precautions
  • How to Remedy

These programs are perfect for safety tailgate meetings, employee training sessions, group presentations, auxiliary and business meetings, PTA, and more. Any groups interested in healthy environments to live in and work in will be inspired.

Baxter Group, Inc. has already been given the opportunity to provide these services to some organizations, including Brechbill and Helman, Associated Builders and Contractors, Wilson College Facilities Department, and real estate agencies.

Contact the office today at 717-263-7341, or fill out our contact form.

Things We Should Know About Mold

By | Mold | No Comments

what you should know about mold


Things We Should Know About Mold

1)  Mold spores are as small as 0.3 microns and are invisible to the naked eye.  They are everywhere all the time, indoors and outdoors.  Where the problem arises is when there are high elevations of mold spores.


2)  Not everyone is sensitive or allergic to mold; however, no one knows the long-term affects of mold exposures.  Those who are sensitive or allergic to mold will experience eye irritation, runny nose, cough, and skin rashes.  Some people also experience headaches and nausea.


3)  The best way to control indoor mold growth is to control indoor moisture.  Moisture does not just mean water intrusions, but also high humidity levels.


4)  If mold is cleaned up, but the moisture issue is not addressed, there is a high probability that the mold contamination will return.  Moisture issues must be controlled to control mold.


5)  Humidity levels should be maintained at 30 to 50%.  Ideal humidity for mold growth is 60% or more.


6)  Bathrooms, dryers, and moisture creating appliances should be vented to the outdoors.


7)  Exhaust fans should be used when cooking, dishwashing, showering or performing tasks that create humidity.


8)  Dehumidifiers should be used in damp rooms, basements or crawlspaces.


9)  To prevent mold, water intrusions should be addressed within 24 hours.


10)  Mold can be cleaned from hard surfaces with water and detergent.  However, mold contamination of porous materials, such as ceiling tiles, furniture, and drywall, should be disposed of properly.

Why Is There Mold In My Basement?

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why is there mold


Why Is There Mold In My Basement?

Mold is a symptom of a moisture problem.  Mold starts to grow from one spore invisible to the naked eye at only .3 microns in size.  To propagate it the spore needs something to attach to, a nutrient and moisture.


The first two are easy to find – drywall, cloth, wood, etc., all so readily available in our basements.  The spore lies dormant without moisture.  Once the moisture is added to the mix, it can become a full-blown colony within twenty-four hours and a full-blown terrarium within two weeks.  Moisture can be as slight as humidity.  At 60% humidity, mold can thrive.  The colony grows as more spores are released by the new colony.


Spores are everywhere all the time.  Where they become a threat to our health is when the concentration of mold spores is excessively high.  A colony one square inch in size can create such an environment.


Remediation of a mold-filled environment is not the first remedy.  The mold will return if the moisture returns.  Once a mold colony has been identified, the first step is to eliminate the moisture.  Is there a water intrusion, a leak in the floor or wall, a leaking pipe, are the gutters on the house clogged or not performing properly, is the humidity too high?  Once the moisture is addressed, then mold remediation can be very successful in improving the environment of the basement.