Amid muck and mold, tackling a Texas-sized cleanup after Harvey

Lino Saldana is salvaging parts like doorknobs to save

In Kashmere Gardens, a historically black neighborhood and one of this city’s poorest, the floodwaters have receded, but sorrow is on full display in the piles that line the street.

Heaps of soggy carpet padding. Chunks of drywall. Splintered boards, broken dressers and moldering mattresses.

A television. A teddy bear. Family photographs and a Holy Bible, thick and leather-bound.

It smells musty. Sour, even.

Ten days after then-Hurricane Harvey blew into these people’s lives — then lingered for days as a weakening storm, dumping epic rainfall on the nation’s fourth-largest city and its environs — the task of cleaning up is daunting. Much of it falls on individuals like Sonia Saldana and her family, and the strangers helping them.

Saldana watched from her driveway on Minden Street as a group of young volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, clad in neon orange and yellow safety vests, hauled out drywall and insulation and threw it on her family’s growing pile by the curb. Inside, the house was virtually gutted, with walls ripped out and the furniture gone.

“I’m not a very materialistic person,” Saldana said. “We can replace our clothes, our bed, our furniture. But family, you can’t replace.”

As the grueling cleanup gathered pace, some of the flood’s vast array of dangers abated, if only slightly. The fire department in Crosby, 25 miles northeast of Houston, on Monday lifted an evacuation order covering a radius of 1.5 miles around a chemical plant where flames had erupted four days earlier.

By Monday, the storm’s death toll had surpassed 60, with bodies still being retrieved. Recovery efforts are expected to take years, at a cost that will run to $120 billion to $180 billion, by official estimates.

The personal toll is harder to calculate.

In Kashmere Gardens, the water rose as high as Saldana’s chest on Aug. 26, said the stay-at-home mother, who stands 5 feet 2.

Everyone she’s talked to plans to rebuild, she said, because this neighborhood is home. Her family does too.

Already, Houston has become two cities: a downtown once again bustling, with bars and restaurants full of patrons, businesses reopening and public transportation up and running again. Then there are the flood-ravaged neighborhoods where homeowners by the thousands are carrying out a vast do-it-yourself recovery effort, with most lacking flood insurance to help pay for it.

A few streets over from the Saldanas’ house, a man eyed the detritus on both sides of the street and assessed it this way: “Piles of people’s losses.”

Some losses, of course, went far beyond the material. Across town, grieving relatives were making funeral arrangements for Alonso Guillen, a 31-year-old volunteer rescuer whose body was recovered Sunday. His boat capsized last week while he and two friends were navigating treacherous floodwaters in search of those who needed saving.

Born in Mexico, Guillen was a so-called Dreamer, an immigrant brought illegally into the U.S. as a child. He was protected from deportation after enrolling in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Trump is said to be tentatively poised to scrap, with the order delayed for six months to give lawmakers a chance to find an alternative.

Guillen’s mother, who is applying for legal status, told the Houston Chronicle from her home in Piedras Negras, Mexico, that she had been turned back at the border while trying to travel to Lufkin, Texas, for the funeral, which was to take place Tuesday.

Back in Kashmere Gardens, Bridget Henderson looked on as possessions that had symbolized the joy of new life joined the scrap heap. After she gave birth to a premature baby girl a month ago, her family threw a baby shower, lavishing her and her husband with gifts — now ruined.

As the neighborhood flooded last weekend, Henderson and her family were evacuated from their home on Pardee Street, riding away on a city dump truck. On Sunday night, family members turned the damaged house inside out, hauling out furniture and other items.

Henderson has asthma, so she’s been trying to keep her distance, at least as much as possible. Amid a watery landscape now rife with public health threats including mold, filthy debris and sewage-filled flood remnants, authorities have advised people with respiratory issues to be particularly careful during cleanups.

The water invaded Henderson’s home on the night of Aug. 26, 24 hours after the hurricane made landfall.

“I was like, ‘Jesus, please don’t let this water keep rising,’” she recalled. “I don’t want it to touch my baby.”

Her eyes teared up when her husband came out of the house carrying a brand-new white cradle and threw it on the family’s growing garbage heap.

Nearby, a little boy wore a white mask over his nose and mouth as he rode his tricycle. On either side of the street, piles of trash towered over him.

For some who watched Texas’ ordeal from afar, new storm perils loomed. Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm, approached the islands of the eastern Caribbean on Monday, bringing with it the threat of battering waves, landslides and floods. Puerto Rico’s governor declared a state of emergency, and residents began battening down.

Article Source: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-texas-harvey-20170904-story.html

Is that black mold on your t-shirt?

Is that black mold on your t-shirt?

Moldy t-shirts and clothing are normally . . .

cleaned when contaminated with mold.  Putting a slightly different twist on this new story that incorporates mold and bacteria as a substitute dye used for clothing. This leads us to the question, “if mold is being used as a dye, how can these researchers remove all bad things that go along with mold?”  Most people become allergic to the little pieces of mold, mold spores, and sometimes react to the mVOCs (microbial volatile organic compounds).  Let’s see if the research below can break the mold about how people ultimately view these harmful organisms.

Zemanta Related Posts

Zemanta Related Posts

Two master’s students from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) are trying to spark the country’s interest in the sustainable fashion movement by developing items colored with fungus and bacteria, including those that can be easily found in your bathroom.

Don’t you hate it when black mold grows on your white shirt? Instead of trying hard to clean it with bleach or vinegar, you could let the mold grow further, giving a splash of new color to your old shirt.

The idea perhaps sounds silly, but that is exactly what Nidiya Kusmaya had in mind when she started her final thesis at ITB.
moldonclothingandhouseholdmaterialsthatareporous
She discovered the hidden beauty of Aspergillus niger, a micro fungus responsible for the black mold on damp clothes.

“People see Aspergillus niger as something disgusting, something to avoid. In fact, the fungus is valuable; it can act as a pigment producer in textiles,” said Nidiya, an awardee of the leading scholarship from the Foreign Cooperation Bureau (BU BPKLN) of the Research and Technology and Higher Education Ministry.

Research conducted previously in the United Kingdom on pigment-producing bacteria prompted her to discover the interesting shades produced by fungus and bacteria that thrive in the tropical climate of Indonesia.

Aside from the black Aspergillus niger, she also cultivated two other fungi: the orange Monascus sp. and the white Trichoderma.

“Monascus can harm plants, but not humans. It can be found in the traditional Chinese medicine angkak [red yeast rice]. Meanwhile, Trichoderma fertilizes soil,” she said.

Nidiya also experimented with Serratia marcescens, a red and pink bacterium that usually grows in the corners of bathrooms.

“It can cause infections, but using it as a pigment producer is safe,” she said, adding that garments coated with the bacteria were sterilized at an elevated pressure and temperature in an autoclave.

Nidiya only uses natural fabrics like silk and cotton because they can withstand the heating process.

Little wonder: Nindiya Kusmaya, a student of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), works with a number of micro fungi and bacteria to create natural pigments in garments.
Little wonder: Nindiya Kusmaya, a student of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), works with a number of micro fungi and bacteria to create natural pigments in garments.

In one neckwear collection, she sprinkled different fungus and bacteria onto the fabric and let them form natural patterns.

“It appears that bacteria and fungus can communicate. When they meet, they create bold colors,” she said about her research, which was conducted under the guidance of ITB lecturers Kahfiati Kahdar and Imam Santosa.

In another collection, she orchestrated the bacteria and fungus to form batik and tie-dye patterns.

Mold Growing on Shoes

Mold Growing on Shoes

“I drew patterns using antifungal and antibiotic pastes before applying the fungus and the bacteria. As a result, they did not grow on the specified areas on the garment,” she added.

Based on her experience as a professional textile designer, Nidiya believes that fungus and bacteria could provide a new avenue for the fashion industry — the world’s second most polluting industry, second only to oil, according to the Danish Fashion Institute in 2013.

“Coloring textiles requires loads of chemicals and it gives me a headache every time I need to dump the wastewater,” she said.

In contrast to chemical coloring substances, the wastewater of the fungus and bacteria-colored garments do not pose harm to the environment.

“I want to discover more bacteria and fungus, and combine them with natural coloring, such as turmeric. I hope it will inspire people to make an industry out of it,” Nidiya said, adding that the coloring process was not much different to making tempeh in a home industry.

Nidiya hopes to start a textile brand focusing on sustainable, biodegradable products to cater to her fashion designer clients who still favor natural pigments and the organic patterns that they produce.

She humorously describes one of her textile creations as looking like “a bloody crime scene on the Dexter TV series”.

“Perhaps the planned patterns are suitable for the general market, while the natural patterns belong to haute couture, serving as a fashion statement,” she said.

Sapta Soemowidjoko, another BU BPKLN awardee who recently completed his master’s degree in design at ITB, created a garment from Kombucha, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast popularly called scoby.

Moldy t-shirts and clothing are normally cleaned when contaminated with mold.  Putting a slightly different twist on this new story that incorporates mold and bacteria as a substitute dye used for clothing. This leads us to the question, “if mold is being used as a dye, how can these researchers remove all bad things that go along with mold?”  Most people become allergic to the little pieces of mold, mold spores, and sometimes react to the mVOCs (microbial volatile organic compounds).  Let’s see if the research below can break the mold about how people ultimately view these harmful organisms.

Two master’s students from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) are trying to spark the country’s interest in the sustainable fashion movement by developing items colored with fungus and bacteria, including those that can be easily found in your bathroom.

Don’t you hate it when black mold grows on your white shirt? Instead of trying hard to clean it with bleach or vinegar, you could let the mold grow further, giving a splash of new color to your old shirt.

The idea perhaps sounds silly, but that is exactly what Nidiya Kusmaya had in mind when she started her final thesis at ITB.

She discovered the hidden beauty of Aspergillus niger, a micro fungus responsible for the black mold on damp clothes.

“People see Aspergillus niger as something disgusting, something to avoid. In fact, the fungus is valuable; it can act as a pigment producer in textiles,” said Nidiya, an awardee of the leading scholarship from the Foreign Cooperation Bureau (BU BPKLN) of the Research and Technology and Higher Education Ministry.

Research conducted previously in the United Kingdom on pigment-producing bacteria prompted her to discover the interesting shades produced by fungus and bacteria that thrive in the tropical climate of Indonesia.

Aside from the black Aspergillus niger, she also cultivated two other fungi: the orange Monascus sp. and the white Trichoderma.

“Monascus can harm plants, but not humans. It can be found in the traditional Chinese medicine angkak [red yeast rice]. Meanwhile, Trichoderma fertilizes soil,” she said.

Nidiya also experimented with Serratia marcescens, a red and pink bacterium that usually grows in the corners of bathrooms.

“It can cause infections, but using it as a pigment producer is safe,” she said, adding that garments coated with the bacteria were sterilized at an elevated pressure and temperature in an autoclave.

Nidiya only uses natural fabrics like silk and cotton because they can withstand the heating process.

Little wonder: Nindiya Kusmaya, a student of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), works with a number of micro fungi and bacteria to create natural pigments in garments.
Little wonder: Nindiya Kusmaya, a student of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), works with a number of micro fungi and bacteria to create natural pigments in garments.

In one neckwear collection, she sprinkled different fungus and bacteria onto the fabric and let them form natural patterns.

“It appears that bacteria and fungus can communicate. When they meet, they create bold colors,” she said about her research, which was conducted under the guidance of ITB lecturers Kahfiati Kahdar and Imam Santosa.

In another collection, she orchestrated the bacteria and fungus to form batik and tie-dye patterns.

“I drew patterns using antifungal and antibiotic pastes before applying the fungus and the bacteria. As a result, they did not grow on the specified areas on the garment,” she added.

Based on her experience as a professional textile designer, Nidiya believes that fungus and bacteria could provide a new avenue for the fashion industry — the world’s second most polluting industry, second only to oil, according to the Danish Fashion Institute in 2013.

“Coloring textiles requires loads of chemicals and it gives me a headache every time I need to dump the wastewater,” she said.

In contrast to chemical coloring substances, the wastewater of the fungus and bacteria-colored garments do not pose harm to the environment.

“I want to discover more bacteria and fungus, and combine them with natural coloring, such as turmeric. I hope it will inspire people to make an industry out of it,” Nidiya said, adding that the coloring process was not much different to making tempeh in a home industry.

Nidiya hopes to start a textile brand focusing on sustainable, biodegradable products to cater to her fashion designer clients who still favor natural pigments and the organic patterns that they produce.

She humorously describes one of her textile creations as looking like “a bloody crime scene on the Dexter TV series”.

“Perhaps the planned patterns are suitable for the general market, while the natural patterns belong to haute couture, serving as a fashion statement,” she said.

Sapta Soemowidjoko, another BU BPKLN awardee who recently completed his master’s degree in design at ITB, created a garment from Kombucha, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast popularly called scoby.

Kombucha can be easily found in Chinese traditional medicine stores and can be used to make Kombucha fermented tea. While the health benefits of Kombucha are still debated, it could certainly be used for fashion items.

Inspired by Kombucha material created by New York-based designer Suzanne Lee, Sapta added a twist to the ground-breaking garment by combining it with a web of bamboo threads.

The current fashion industry heavily depends on animal and plant-based fibers, such as silk and cotton. Kombucha material could be a solution, but Sapta understands that many people still have doubts about wearing bacteria and yeast as clothing.

Thus, he combines the material with something familiar — bamboo threads.

“Kombucha material has been used as a medical textile and amplifier, so why can’t it cross into the fashion world?” he said. “I created this fabric to serve as a bridge for us to reach a fashion future.”

In his research conducted under the guidance of ITB lecturers Kahfiati Kahdar and Andar Bagus Sriwarno, Sapta pulped the scoby in a food processor and put it in a rectangular container. He placed a web of bamboo threads in the box as the Kombucha juice grew.

After trial and error, he managed to get the desired result, in which the bamboo web was inside a Kombucha blob. After it reached 2 centimeters in thickness, the newly made garment was washed and dried.

While the trial and error seemed arduous, the fact that Sapta cultivated the garment in his house gives hope that other people could develop the process into a home industry.

“To attach the garment pieces to one another, you just need to iron them. You can hand-stitch and cut them with scissors and multi-cutting devices,” he said.

For his final thesis, Sapta developed Plan B, a bowtie and suspender collection to represent the synergy of science and art in the products.

“I chose bowties because they are synonymous with scientists. Plan B basically means our next plan. B stands for bacterial cellulose, bamboo, a bridge to a fashion future,” he said.

Sapta hopes his research can inspire another slow fashion initiatives and, in the long term, help to slowly reduce the dependency on plant-based fibers.

Slow fashion, which is still largely unheard of in Indonesia, is a growing trend within the fashion world for sustainable, ethical clothing. It is the opposition of the “fast food” approach to fashion, namely fast and cheap production that results in exhausted resources and excesses of barely used clothing.

Slow fashion still has some challenges to overcome, though. The acidic smell of the Kombucha garments, for example, could be the main hurdle for it to be accepted by fashionistas.

“People always want to smell nice. It is understandable that when you wear the garment, you don’t want people to sniff you and assume that the pungent smell comes from your body,” Sapta said.

But, he said, wearing a little bow tie will not lead people to smell you. Instead, it gives you an interesting conversation topic at parties, where people will approach and ask: “Where did you get that bowtie?”
– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/03/07/growing-fungus-and-bacteria-textiles-fashion.html#sthash.GLgs2SWq.dpuf

Mold in Breast Implants

Embedded image permalinkMore than 300,000 women get breast implants every year in the U.S. A Shalimar, Florida, woman has a warning for them.

She says her implants nearly killed her. You may have seen some of the articles popping up on Facebook and various websites, linking mold in saline implants to a host of health problems. Anne Ziegenhorn says they are frighteningly accurate.

If Ziegenhorn had known the price she’d pay for beauty, she would have run the other way. She said, “It’s not a story a multi-billion dollar industry wants to get out.”

Anne keeps a video on her phone of the saline breast implants covered with mold, that were removed from her body after a two-year nightmare.

“I felt like that was it, I was gonna die, and the doctors were gonna let me die,” Ziegenhorn said.

It started in 2011. The woman who was a picture of health suddenly started gaining weight, losing her vision and experiencing burning, unrelenting pain. She had sores all over her body. Her thinking was so cloudy she thought she might have Alzheimer’s. She was misdiagnosed with everything from lupus to arthritis to thyroid problems. She said, “Silicone sickness in and of itself is one entity. And then you add the mold to it that we had, and then you’ve got two illnesses going on.”

The diagnosis that Anne believes saved her life came from Dr. Susan Kolb, author of “The naked truth about breast implants.” Dr. Kolb said.

My experience in doing this for 30 years is that eventually everybody will become ill from their breast implants, unless they die sooner from something else.

Dr. Kolb says she’s seeing lots of women with mold in their saline implants, often from defective valves. She says some patients also have detoxification problems, that make them particularly sensitive to the silicone shells of the implants. She says in 25-30 percent of the population, the reactions are debilitating. The doctor is not anti-implants, she has them herself. But she believes for safety, women need to get their implants replaced every eight to fifteen years. Amanda Gilcrease is a patient who had her implants removed. She said, “All the neurological symptoms… the burning, numbing, stabbing, shooting, electrical shocking pains throughout my body went away immediately.”

Through Dr. Kolb, Anne Ziegenhorn met other women suffering the same frightening symptoms. They formed “The Implant Truth Survivors Committee” to educate women and doctors, and to force the FDA to listen. She said, “I literally willed myself to live and willed myself to get this message out here This is my purpose, this is why I’m here.”

Channel 3 called the FDA to see if they’re getting any reports of illnesses from mold in saline implants or from the silicone shells. Their spokesperson said he’s not familiar with any such reports. The agency does say that most women will eventually need to have their implants replaced.

Reference: http://www.news3lv.com/content/news/story/Florida-woman-finds-mold-in-breast-implants/XjSS-AV_6kyspkB1fmrTIA.cspx

Mold Growing on my Shoes in a home located in Valencia, CA 2014

Mold Testing in Marina Del Rey - Mold on clothes 2013In a Marina Del Rey home mold was found growing on this leather coat.  The extent of damage was not noticed until the mold inspector assessed the moisture content of the building materials, moisture testing.  This process, used by mold inspectors and environmental hygienist, aids in discovering where water damage and possible mold may grow.  Unknown damage caused by water, infiltrated nearby rooms and closet within the home, traveling under the wood floor.

In the photo above, mold has begun to grow on the sleeve of the leather jacket.   Barely touching the floor within the closet, moisture was discovered in the carpet and padding.  Visible mold growth (green and white dots) were discovered on articles of clothing, shoes, and other objects within the closet by the mold inspector. (more…)