Home Solvents and Toxic Mold Avoidance

Summary:Clean potentially moldy areas in the home well. Store household solvents and other toxic chemicals in an outdoor shed or airtight container. If air conditioner leaks freon from coils which are exposed to internal airflow, replace them.


Unlike many solvents, freon accumulates in the body since there is no way to metabolize or otherwise rid the body of it. Tiny leaks in air conditioners and refrigerators are the main culprits. If one's leaks, replace them rather than recharging if the leak cannot be located and repaired. This can be an important or even critical factor in cancer cases. Non-CFC refrigerants are much better than freon, and is what is now being used in many modern home systems and auto air conditioners.

Paints, thinners, gasoline, car fluids, and other solvent containing products should not be kept in the home. Move them to an outdoor shed or unattached garage. If this is not possible, store them in an airtight container.


Molds can form in any place subject to constant dampness. Bathrooms should be thoroughly cleaned to keep mold from forming. Places often missed in cleaning bathrooms include bathtub/shower water handles which are hollow and allow molds to form inside. Remove them periodically by prying off the cover, unscrewing, cleaning with bleach and old toothbrush, and replacing. Keep shower heads mold free. Bathtub spigots often harbor molds inside their cavities. Unscrew them periodically and clean.

Water bottles can harbor molds. The worst are the type with the pull-out nozzle, since a brush cannot reach the internal parts. One way to disinfect them, or water bottles like Camel-Baks, is to soak and rinse in grain alcohol (like vodka) with the nozzle immersed.

Refrigerators which dispense water and ice through the door can harbor molds on the tube, ledges, and crannies. Keep them clean.

This was a note from the rife list regarding mold in auto a/c ducts:

I, having sensitivities to many chemicals as well as having mold allergies, had to come up with another solution to the mold problem in my car's air conditioner. Recently, I learned that auto air conditioners will retain water around the evaporator if the system is run with the control set on "Recirculate" and then shut down in that position. After running the air conditioner in that position, before turning the A/C or the engine off, run it with the control set to allow outside air in for a few minutes and then shut it off in that position. It made a big reduction in the mold in my car's A/C! Not only that, but the price was right, too. (General Motors' A/C duct deodorizer sells for around $60.) If that doesn't help, make sure your air conditioner's water drain is not clogged.