When it comes to airborne mold spores, what we can’t see can certainly hurt us. When the weather turns wet, which is the right condition, those spores can quickly colonize surfaces. Within days, mold can spread from unused pallet wooden, contaminating materials and equipment. As a result, the health and safety of employees as well as sensitive products may be compromised.
What is mold on a pallet wooden? How do they affect you?
Mold is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. There are more than 100,000 species of molds that play an important role in helping to break down wood and other plant matter. However, they become problematic when they take root on wood, pallets, and other unintended surfaces.
To successfully colonize a surface, mold needs a combination of oxygen, the right temperature, a food source (from your wooden pallets), and water. Therefore, experts recommend that the moisture content of wood should be kept below 22% to avoid mold growth.
Product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the supply chain are becoming increasingly sensitive to the problem of mold. The presence of mold not only poses a food safety and quality risk but also a concern from an occupational health and safety standpoint. Food and pharmaceutical supply chains are particularly vigilant about preventing exposure, and the presence of mold has led to employee health and safety complaints in a variety of environments.
Basic steps to limit mold on wooden pallets
The basic steps to limiting mold growth on wooden pallets begin with keeping them dry. Here are some methods you can use:
Do not expose pallets to rainwater
Even brief exposure to water can cause problems. Such a brief appearance may be enough for the fungus to begin to germinate, grow in the wood, and produce spores on the surface. The wood may have dried by then, but mold has already appeared.
Lift stacked wooden pallets off the ground
By using a raised surface, you can prevent water from seeping up from any puddles on the surface of the floor or the ground.
Do not store pallets in trailers
Dark and humid trailers can quickly become incubators for mold growth. Coordinate pallet deliveries with trading partners so wooden pallets can be quickly unloaded and placed in dry storage.
Keep wooden pallets in a well-lit, dry, and ventilated environment
Covered storage is important to keep pallets dry. For outdoor warehouses, the ends of vertical beam pallets must be aligned to the prevailing wind direction to help improve airflow. For indoor storage, choose a well-lit, ventilated part of the shed.
Despite great efforts to keep pallets dry in warm weather, pallets are constantly exposed to the necessary combination of heat and moisture, leading to mold. Even if you keep your wooden pallets below 22% humidity, small localized wet spots can provide the materials needed for mold to thrive. To improve the protection from mold, wooden pallets must be dried, and heat treated according to the international standard ISPM-15. Or best, businesses should use EPAL-certified wooden pallets issued by the European Pallet Association. EPAL pallets not only have the safety standard of ISPM-15 but also ensure that the humidity is below 20%, ensuring no mold growth.