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Hartford Steam Boiler Offers Mold Protection Program; Initial Focus on Schools in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Business Editors

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HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 29, 2002

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company today announced a new Mold Protection Program to help clients prevent and manage the risks associated with mold growth. The loss prevention and insurance program will focus initially on schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut.

According to American School and University Magazine, more than one in five of the nation's public schools have reported problems with indoor air quality and more than half of those problems have been linked to mold and mildew. An elementary school in Connecticut, for instance, was closed and the building razed after mold contamination reportedly sickened students and staff. The demolition was estimated at more than $500,000 and a new school is expected to cost more than $23 million.

"Mold can cause health concerns and major property damage that strains local budgets and disrupts learning," said Richard Williams, Ph.D, vice president for new product development with Hartford Steam Boiler. "But mold can be managed. Our program includes inspections, specific loss control steps, ongoing technical support and insurance protection to help manage, and more importantly, help prevent mold risks. We are working with schools to help avoid losses due to mold, rather than just pay a claim."

Drawing upon its decades of loss prevention experience, Hartford Steam Boiler has modeled the Mold Protection Program after its successful approach to equipment breakdown insurance coverage. The combination of inspections, loss prevention and insurance protection is a proven concept and has served Hartford Steam Boiler for more than 135 years.

The Mold Protection Program is designed for schools that are willing to work with Hartford Steam Boiler to implement loss prevention recommendations to proactively manage the growth of mold. The program begins with an inspection and evaluation to determine qualification. Once qualified, Hartford Steam Boiler provides loss prevention recommendations based upon the results of the inspection and works with the client over time to control moisture, water intrusion and other conditions that can cause mold growth.

"The solution is more than dealing with visible mold," said Kenneth B. Cornell, executive vice president, AIG Environmental, Inc., a division of American International Companies and the nation's largest provider of environmental insurance, which helped develop Hartford Steam Boiler's Mold Protection Program.

In order to prevent future damage, Cornell said, "Schools must carefully manage the conditions that cause mold to grow. That takes a continuous effort to improve the way a facility is maintained. Our program with Hartford Steam Boiler combines AIG Environmental's experience in underwriting environmental risks with HSB's loss prevention services to help clients develop and stick with a program to control the conditions that can lead to a mold problem."

The Mold Protection Program also includes a Mold Remediation Policy that can pay for remediation costs if visible mold is discovered at an insured location. Clients have access to a mold remediation network specifically developed for this program. The network consists of qualified and prescreened remediation specialists at preferred rates. For more information about the Mold Protection Program in the states where it is currently available, insurance buyers or their agents or representatives can call 1-888-665-3688 toll-free, or e-mail: Mold_Protection@hsb.com.

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, one of the world's leading equipment breakdown insurers, is a global provider of specialty insurance products, inspection services and engineering consulting. Hartford Steam Boiler was founded in 1866 to provide loss prevention service and insurance to businesses, industries and institutions. Hartford Steam Boiler is a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, the world's leading U.S.-based international insurance and financial services organization, the largest underwriter of commercial and industrial insurance in the United States, and among the top-ranked U.S. life insurers. For more information about Hartford Steam Boiler visit its website at www.hsb.com.

MOLD FACTS FROM HARTFORD STEAM BOILER

Introduction to Molds

Molds reproduce by emitting tiny spores. These spores continuously waft through indoor and outdoor air. When mold spores land on a damp area indoors, they may begin to grow by digesting the surface on which they are living. Molds can grow on wood, paper, carpet and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores indoors; minimizing moisture is the best way to control indoor mold growth.

Basic Mold Cleanup

Controlling moisture is key to controlling mold. To prevent mold growth, it's important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours after water/moisture intrusion. If mold is a problem, clean up the mold and get rid of excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or other moisture/water sources. Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles and carpet) that become moldy may have to be replaced.

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold

exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other

respiratory complaints.

2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold

spores in an indoor environment; the way to control indoor

mold growth is to control moisture.

3. If mold is a problem, you must clean up the mold.

4. Fix the source of the moisture/water problem to prevent mold

growth.

5. Reduce indoor humidity to 30-60 percent. Decrease mold growth

by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating

equipment to the outdoors. Use air conditioners and

dehumidifiers and increase ventilation by using exhaust fans

whenever cooking, washing dishes and cleaning food service

areas.

6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and

furnishings within 24-48 hours after water intrusion to

prevent mold growth.

7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry

completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles that are

moldy may need to be replaced.

8. Prevent condensation by insulating potentially cold surfaces

such as windows, piping, exterior walls, roofing or floors.

9. Do not install carpets in areas where there is a perpetual

moisture problem (i.e., by drinking fountains and classroom

sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent

condensation).

10. Providing moisture is present, molds can be found almost

anywhere and can grow on virtually any substance. Molds can

grow on wood, paper, carpet and foods.

Common Moisture Sources Found in Schools

Moisture problems in buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in schools have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past 20 to 30 years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to easily escape. Moisture problems in schools are also associated with delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems.

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