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Mold and your health

Sick from mold

By far, the most common questions that we receive concern the health effects of Mold exposure. While studies are still ongoing into the symptoms of being exposed to airborne mold spores and the compounds released by mold growth, we already have a good deal of information to go on.

Mold is an allergen

What this means is that mold affects everyone differently and some people may have no reaction at all. The best comparison is to something like cat dander. While I may have no reaction at all, you or your family may. With over 100,000 mold species globally, you may even find that one or two trigger a reaction in you, while others do not.

With an estimated 70% of homes containing Mold, and an estimated 28% of the population having mold allergies, the likelihood that mold could be the cause of your sneezing, coughing, or watery eyes is surprisingly high!  In fact, while it is often one of the last things you may look for, mold growth hiding in your basement, attic, or ductwork system is a common problem that property owners regularly discover.  This can result in significant long term health issues and allergic reactions.

What symptoms have been attributed to mold exposure?

According to the CDC, which has spent a lot of time trying to quantify the health effects of mold exposure, people that are sensitive to molds can experience symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may even experience fever and shortness of breath, while those with chronic respiratory issues or asthma can find that their conditions are aggravated or worsened.

Recently, studies have begun to look into the short and long-term effects of mold exposure, including a condition called Mold Toxicity, where long-term, or extreme, exposure to mold growth, mycotoxins, or spores, may cause or contribute to more serious health issues.  While research into Mold Toxicity is ongoing, some scientists believe that these extreme effects of mold exposure can result in much more serious health issues including hair loss, anxiety or depression, insomnia, fatigue, recurring infections, and autoimmune issues.  Studies into short and long-term exposure by children has shown a potential link between mold exposure and the development of health issues such as asthma.

More information about Mold Toxicity

What about “black mold”?

“Black Mold” has made a lot of headlines over the years, but using this as a means to determine severity is a mistake. For starters, many different varieties of mold can be black, and those same varieties of mold can also be green, white, or blue. One of the predominant things that affects the color of mold growth is the food source, so the same mold, growing on a different material, can have a different color. In addition, while “black mold” is often used to refer to Aspergillus, a mold that has been linked to various health effects, the media has used this term to refer to numerous other mold species as well, which has led to a tremendous amount of homeowner confusion.

Where do I find mold?

Molds can be found in virtually every environment and can be found both indoors and outdoors. Common causes of mold problems include high humidity levels in basements or bathrooms, leaky pipes under cabinets or in wall cavities, and bathroom exhaust fans improperly venting into the attic. As mold requires humidity / moisture to grow, the easiest way to prevent a mold problem from developing is to prevent or quickly resolve moisture issues.

While Mold can be a scary word, it can be resolved. As part of that process, it is important to not only look at the mold contamination and areas affected, but also the underlying moisture issue causing the mold problem.

We hope you found this information helpful! Should you suspect that you have a mold problem, please don’t hesitate to call your local Disaster Blaster!

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