Mold-related health effects can be a real thing, especially for people who may be more sensitive to mold like those with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions. Those with HIV, patients taking chemotherapy, and people who have received an organ transplant or bone marrow transplant are even more susceptible to mold infections.
Exposure to mold can lead to a wide range of health effects. Those who may be sensitive to mold may experience moderate reactions such as stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing, or skin rashes. Those who are allergic to mold can suffer more serious symptoms such as difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. The ones with weakened immune systems and with serious lung conditions, such as emphysema, COPD, or cystic fibrosis may develop mold infections in their lungs that can adversely affect their quality of life.
Mold becomes a real problem when it is causing health problems. And so mold is not something to be taken lightly.
Although not all mold can make people sick, all molds have the potential to cause ill health. Even the most seemingly benign mold can eventually cause severe health effects particularly on individuals who have poor resistance to infection.
The fact is, mold exist everywhere. Thousands upon thousands of mold spores travel across the air from place to place. We all breathe in mold spores every day and are being exposed to many types of mold regularly where we work and live.
Not everyone will get sick from exposure to mold, but some people will get sick and often for an unspecified number of people who have weakened immune systems, they will become gravely sick. The truth is exposure to mold can make anyone sick, and the reality is it can very well be you, me or any one of our loved ones.
Mold and Moisture Problems
When you see mold growing in your shower stall, it’s not cause for panic but more a cause for concern. Mold growing indoors is often a sign of moisture problems. Where there is excessive moisture in a home, there is undoubtedly mold growing someplace.
Molds can grow in many places — in the attic, in crawlspaces, in damp walls, wallpaper, PVC/paper wall covering, floors, in the basement and around chimneys. Also in carpet and mattress dust, upholstered furniture, HVAC insulations, filters and fans, and even in water for the humidifier.
High humidity levels can cause condensation which can result in mold problems.
Homes constructed with drywall tend to experience excessive mold growth.
Homes with fiberglass insulation is also fertile ground for mold to grow.
When there is flooding from a natural disaster or a major water emergency, there will most likely be some mold issues to deal with.
Which Types of Mold Should I Worry About Most?
A lot of different types of mold produce toxins and can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, including some common types found in homes such as Aspergillus,Penicillium, Curvularia, and, yes, even Cladosporium. There are also a few types of mold that have been deemed more toxic, such as the Stachybotrys, which is commonly known as black mold, and is capable of producing health-threatening mycotoxins that can be readily absorbed by the intestinal lining, airways, and skin.
While some molds are allergenic and still others are pathogenic and can cause disease, not all molds are toxic. But worse is, however threatening a mold may look we cannot simply tell by color, texture or sight if a specific mold is a “dangerous form of mold or if it is the “harmless” kind. It will take multiple, long-term testing to determine if indoor mold content has reached critical levels and represents a mold problem.
The Real Problem with Mold Exposure
Mold can lead to real health problems when there is long-term exposure to it. While breathing in mold spores continuously over a period of time can certainly be unhealthy to anyone, it is especially detrimental to a particular group of people who will develop more severe symptoms sooner than those who are otherwise healthy. The most vulnerable individuals include:
● Infants and young children ● Elderly people ● People with respiratory conditions, allergies and/or asthma ● Immunocompromised patients
The type of health effects and the severity of the condition resulting from mold exposure will vary from person to person and the length of time. And it’s worth to note that even people who are not sensitive to or allergic to mold can become sensitive after repeated or prolonged exposure to mycotoxins.
If mold is growing in your home, the issue of health is the first concern. So, no matter what type of mold, all molds should be cleaned up promptly and the sources of moisture must be fixed at the same time. Mold that is visible may just be the tip of the iceberg and there may be more that is affecting a large area. As there’s no telling how bad the mold problem might be, your best move is to call for professional mold removal. A licensed, experienced professional is adequately equipped to deal with the hazards of dealing with mold.