Mold Health Concerns and Risks
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that is present in our natural environment. Mold spores, which are tiny microscopic ‘seeds’, can be found virtually everywhere, including in homes, and are a part of the general dust found in homes. These spores can grow on building materials and furnishings if conditions are correct. Excess moisture is the critical factor in any indoor mold problem. MoldSampleing Mold growth should not be tolerated in our homes. Eventually, the moisture and mold will damage what it is growing on, which may include both the building materials and personal belongings.
The key to preventing mold growth is to prevent moisture problems.
Good mold and bad mold is found virtually everywhere, in indoor and outdoor environments year round. Generally mold enters homes through windows, doors, cracks, and vents.
The U.S. Government estimates that Americans are exposed to over 200 different types of mold on a daily basis. It is a living organism that generally lives and thrives where moisture is present, in the absence of circulating air.
When left untended, mold can cause a lot of damage. Mold, mildew, and fungus pose three great risks:
1. They can lead to excessive wood damage. Like termites, certain mold and fungus are able to turn cellulose material (stuff made of wood or wood by-products) to food and in the process will weaken and destroy the structural integrity of the home.
2. Mold and fungus release spores, which are their way of reproducing.
These spores float around in the air of the home and mold On The Sheathing pose inhalation risks to
those living in the home. These spores are considered to be a major allergen and rank with pollen as the main source of contaminants for allergy sufferers.
3. Some types of molds and fungus release highly toxic “mycotoxins” which are byproducts that develop and then release during growth. These mycotoxins can cause severe adverse health problems for many people.
In short, mold should not be permitted to grow and multiply indoors. When this happens, health problems can occur and building materials, goods, and furnishings may be damaged.
Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (or colonies) when they find the right conditions. Growths can often be seen in the form of discoloration, ranging in color from white to orange and from green to brown to black. Most people believe that mold exists only when they can see it growing; however, the fact is that mold spores are always present.
Once established in a building, molds can spread, destroying structural wood
components, causing cosmetic problems, and it Stachy Black Mold can be hard to eliminate.
In large numbers, mold spores can also cause health problems that include: nasal and sinus congestion, dry cough, wheezing, sore throat, shortness of breath, burning eyes, skin irritation, central nervous system problems, and other respiratory problems.
People vary in their sensitivity to mold in the air. The elderly, children, those with respiratory problems, and people with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to the effects of mold, but even healthy people may react to high concentrations.
The problem of the mold is one that no homeowner can afford to ignore. Mold has been suggested as one possible factor in so-called Sick Building Syndrome. SBS occurs when the occupants of a building experience acute health effects that seem to be linked to time spent in a building.
Toxic molds can be extremely dangerous to everyone, but especially people with existing health problems. Repairs of homes with toxic molds should be handled only by certified mold experts.
What are the health concerns?
Health effects from exposure to mold can vary greatly depending on the person and the amount of mold in their home. The type of health symptoms that may occur include coughing, wheezing, nasal and throat conditions. People with asthma or allergies who are sensitive to mold may notice their asthma or allergy symptoms worsen. Individuals with a severely weakened immune system who are exposed to moldy environments are at risk of developing serious fungal respiratory infections. MDH recommends that people consult a medical professional if they are concerned about the effects of a moldy environment on their health.
Are the risks greater for some people?
There is wide variability in how different people are affected by mold exposures. However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. The following types of Mold Rash people may be affected more severely and sooner than others:infants and children
- infants and children
- elderly people
- individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies or asthmapersons having severely weakened immune systems
- persons having severely weakened immune systems
(for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients)
Those with special health concerns should consult a medical professional if they feel their health is affected by indoor mold.