Even though you can hear about mold and black mold exposure on TV and read headlines in the papers (especially recently, with frequent floods from the hurricanes), most people aren’t aware of the fact that mold greatly affects your indoor air quality and your health. Mold also damages the surface it lives on and disturbs its structural integrity. However, everyone’s main concern is the effect it has on people’s health. So, if you’re unsure whether you need to tackle your mold problem, here’s a little guide that will help you find out.
What is Mold?
Mold refers to a type of fungi with a thread-like structure that can grow both outdoors and indoors. Mold requires humidity to thrive and is often found in damp places. It usually grows on damp building materials and can be recognized by its stains of different colors. Another indicator is its musty smell that can help you identify it even when there are no visible signs of mold.
Where Can You Find Mold?
All moist areas in a home can get moldy, but the usual places where it grows are bathrooms and basements. Other places where you can spot mold are carpets, furniture, ducts, roofing, wallpaper, areas under the sink and around the plumbing pipes. These places can be ideal breeding ground for mold and they can become easily infested.
How it affects our health?
Irritating substances that mold produces (not the mold itself) is what can cause health problems in individuals. It can lead to allergies, asthma, respiratory problems and other health complications. However, some people experience no symptoms when they are subjected to mold exposure.
Allergic reactions to mold are one of the most common ways mold affects people’s health. After they have been exposed to mold, some people will start to exhibit allergic reactions, either immediately or after some time. Symptoms most allergic people experience are sneezing, coughing, runny nose, wheezing, red, itchy and watery eyes, or various types of skin irritation and rashes. Even some people who aren’t allergic can experience these symptoms after being exposed to mold, especially if it is black mold exposure.
Asthma attacks in people suffering from asthma can also be caused by mold. Many types of mold produce toxins (mycotoxins) that cause irritation of airways in people with asthma. Young kids and babies are especially sensitive. According to World Health Organization, many children who suffer from asthma in their childhoods have been exposed to indoor mold.
Some indoor molds produce very toxic chemicals that can get absorbed by human airways, skin and stomach lining. These chemicals can have all sorts of effects on our health, from simple irritation to serious immunosuppression, and even cancer. However, scientists report that further research is required to establish the connection between cancer and exposure to mold.
People who live constantly exposed to mold often report feeling depressed and fatigued, which can lead to increased risk of asthma and other respiratory problems. Plus, moldy atmosphere simply makes you feel down and low on energy.
Who Can Get Affected
People who have a higher risk of being affected by mold exposure are babies and young children, elderly, people who suffer from eczema, allergies or asthma, and those with a weakened immune system. If you or your loved ones fall in any of these categories, don’t take it lightly and get rid of mold.
Mold removal is a hard process, and it usually requires professional help. Find a reliable company that deals with mold identification and removal such as EnviroX consulting. They will remove all harmful mold from your home or workspace.
Don’t let mold affect health and quality of life of you and your family. Take action as soon as you suspect you have mold, so you can lead a healthy and mold-free life.