Mold in the home: how big a health problem is it?

large-patch-of-black-mold-next-to-window

Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different molds and they can be found both indoors and outdoors. Molds spread through the production of spores, which are present in all indoor environments and cannot be removed from them – spores are capable of surviving in harsh conditions that otherwise prevent the normal mold growth, and that’s why they can survive outdoors like in the walls or the roofs, damaging continuously the surface until it has to be repaired of replaced, or course they’re Commercial Roofing companies that help with these kind of jobs.

Molds take a variety of forms and textures, appearing as white, black, yellow, blue or green and often looking like a discoloration or stain to a surface. They can also have a velvety, fuzzy or rough appearance, depending on the type of mold and where it is growing.

Mold spores, invisible to the naked eye, can be found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Spores make their way into the home either through the air or after attaching to objects or people. Open windows, doorways and ventilation systems are all gateways through which spores can enter. Clothing, shoes and pets can all facilitate the arrival of mold within the home.

Molds can produce a number of substances that can be harmful. Allergens, irritants and mycotoxins – potentially toxic substances – can affect individuals who are particularly sensitive to them.  In particular, the EPA states that exposure to molds can irritate the eyes, lungs, nose, skin and throats of individuals, even if they do not have a mold allergy.  Mold allergies produce similar symptoms to other allergies to airborne substances affecting the upper respiratory tract, such as:

  • Blocked/runny nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes.

In addition, people with a mold allergy that also have asthma are at an increased risk of having their asthma symptoms triggered by a moldy environment, according to the CDC.  Individuals whose immune and respiratory systems are already weakened by chronic conditions would appear to be more susceptible to adverse effects from indoor mold. Prof. Spiro also told MNT that among patients with certain blood disorders, inhaling mold could even lead to fatal complications.

Despite the inconclusive nature of current research, the CDC and EPA recommend that any mold growth should be dealt with promptly.  Both organizations state that controlling moisture is most crucial to preventing mold from growing indoors. Acting quickly in the event of a leak or spillage is important, and drying areas within 48 hours of exposure to excess moisture should ensure that mold will not grow.  Increasing ventilation by opening windows or using an extractor fan reduces the level of moisture in the air. Humidity can also be reduced in specific rooms by avoiding moisture-producing activities in them, such as drying clothes or using kerosene heaters.  When cleaning mold from hard surfaces, commercial products, soap and water or a heavily-diluted bleach solution can be used. Always dry surfaces that have been cleaned thoroughly to prevent mold from growing back.

Stay safe & healthy,

Nurse Jean

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288651.php