Friday, May 24, 2024

Can Having Mold In Your House Make You Sick

What Are The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure

How Mold Can Make You Sick

If you find black mold on your property, theres no need to panic. But black mold presents more health risks to sensitive groups like those with respiratory conditions or immune conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control , black mold spores can generate cold- or flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

So while black mold probably wont kill you, it can make you feel sick and should be removed as soon as possible.

What Are Black Mold Health Symptoms

We all know mold isnt welcomed in the home, but did you know too that breathing in the presence of mold can harm your health? There are over 2,000 different species of mold and the most dangerous of all is called Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as black mold or the invisible killer.

Why is black mold so dangerous? Black mold releases toxic spores that linger in the air and attack your respiratory health. The potency of these toxic spores has proved to be the most detrimental to human health.

Black mold often appears as slimy and greenish-black. If its water source runs out, it can also appear as dry and powdery. Black mold is also dangerous because its sometimes difficult to distinguish from other species of mold.

The following are health symptoms associated with black mold exposure:

  • Eye irritation

In severe cases, symptoms caused by inhaling black mold can lead to the following health troubles:

  • Vomiting
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory complications

Sometimes mold invades spaces that are hard to see and reach. It spreads fast, burrowing into walls and ceilings and hiding in cupboards and under carpets. Quite often, people are exposed to black mold without even knowing it. If you or anyone in your home is experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms without knowing why, you may be exposed to mold.

Navigating All Of The Confusing And Concerning Information About Black Mold Is Hard But Were Here To Tell You The Truth

Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.

Few topics get us more upset than seeing misinformation publicized about toxic black mold, and mold in general, by unscrupulous companies and zealous media articles that seem more interested in sensationalism than fact-based reporting.

When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.

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Actions You Can Take To Reduce Mould

The most important actions you can take to prevent mould in your home are those that minimise moisture.

  • Fix leaky plumbing and roofs and other building faults
  • Ensure gutters are cleared and maintained
  • Reduce condensation by using exhaust fans, or open windows in the bathroom and kitchen when showering, cooking or using the dishwasher
  • Wipe up excess water caused by condensation such as on single glazed windows and on shower glazing
  • Air the home regularly by opening windows and doors on warmer days
  • Vent clothes dryers to the outside and clean lint filters according to the manufacturers instructions.
  • Use reverse cycle air conditioning and or mechanical dehumidification if available
  • Ensure sufficient exhaust openings to the outside of the building if using evaporative cooling. Evaporative coolers increase the moisture content in indoor air, so the manufacturers instructions should be followed to ensure airflow in the home.
  • Maintain heating, ventilation and cooling systems according to the manufacturers instructions.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Avoid placing mattresses on the floor or surfaces without adequate ventilation.
  • Vacuum, and or turn mattresses if it can be done safely.
  • Increase air circulation around furniture by moving the furniture away from the walls.
  • Refer to information about cleaning up mould: refer to the information on the Better Health Channel website.

    Change Out The Dish Sponge

    Can Mold In Your House Make You Sick

    Dishtowels? Your dish sponges are just as bad. The NSF study found 86% of all dish sponges harbored molds. That’s because you scrub dirty bits of food off plates with the sponge and let it air dry but it often stays damp, leaving a perfect place for mold to grow. Do you want to rub that all over your clean dishes? We don’t either.

    The Rx: Change out your dish sponges regularlyat least once a month, maybe every two weeks .

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    Clean Out Your Dirty Mouth

    Your toothbrush holder is actually the filthiest thing in your bathroom . According to the NSF, 64% of all toothbrush holders tested positive for molds. Because, think about itwhen’s the last time you actually cleaned your toothbrush holder? And since your toothbrush sits inside it, you’re putting that mold straight into your mouth.

    The Rx: Wash your toothbrush holder in sudsy water once a week.

    Removing Mold From Your Home

    Resolve any issues causing mold growth, and throw away anything affected by mold or contributing to mold growth that you cant clean.

    • Wear protective gear. As youre dealing with the moldy area, cover yourself with a mask, gloves, goggles, and rubber boots. If youre cleaning a lot of mold, you can also wear disposable clothing or a mold-resistant suit.
    • Ventilate the room. Open all doors and windows to increase ventilation.
    • Sort and discard. Remove any objects from the area that havent been touched by mold growth. Throw away any items that cant be cleaned.
    • Replace moldy housing materials. Cut away and replace mold-damaged drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpet.
    • Scrub and disinfect. Cover and scrub nonporous surfaces affected by mold with bleach, a fungicide, or detergent and water, then dry them. Dont mix cleaning products together.
    • Address any water issues. Make sure any water problems are fixed and the area is dry before you renovate the room.

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    You Feel Like You Have A Lingering Cold Or Are Battling Flu

    “It is pretty tough to detect until it starts coming through the walls because mold, as you know, is a problem with some sort of leak somewhere,” Hayes-Raitt said. “So the problem starts behind the walls. But if you’re getting sick, it might be because of a mold problem.”

    If you’re dealing with symptoms that you can’t exactly pinpoint, it could be that you’re stressed, haven’t been taking care of yourself, or wound up with some sort of virus, of course, but it could also potentially be that you’re dealing with mold.

    If possible, Hayes-Raitt said that one of the best ways to determine if the sickness you feel is related to the house or not is to leave for a few days and then return home. If you feel those same symptoms coming on again, it might be the result of something more than a cold or virus.

    How Can I Check For Mold

    Can your air conditioner make you sick? The signs to look out for

    Its best to hire a professional to help you identify and remove mold, especially if youre allergic or vulnerable to it.

    You should also consider hiring help if the mold covers more than 10 square feet or if its hidden behind wallpaper, ceiling tiles, or other areas.

    Here are some steps for identifying and removing mold.

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    Mold Reactions: Who’s At Risk

    For people sensitive to mold, inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath. In people with asthma who are allergic to mold, breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks.

    In addition to people with allergies and asthma, others who may be more sensitive to the effects of mold include:

    • Infants and children
    • People whose immune systems are compromised due to HIV infection, cancer, liver disease, or chemotherapy
    • People with chronic lung disease

    Is There A Blood Test For Mold

    Blood test.

    Your doctor takes a blood sample and sends it to a testing laboratory to test for the reaction of certain antibodies in your immune system to different mold species, including black mold. A blood test can also check for biotoxins in your blood from mold exposure, which can also reveal mold poisoning.

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    How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last

    The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:

    • What type of mold they are exposed to,
    • How long the exposure has been,
    • How well their bodies eliminate toxins

    Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.

    Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.

    It Might Be In Your Peanut Butter

    Mold in the Home

    If you love a good PB& J, think twice about the brand you’re using: it may be moldy. According to the Society of Toxicology, peanuts are the food most likely to be contaminated with aflatoxin, a dangerous species of mold. While some of these molds can be killed off by roasting the peanuts, it doesn’t work every time. Aflatoxins are acutely toxic and in large amounts can cause vomiting, convulsions, liver cancer, hemorrhaging, coma and death.

    The Rx: “You can reduce your aflatoxin exposure by buying only major commercial brands of nuts and nut butters and by discarding nuts that look moldy, discolored, or shriveled,” advises the National Cancer Institute. “To help minimize risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests foods that may contain aflatoxins, such as peanuts and peanut butter. To date, no outbreak of human illness caused by aflatoxins has been reported in the United States, but such outbreaks have occurred in some developing countries.”

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    Plants Are Your Best Defense

    One of the best all-natural ways to keep your home toxin free is to get some plants. According to the website the Bright Side, “NASA scientists claim that common indoor plants may provide a valuable weapon in the fight against rising levels of indoor air pollution. Some of them can absorb up to 85 of potentially harmful gases, cleaning the air inside our homes, indoor public spaces, and office buildings.”

    The best plants to keep your breathing easy indoors during the long, cold winter include: flamingo lilies, the gerbera jamesonii, the golden lotos, aglaonemas, spider plants, ivy, azaleas, mother-in-lawâs tongue , dracaena marginatas, philodendrons, Boston ferns, peace lilies, bamboo palms, scheffleras, and chrysanthemums, according the Bright Side.

    Since the new year is an ideal time to clean up your life literally, and figuratively, take some time to check your living space for potential toxins. Then, get some plants and put them to work. Because, your indoor air shouldn’t be worse than the air outside.

    What Is Mold Toxicity

    Mold toxicity occurs when mycotoxins are produced by micro-fungi such as mold, that can affect your bodys system leading to chronic symptoms.

    It is estimated that 24% of the population is genetically susceptible to this illness and will begin experiencing chronic inflammatory immune responses as a result of this exposure. Toxins produced by mold will start to accumulate inside the body and begin its takeover of symptoms to an individual.

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    You Should Hire The Company That Offers The Highest Price

    Again, this is equally as false as the previous misconception. There are numerous companies that offer to clean your carpets at exorbitant prices.

    This doesnt mean they are much better than the rest. After all, theyre using pretty much the same equipment. They only try to stand out from the rest by charging a lot more.

    Ask around for references and peoples experiences with different companies and you will find one that offers the best value for money.

    Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold

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    People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.

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    How Can I Prevent Black Mold

    Of course, moving out is not a simple or accessible process for everyone. If you dont have the resources to move or simply dont want to, consider these prevention measures to protect yourself against black mold:

    • Immediately repair leaks
    • Constantly wipe down/dry wet or damp surfaces
    • Invest in a dehumidifier to clear the air of excess water vapor
    • Clean rooms that are susceptible to water collection with anti-fungal products
    • Open windows to facilitate air circulation when possible
    • Clean rooms/spaces that dont get much use to ensure mold isnt growing there

    Like any prevention method, these steps do not ensure that black mold will not grow in your home, but they lessen the chances. The biggest takeaway here is that black mold flourishes in objects that retain water or places that harbor standing water, which is why avoiding humidity is so imperative in preventing fungus growth.

    Is Red Mold Dangerous

    Even though red mold is unsightly, the mold itself is usually harmless if youre in good health.

    If youre sensitive or allergic to mold, exposure can cause problems like respiratory distress. Also, exposure can trigger infections in the skin, lungs, eyes, and other organs.

    Those susceptible to complications include:

    • babies
    • headache
    • shortness of breath

    Complications dont only occur from breathing in mold, but also from ingesting mold. So be sure to discard any food that contains red mold. Accidentally ingesting red mold might not be harmful, but its safer to err on the side of caution.

    If youve been exposed to red mold and develop signs of irritation, see a doctor immediately to treat the reaction.

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    And It Damages Your Sense Of Smell

    Michigan State University researchers found that a toxin produced by the black mold Stachybotrys chartarum can kill the nerve cells essential for the sense of smell, at least in mice. Even scarier, the team found this happens even with a low-dose. Black mold is also linked to a dangerous respiratory disease in infant humans called pulmonary hemorrhage, a bleeding disorder in the lungs caused by inhaling spores in the home.

    The Rx: Studies on the effect on the human sense of smell are ongoing, so there’s probably more to come. Just try to stay away from black mold if at all possible. And to live your happiest and healthiest life, don’t miss these 100 Ways Your Home Could Be Making You Sick.

    Is Hidden Mold At Home Making You Sick

    Is Mold in Your Home Making You Sick?

    “She would have terrible headaches and her face was swollen and she’d throw up sometimes for seven to 10 days,” Jill Murray, her mother said. “They tested her for cystic fibrosis, for leukemia, all kinds of diseases and they couldn’t find anything wrong with her.

    Caitlin said it was a terrible feeling.

    “I was like really, really sick,” she said. “I was feeling like I was going to die in a few days.”

    Her mother had a gut feeling that whatever was making her daughter sick was in their Pennington, N.J., home.

    “We started working with the head of the diagnostic center at Children’s Hospital Philadelphia,” Jill Murray said. “He said ‘Try it. Leave your house. That’s the only way you’ll know.’ “

    A Scary Find

    In the basement, Murray checked inside a crawlspace. There was mold everywhere.

    “And with that we just got out,” Murray said. “We literally took the shirts on our backs and left.”

    Caitlin’s suffering went on for three years before the girl finally felt better. The Murrays’ experience is not unique. Because modern homes are more tightly sealed for energy efficiency, water which mold needs to survive gets trapped inside.

    Modern building materials like wood, drywall, wallpaper and fabric are appealing food sources for mold, while building technologies such as synthetic stucco can leak and trap moisture inside. Home appliances including clothes dryers and dishwashers also generate water vapor, again creating the type of environment that mold can thrive on.

    Visual Signs:

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    Hire A Professional To Clean Your Carpet

    A dirty carpet does not just look ugly and smell disgusting, but it also threatens your health due to dust, pet hairs, mold, bacteria and other microscopic organisms that are trapped within its fibres.

    If your carpet is not yet too old or worn enough for replacement, doing a deep clean is a great idea.

    A professional carpet cleaner will not only remove stains, odors, and dirt but also provide specific solutions to minimize the cause of allergens and pathogens in your carpeted flooring.

    Take care of your carpet like you would your body because ultimately your carpet affects your health. Call now for more information about our carpet cleaning services.

    Who Is At Risk Of Mold Sickness

    Mold exposure can affect anyone, even if there are no immediate symptoms. Some types of mold release substances called mycotoxins that can harm your health in the long run.

    However, some people are more sensitive to the effects of mold, including:

    • Young children
  • People on immunosuppressant medications
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    What Is Black Mold

    Lets start by identifying the enemy: black mold. Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is a species of mold or fungi. You can typically identify black mold by its color. Many other molds are green or grey, but black mold tends to be a dark greenish black or gray color. It will appear around the home as a slimy, dark greenish-black or gray substance. Black mold grows off of moisture, releasing spores as it consumes organic substances.

    The types of substances this type of mold feeds off of include things such as wood and cotton. In the home, you can expect to find it growing on materials such as damp drywall, insulation and carpets. Mold typically does not grow on metal, glass and plastic. Because of this, the most common places you find black mold include walls, carpeting, insulation, furniture and ceilings.

    Unfortunately for homeowners, black mold also loves air vents, where spores are naturally circulated. If air vents havent been professionally cleaned in a while, there will be plenty of dust for black mold to feed on. Similarly, if your air ducts arent inspected and repaired routinely, leaks and other problems can allow black mold to thrive.

    The spores of black mold can cause a variety of undesirable symptoms and health problems when inhaled or ingested by humans. These can be symptoms as simple as itchy eyes to more serious consequences, including long-term lung damage.

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