Test Your Environment For Mold
Testing your environmenthome or workplacefor mold can be very beneficial since the symptoms of mold-related illness can be similar to other chronic inflammatory conditions such as Lyme.
There are different avenues you may take to address mold testing. Options exist for both professional testing and for self-testing.
DIY Mold Testing
There are pros and cons to each so a combination of these may be used:
Find a Qualified Indoor Environmental Professionals for Inspection
An indoor environmental professional knowledgeable about the effects of mold on sensitive populations can be helpful. Their trained eyes and tools can be helpful in identifying the source of your mold. Here are tips for finding a qualified mold inspector:
- Be sure the professional offers just inspection, not inspection with remediation to avoid conflicts of interest.
- Consider a virtual or phone consultation with indoor professionals aligned with the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness and their standards for indoor health.
- Look for a local IEP through ACAC.org
- Find inspection professionals with the CIEC and CMC certifications.
- Find remediation professionals with the CMRS and CMR certifications.
What Causes Mold Sickness
The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.
For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.
For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person
In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.
Health Symptoms Of Prolonged Mold Exposure
Health Check Certified By: Dr. Gerald Morris
Mold is literally everywhere in our homes, outside, and even in our food. However, while it sometimes goes unnoticed to many, some Americans might be exposed to higher amounts of mold or have a sensitivity to it.
Your home is a prime place for mold to grow, especially if you have a damp basement. You should also try avoiding certain foods, if its determined you have mold sensitivity. Here are 13 health effects that prolonged mold exposure can have on you
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Exposure Sources And Prevention
The primary sources of mold exposure are from the indoor air in buildings with substantial mold growth and the ingestion of food with mold growths.
While mold and related microbial agents can be found both inside and outside, specific factors can lead to significantly higher levels of these microbes, creating a potential health hazard. Several notable factors are water damage in buildings, the use of building materials which provide a suitable substrate and source of food to amplify mold growth, relative humidity, and energy-efficient building designs, which can prevent proper circulation of outside air and create a unique ecology in the built environment. A common issue with mold hazards in the household can be the placement of furniture, resulting in a lack of ventilation of the nearby wall. The simplest method of avoiding mold in a home so affected is to move the furniture in question.
Prevention of mold exposure and its ensuing health issues begins with the prevention of mold growth in the first place by avoiding a mold-supporting environment. Extensive flooding and water damage can support extensive mold growth. Following hurricanes, homes with greater flood damage, especially those with more than 3 feet of indoor flooding, demonstrated far higher levels of mold growth compared with homes with little or no flooding.
How Can Mold Affect My Health
Many molds can cause health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants and,sometimes, toxins that may cause adverse reactions in humans. A reaction tomold depends on how much a person is exposed to, the age of the person and thepersons sensitivities or allergies. The same amount of mold may causehealth effects in one person, but not in another.
Exposure to mold can cause a variety of symptoms. Sensitive people who havetouched or inhaled mold or mold spores may have allergic reactions such as arunny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash and itching. Molds can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic tomolds, causing wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. A diseaselike pneumonia may also develop after exposure to mold, but this is uncommon.
Infectious diseases from molds can occur in people with weakened immunesystems, such as those who are immune-compromised or immune-suppressed fromdrug treatment. Some types of mold are known to cause infections inimmune-compromised people. Such infections can affect the skin, eyes, lungs orother organs. These are considered opportunistic infections that usually do notaffect healthy people.
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Mould Spores In The Air
In order to reproduce, mould produces tiny particles called spores. Spores are carried in the air and may cause health problems if inhaled by people who are sensitive or allergic to them. The mould spores are what causes majority of mould health problems. Mould is everywhere. Spores are commonly found in the atmosphere as well as in water-damaged buildings. Certain crops are also particularly vulnerable to fungal disease with corn, peanuts, beetroots and chocolate being the main ones. If you have an intolerance to these foods as well as beer and certain mouldy cheeses you may want to consider having a mould issue that should be investigated.
Mould produces biotoxins that become airborne and are either breathed in or ingested by humans. Once inhaled, these biotoxins trigger inflammatory reactions that over time initiate a cascade of health issues, from autoimmunity to hormonal imbalances.
How Does Mold Impact Our Health
As mentioned above, some types of mold produce mycotoxins nasty little spores that cannot be seen without a special equipment. For example, one often found toxic type of mold is the infamous black mold.
In most cases, mold spores will weaken your immune system enough that you become vulnerable to many diseases. How much of a harmful effect mold will have on your health will mainly depend on the time spend in mold presence. The longer you live inside a moldy house and breathe in mold spores, the greater the risk for you and, of course, your loved ones.
Ensuring that your home stays mold free is one of the best ways to prevent diseases and infections such as tuberculosis.
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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.
Refer to information about cleaning up mould: refer to the information on the Better Health Channel website.
I Found Mold Growing In My Home How Do I Test The Mold
If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you cannot rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk.
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He Odo Acerca Del Moho Txico Y Del Moho Negro Que Crecen En Casas Y Otras Edificaciones Debera Estar Preocupado De Que Sea Un Riesgo Grave Para Mi Salud Y La De Mi Familia
Siempre hay un poco de moho en todas partes .Ciertos tipos de moho son toxígenos, lo cual significa que pueden producir toxinas . Se debe considerar que el moho que podría producir micotoxinas presenta los mismos peligros que los otros tipos de moho comunes que pueden crecer en su casa. No todos los hongos producen micotoxinas y aun aquellos que lo hacen no las producen bajo todas las condiciones ambientales o de superficie.El crecimiento de moho, que por lo general se ve como un conjunto de manchas, puede ser de diferentes colores y puede tener un olor típico de humedad. El color no indica el grado de peligro que pueda tener un tipo de moho determinado. Se debe eliminar todo tipo de moho y retirar la fuente de humedad que lo ayuda a crecer.Hay muy pocos informes de que los tipos de moho toxígenos encontrados dentro de casas puedan causar afecciones únicas o raras, como hemorragia pulmonar o pérdida de memoria. Estos informes son raros y la relación causal entre la presencia del moho toxígeno y estas afecciones no se ha demostrado.
Prevent Mold Growth With Routine Maintenance
To prevent mold growth, we suggest using a dehumidifier during the warm months and providing your home or business with the proper ventilation. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Clean surfaces with mold-killing products.
Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. Humidity levels shift throughout the day. Inspecting your structure for mold growth is an important part of routine building maintenance.
Seek treatment from a doctor soon as you notice any eye irritation, skin irritation or other common symptoms after exposure to mold, especially when symptoms persist. Its better to be safe than sorry. ECOS Environmental is happy to step in and test your home or business for mold and assist with the cleanup and renovation.
What Are Toxigenic Reactions To Mold
A toxigenic mold produces toxins. There are approximately 20 common toxins that mold is known to produce.
When you ingest or inhale these toxins, your chance of becoming ill increases. Upon exposure to toxigenic mold, you may experience the following effects:
- Mucous membrane irritation
- Acute/chronic central nervous system disorders
- Hormone disorders
Another serious condition associated with mold exposure is hypersensitive pneumonitis. This is an acute, or chronic, lung disease brought on by inhaling fungal antigens.
What Are Symptoms And Signs Of Mold Exposure
Molds produce irritating substances that may act as allergy-causing substances in sensitive individuals. Furthermore, some molds produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins, but mold itself is not poisonous or toxic. The term “toxic mold,” therefore, refers to the fact that certain kinds of mold can produce mycotoxins. The conditions under which some molds produce toxins are not understood, and the presence of mold, even a mold that is capable of producing toxins, does not always imply that toxins are being produced or that a health risk or problem is present. Mold may not cause any health problems, or it may lead to allergy or other symptoms in people, including adults and children, who are sensitive to molds.
Allergic reactions to mold are the most common health effects of mold and are therefore the greatest health risk related to mold. Allergic reactions may happen immediately or develop after a period following exposure. Both growing mold and mold spores may lead to allergic reactions. Symptoms and signs of mold allergy may include
Mold or mold spores may cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and are allergic to mold. Even in some non-allergic individuals, mold can cause symptoms of irritation in the eyes, skin, and airways. For example, the “black mold”Stachybotrys, along with some other types of mold, produces toxins known as mycotoxins that can cause irritation of the skin and airways in susceptible individuals.
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These Factors Can Worsen The Harmful Effects Of Mold
diet, antibiotic use, stress, exposure to other environmental toxins, and genetic background
A diet high in grains, conventional dairy, and other processed foods that can become contaminated exponentially increases your exposure to mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can get into the food supply at various points in its production and distribution. For instance, grains sitting in storage, waiting to be transported or processed, can become damp and then moldy with mycotoxin-producing fungi. This is especially true with industrially farmed crops that are grown and harvested in vast quantities and then stored for long stretches of time before going to market.
Also, we know that antibiotic use and stress disrupt the gut flora, which can reduce the microbiomes capacity to bind and detoxify mycotoxins. Exposure to other environmental toxins in water-damaged homes or other buildingssuch as bacteria, Actinomycetes, endotoxins, and microbial volatile organic compounds creates further toxicity in the GI tract. Finally, people with variants in CYP genes may be at an increased risk of mycotoxin-induced dysbiosis and intestinal epithelial damage this is due to impaired processing of mycotoxins by cytochrome p450 enzymes in the liver.
Some Of The Symptoms Associated With Mold And Mycotoxins Can Include:
- Chronic burning in the throat and nasal passages
- Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
- Eye irritation red eyes, blurred vision
- Increased urinary frequency, increased sweating , or increased thirst
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating
- Metallic taste in mouth
As you can see, the list is quite long! It is also not a list of symptoms that would immediately point a doctor to a specific illness. Some symptoms manifest immediately, but others such as poor color distinction, dizziness, fatigue, poor memory, and difficulty word finding may take months or years to develop.
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Respiratory Toxic Mold Symptoms
Most health problems related to exposure to toxic mold are related to the respiratory system, and include:
- Asthma attacks/worsening of asthma symptoms in people with the condition
- Development of asthma in people that did not previously have the condition
- Burning sensation in eyes, nose and/or throat
- Opportunistic infections
If you or members of your family are suffering from any of these toxic mold symptoms, mold may indeed be the cause of your symptoms. You can have a professional come to your home to do a test for mold spores in the air.
Prevent Mold With Our Warrantied Waterproofing Systems
At John’s Waterproofing, our experts specialize in creating drier, healthier spaces in your basement or crawl space. Our systems have been installed in hundreds of thousands of homes worldwide and include a written warranty that can be transferred to the next owner of your home, should you decide to sell in the future.
While we’re waterproofing your basement, we can also provide you with our powerful SaniDry XP Basement Air System. This award-winning, Energy-Star-rated dehumidifier will keep dry, filtered air circulating all over your basement. Lower the relative humidity of the air below 60%, and you’ll keep mold growth to a minimum and ensure a healthier, safer environment in your home.
To schedule your free waterproofing quote, contact us by phone or e-mail today! Our experts proudly serve the Oregon area, including Portland, Eugene, Salem, Beaverton OR, Vancouver WA and surrounding areas such as Hillsboro, Gresham, Springfield, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, Bend OR, Longview WA, Tigard, Aloha, McMinnville, Lebanon, Forest Grove, Canby, The Dalles, Camas, Troutdale, Astoria, Prineville, Hood River, Sherwood, Wilsonville, Oregon City, Redmond, Keizer.
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Testing For Mould In Your Home
Where mould is visible, it is generally not considered necessary to test for it in the home. However, not all mould is visible, as contamination may be in cavities or the ceiling. Generally, if you can see or smell mould, you need to clean up and remove the mould immediately, as mould can damage surfaces it grows on.
If you suspect mould contamination but cannot find the source of the problem, or if you have already taken measures to prevent mould from growing and you are still having problems, you could employ an occupational hygienist or environmental health and safety professional. For a fee, these professionals can provide specialist mould testing and consultancy services.
How Long Does It Take For Black Mold To Kill You
Black mold, or Stachybotrys atra, has a reputation for being fatal. This is due to reports that black mold was related to infant deaths in the 1990s. Its also been linked to the idea of sick building syndrome and is often called toxic black mold.
But theres no solid evidence proving that black mold is toxic. Black mold, and mold in general, is not deadly.
Still, black mold can cause unwanted side effects, especially those in people who are sensitive to mold. This includes people who are young, old, or have compromised immune systems.
Visit a doctor if you have:
- persistent sinus and nasal congestion
- frequent headaches
- unexplained skin irritation
- more frequent asthma attacks
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if mold is causing your symptoms. Many side effects of mold exposure are similar to other conditions, like seasonal allergies. Some symptoms also take time to appear.
Your best bet is to see a doctor, even if youre unsure your symptoms are related to mold. They can help you find relief.
The best way to treat mold exposure symptoms is to reduce exposure. Follow these tips:
- Avoid contact with moldy items or surfaces.
- Avoid damp rooms, like basements.
- Remove mold from the home by cleaning surfaces and drying damp areas.
- Increase ventilation by using a fan or opening windows.
- Reduce indoor humidity with a dehumidifier.
The length of time it takes for mold to leave your body will depend on your level of previous exposure.
- a musty, earthy odor
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