Q: How To Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
A: Mold is one of the most common concerns of illness in homes, but often isnt the culprit. If you suspect that you or someone else has been exposed to mold, call your doctor immediately. The symptoms of mold exposure can mimic allergic reactions, include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, eye irritation, and nosebleeds.
Fatigue Due To Mold Exposure
Low energy and fatigue are fairly common mold exposure symptoms. You may already be aware of other, even more common symptoms of exposure to mold, like respiratory problems, sinus infections, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, headaches or migraines, rashes or hives, allergy symptoms and asthma attacks. You should know that mold exposure can make you tired, as well.
In some instances, the lack of energy caused by mold exposure can be fairly debilitating. Its one thing to feel a bit tired but quite another to need 14 or 16 hours of sleep every day, to be unable to work due to sheer exhaustion, or to have so little energy you cant stand up long enough to take a shower.
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:
- 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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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.
A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
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Top Tips For Controlling Mold
It’s impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home, but because mold spores can’t grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mold growth. If there is already mold growing in your home, it’s important to clean up the mold and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mold but don’t fix the problem, the mold will most likely return.
Following is some advice for reducing moisture throughout the home with specific tips for the areas most prone to dampness and mold growth:
Around the house:
In the kitchen:
- Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
- Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
- Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
- Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary.
In basements and crawl spaces:
In the laundry room:
- Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
- Make sure the vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
- Avoid leaving damp clothes in the laundry basket or dryer. Wash and dry them promptly.
Mould Is Poisoning Australians
Could invisible mould be the cause of your health issues? Exhaustion, sleep deprivation, body aches, triggered asthma, lack of motivation & brain fog are just some toxic mould illness symptoms.
I drag myself out of bed still exhausted despite sleeping for more than 11 hours. I prepare a bowl of food for my dog, and as I put it down on the floor, she looks up at me. Shes not eating. Again.
I wander into the bathroom and peer in the mirror the stupid rash around my eyes has spread even further.
My body aches, my hair looks stringy, oily and limp no matter how much I wash it. I have zero motivation and I cant think straight. Even stringing a sentence together is hard these days. Im sick really sick. And I have no idea what was wrong with me.
Id been to the doctor four times in the last 2 months each time I went in I was given another drug.
Oh youve got a rash around your eyes? Here, use this steroid cream for a week.
Yeah, but whats causing the rash? Ive never had skin problems. I ask.
Oh nothing. These things just happen.
I have no idea whats going on.
That is Chantelles story, and unfortunately a common story for many Australians. Her house was killing her and she didnt work out how until it was almost too late.
We spend an average of 16 hours a day at home and even more when aged under seven and over 64.
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Symptoms Ofblack Mold Exposure
If you suspect that you have symptoms of black mold exposure, then it is important to talk with a doctor as soon as possible in order to prevent serious health problems. The dangers of black mold should not be taken lightly, because they can cause both short-term and long-term health conditions. Many people don’t realize how severe these health conditions can be, so this article is designed to help you understand the serious nature of mold exposure.
If you arebeing exposed to black mold, it is best to talk to a doctor and a mold removalspecialist as soon as possible. The doctor will be able to help you treatsymptoms that are already present, and the mold removal specialist can clean upthe mold in order to prevent additional symptoms from occurring.
Q: Can Mold On Toothbrush Make You Sick
A: Yes, mold on toothbrushes can cause health issues such as asthma, sinusitis, and allergies. The best way to prevent mold from growing on your toothbrush is to keep it clean and dry. If you do not want to throw away your toothbrush, then you should soak it in hot water for 10 minutes. After soaking, rinse it thoroughly with soap and water.
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How Does Mould Affect Health
Mould associated with damp buildings can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheeze, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions.
People who are more susceptible to these symptoms and other serious health effects include those with:
- weakened immune systems
- chronic, obstructive, or allergic lung diseases.
You should seek medical advice if you are concerned about the effects of mould.
What Are Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds
Another source of irritation from mold exposure comes from substances knownas microbial volatile organic compounds . These compounds are producedthrough fungal metabolism and are released directly into the air, often givingoff strong or unpleasant odors. Exposure to mVOCs from molds can irritate theeyes and respiratory system and has been linked to symptoms such as headaches,dizziness, fatigue, nasal irritation and nausea. The effects of mVOCs are notcompletely understood and research is still in the early stages.
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Signs That Imply You Have Mold In Your House
A residential or commercial mold infestation is one of the worst things anyone can come across. Mold infestation can easily turn your dream house to a nightmarish dwelling.
Its not just the musty smell or unbearable indoor atmosphere, the fact that commercial or residential mold infestation can easily start affecting the health of the individuals involved is alarming.
This is one of the major reasons why we recommend leaving the task of mold repairs or cleanup to professionals.
What is mold?
Mold is typically a fungus constituting of small organisms. Their ubiquitous presence is a blessing for the outdoors as they play a crucial role in decomposing dead leaves and trees.
However, these fungi thrive indoors fast and alarmingly in damp conditions to release spores. Inhaling mold spores in large numbers can trigger health problems.
This post covers the top 5 hidden signs of mold that imply mold infestation in your house.
You are sick and never better
Even though you are exposed to mold spores on a daily basis, constant exposure, especially while being indoors can trigger some alarming health problems.
Prolonged mold exposure can second the infiltration of these spores to lungs which has been observed as one of the common triggers for asthma symptoms.
Mold Toxicity Is Also An Issue And It Is Considered A Chronic Inflammatory Response
An acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and Mycobacterium serve as inflammogens! Inflammogens keep your body in a state of inflammation.
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Getting Professional Assistance And Advice
We recommend calling in a mold remediation professional for a free home inspection and consultation. He or she will make sure all areas of mold in your home have been located, which is important since mold often grows in hard-to-find places like inside heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts, inside walls and under flooring. He or she will advise you about the work that needs to be done in order to make your home mold-free and safe again. To locate mold remediation professionals in your area, follow the link.
Since the initial inspection and consultation are free, you can get some helpful professional advice at no cost even if you plan to handle the cleanup job yourself. However, if youre suffering from exhaustion related to mold exposure, you may not have the energy to do the work yourself since mold remediation is often a complex, involved job. We also suggest checking with your doctor to make sure its safe for you to handle mold removal yourself and to make sure it wont exacerbate your symptoms.
Rental Properties With Mould Issues
When a rental property has mould, the owner should fix any mould caused by faults in gutters or other fixtures, but the tenant should ensure that extractor fans are used when available and the home is aired regularly where possible.
Sometimes, the cause of the mould growth may be due to a building fault that may not be easily rectified.
If as a tenant, you have taken measures to make sure the building is properly ventilated and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner.
Information on mould in rental properties is available on Consumer Affairs Victorias website.
Tenants seeking further advice on their rights can also contact the Tenants Union of Victoria on .
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Removing Red Mold From Grout
To remove red mold on grout, mix one-part water with one-part vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the grout and allow the solution to sit for about five minutes. Use a toothbrush to scrub the grout. Wipe away residue with warm water.
Or, apply a small amount of baking soda to the vinegar mixture to create a paste. Apply the paste to the grout. Let it sit for five minutes. Scrub with a toothbrush and then rinse with warm water.
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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Does Mold Make You Tired
Have you been feeling lethargic in your home, but full of energy when you leave town for a few days? This could be a sign you have a black mold infestation. Studies show a correlation between mold exposure and chronic fatigue syndrome. As you inhale in its presence, minuscule spores can enter your lungs, causing an immune response.
It takes a lot out of your immune system to defeat these tiny invaders, which can cause exhaustion. As your immune system keeps fighting the particles, your body can begin to develop an allergy, even if you didnt have one before. If your family has a history of allergies or asthma you could be more at risk for symptoms.
Tiredness is one of the most common symptoms of toxic mold. Breathing in spores can interrupt your breathing and irregular breathing is a root cause of sleep apnea. If you cant sleep through the night and are always catching your breath, this could be due to mold-induced sleep apnea. So, if you constantly feel under the weather and ready for a nap, it might not be a bug going around the office. There could be black mold lurking in your walls.
Black Mold Symptoms And Health Effects
Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.
A mold infested room of an old building.
Mold in homes can be a costly and dangerous problem, particularly when infestations of toxic black mold occur. The symptoms and health effects of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning cover a wide range of health problems, but understanding the indicators can help keep you and your family safe.
Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans.
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How To Get Rid Of Mildew And Mold Without Making Matters Worse
Step one in how to get rid of mildew and mold is to fix the moisture problem thats setting the stage for its growth. This is key. You can scrub, dispose of and replace moldy materials, but until you fix the problem, mold will keep returning. The fix can be as simple as sealing up leaky air-conditioning ducts or as daunting as reshingling a leaky roof or regrading your yard so water runs away from, rather than toward, your foundation. Sewer backups and floods also set up ideal environments for mold and mildew growth.
Once the moisture problems are fixed, get rid of the moldy materials carefully. Rough handling of damaged materials will not only stir up spores and spread them even farther around your house but also launch zillions of spores into the air, where youll inhale them. One square foot of moldy drywall can harbor more than 300 million mold spores slam dunk that onto the basement floor and youre just opening another Pandoras box. Even dormant spores inhabiting dried-out materials are irritating to inhale, and if they find moist environs again, they can zip back to life and establish new colonies.
Follow these procedures when removing damaged materials :
Causes Of Damp And Mould
Mould and damp are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames.
A newly built home may be damp if the water used when building it is still drying out for example, in the plaster on the walls. Excess moisture indoors can also be caused by condensation.
If you have mould or damp it’s important to find out why you have excess moisture in your home. When you know what’s causing the damp, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air. You may need to get a professional to remove mould for you, but if it’s only a small amount you may be able to remove it yourself.
Page last reviewed: 8 August 2018 Next review due: 8 August 2021
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