Toxic Mold Exposure Is Worse For Infants
Because of their not-yet-developed immune systems, infants and young children are of special concern when it comes to mold spore inhalation. Infants are more vulnerable to toxic exposures and ingest more dust than adults since they spend a lot of time on or near the floor. Environmental Working Group found that ingestion of these spores can cause deficits in learning as well as motor skill and memory development.
How To Clean Mold And Keep It Away
The best thing you can do to avoid mold-related issues is to keep it from growing in your home in the first place by reducing indoor humidity and moisture and to identify and repair water leaks from indoor sources or the walls, roof or windows, says Kemperman.
Always use an exhaust fan when cooking, and run the vent fan in your bathroom during showers and for at least 30 minutes after. Keeping moisture out of your basement can be complicated and may involve fixing drainage issues, sealing cracks in the foundation, or investing in a sump pump.
If you live in one of Seattles vintage apartment buildings or any older home, you may not have ventilation or an exhaust fan in your kitchen or bathroom. In those cases, its a good idea to use a portable fan or open a window to keep moisture from building up on walls and surfaces while youre boiling water or showering.
For really nasty mold problems, including large spaces and in your homes heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, always call in the pros. But for areas of mold in your home that cover less than a 3-by-3-foot area, its usually OK to handle the cleanup yourself, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The best way to clean mold off of hard surfaces is to scrub the area with a firm brush or sponge using water and detergent, Kemperman says. Always dry the area thoroughly to prevent regrowth.
Can Toxic Mold Exposure Cause Skin Rashes
In short, yes.
Allergic reactions come about when a person’s immune system overreacts to a minimally harmful substance , producing large quantities of antibodies and other chemicals to destroy the substance and protect the body from this perceived threat. The allergic reaction causes swelling, inflammation, and irritation of the skin. In more severe cases, this swelling can occur in the throat, impeding breathing and creating a life-threatening situation. While the swelling of the throat is a rarer occurrence in relation to toxic mold exposure, rashes and hives are not at all uncommon.
A rash from toxic mold exposure can be very itchy and it’s hard not to scratch – but beware. Excessive scratching often breaks the skin and allows an infection to set in. Signs of infection include swelling, redness, warmth to the touch, fever, increased levels of pain, and discharge.
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Risk Factors For Mold Allergies
Several factors may make a person more likely to develop a mold allergy, or worsen their existing mold allergy symptoms. Some of these factors include the following:
- A Family History of Allergies: If asthma and allergies run in a person’s family, they are more likely to develop a mold allergy.
- Occupational Exposure: Occupations where mold exposure may be high include dairy work, farming, baking, logging, greenhouse work, carpentry, furniture repair and winemaking.
- Living or Working in a Building Exposed to Excess Moisture: Examples include water seepage during flood damage or rainstorms, or leaky pipes. At some point, almost every building has some kind of excessive moisture, which may allow mold to flourish.
- Living in a Home with Poor Ventilation: Tight door seals and window seals may trap moisture indoors and prevent appropriate ventilation, creating conditions that are ideal for the growth of molds. Damp areas such as kitchens, basements and bathrooms are most vulnerable.
- A Home with High Humidity: If a person’s indoor humidity is greater than sixty-percent, they might have increased exposure to mold in their home. Mold can grow almost anywhere if the conditions are right in basements, on soap-coated grout, behind walls in framing, in carpet pads or carpeting, as well as on damp surfaces. Exposure to high levels of household mold might trigger mold allergy symptoms.
How Do I Prevent Carpet Mold
Many of us love decorating our homes with colourful carpets and rugs. Unfortunately, we often overlook the potential danger of carpet mold. Wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs, in particular, are at high risk. The best way to eliminate a carpet mold problem is to call a professional mold removal company, such as the certified team of technicians at Mold Busters. Moreover, there are ways you can prevent carpet mold from developing in the first place.
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How To Prevent Mold Exposure In Your Home
Mold exposure may adversely affect your health, even if you do not have asthma or a mold allergy. By keeping your home clean and free of visible mold, you can help reduce your daily exposure to the airborne allergen. Mold can start to grow when mold spores land on any wet surface in your home, and signs of mold growth include water stains and an earthy, musty odor.
You can help prevent mold growth in your home by:
While the ideal situation is to prevent mold growth in the first place, you cannot always avoid stumbling upon a surprise patch of mold in your home. If this happens to you, try to eliminate the source of excess moisture and clean up the mold as quickly as possible using detergent and water, according to the EPA. You may have to throw away any porous or absorbent materials that have been become moldy. When you are finished, you should make sure that the entire area, including all furniture and other objects that have come into contact with the mold, is completely dry.
Toxic Mold Exposure: What Would Happen If Someone Kept Getting Their Skin Exposed To Mold
The dangers of toxic mold exposure when it comes to the respiratory system are, at this point, fairly well-known and well-established. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , toxic mold exposure can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, and skin irritation. People with serious allergies to molds may have more severe reactions including fever and shortness of breath and those with chronic lung illnesses, like obstructive lung disease, may even develop mold infections in their lungs.
But what else can be a result of toxic mold exposure? Can toxic mold exposure cause a skin rash?
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Our Air Quality Solution For Mold
Though more research is needed to support mold sensitivity in the scientific community, prolonged exposure to indoor mold in your home is unhealthy for everyone, regardless if you have a mold allergy or suspect a mold sensitivity. After taking steps to prevent visible mold growth, mold spores can be addressed by an air purifier. Our solution, the Molekule PECO technology, was developed over 20 years to address many of the common concerns of indoor air quality, including airborne mold. In addition to common indoor air pollutants like VOCs, pollen and dust mites, PECO technology is the only one that can reliably destroy mold particles, including fragments, spores and mycotoxins. Keeping airborne mold to a minimum can help you and your family breathe clean air.
Who Does Mold Allergy Affect
Molds can irritate everyone, regardless of whether you’re allergic to them. But the effects are generally worse for certain groups of people who have compromised immune systems due to disease or medication.
Risk factors for developing an allergy to mold include:
- Having a family or personal history of allergies.
- Having a respiratory condition like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
- Being exposed to mold over a long period of time due to your job or to living in a humid house or a building with poor ventilation.
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What To Expect From Your Doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:
- Exactly what are your symptoms?
- What seems to trigger symptoms or worsen them?
- Are your symptoms worse during certain times of the year or certain times of the day?
- Do your symptoms flare up when you’re in certain locations, such as outdoors or in your basement?
- What other health problems do you have?
- Do other members of your family have allergies? What kinds?
- Are you exposed to mold, dust, fumes or chemicals at work?
- Do you know if you have mold in your home?
Lawn Allergy: Mold & Cut Grass
Mowing your lawn to reduce grass pollination and limiting your exposure to grass pollen are both important steps in avoiding the misery of allergies. In addition to grass pollen triggering allergy symptoms, many individuals experience typical allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itchy watery eyes, nasal congestion, and even wheezing when exposed to the smell of freshly cut grass. Allergic reactions triggered by the smell of freshly cut grass are likely from the non-pollen parts of the grass, which also contain allergenic proteins or outdoor molds, which have been stirred up by the mowing process. Concentrations of these allergy triggers dramatically escalate for a short period of time during and immediately after mowing. For more tips on reducing exposure to outdoor molds when mowing the lawn, read The Asthma Centers Allergy-Friendly Lawn & Grass Guide.
Outdoor Mold Prevention Tip: If you are seeing mold growing on your mulch, be sure to check the thickness of the layer of mulch. Mulch layered thicker than 3 cm allows for molds to grow, repelling water from reaching the roots under the mulch.
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What Do We Know About How Mold Affects Our Bodies
Mold is a fungi that releases microscopic airborne spores. Some molds are commonly found in households and may release spores and other particles into the air. If you have a mold allergy, it means that your body is sensitive to molds. When you breathe in airborne mold particles, your immune system may react and start trying to fight off the mold. The antibodies produced, including histamine, when your body tries to fight off the mold can cause hay fever-type symptoms, including:
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- Throat irritation
- Skin rash
An allergic reaction to mold may happen immediately after exposure, or it may be delayed. Mold allergy symptoms and their severity will vary from person to person, depending on the type and severity of his or her allergy. For example, some people only experience mold allergy symptoms during certain weather conditions. Additionally, outdoor molds may only cause allergic reactions during certain seasons, but indoor mold, such as black mold, can cause reactions all year round.
How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
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How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Rashes And Fungal Infections
For the same obvious reason you would wear flip-flops to a public shower or pool, you should also clean your dirty rugs and carpets.
With continuous foot traffic, carpets accumulate dirt, namely fungi and other microorganisms that contribute to these common and stubborn skin problems.In most cases, youll feel your feet itch and a rash starts to appear. This happens due to the parasitic elements and irritants that enter your body through foot cuts, abrasions, and breaks.
The athletes foot is the most common fungal infection caused by dirty carpets and FYI it is also contagious.
You can always reduce your chances of experiencing these health problems through cleanliness and sanitation. Follow the steps listed below to prevent your carpet from making you sick.
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How Is Mold Allergy Treated
One of the most important ways to manage a mold allergy is to avoid mold. Reduce your exposure to mold as much as possible by avoiding damp places and things like piles of wet leaves. Make sure your bathroom has an exhaust fan or window you can open to limit dampness and beware of leaks in your roof, walls or pipes in your home.
Your provider might suggest immunotherapy to reduce your sensitivity to mold, commonly known as allergy shots.
Medications, like antihistamines or nasal steroids can give you relief from symptoms. If you have asthma, your provider may suggest a different medication, like inhaled steroids or mast cell stabilizers.
How Can I Prevent An Allergic Reaction To Mold
There is no cure for allergies. But you can reduce your allergy symptoms by avoiding contact with the mold spores. Several measures will help:
Reduce Your Exposure to Mold Spores Outside
- Limit your outdoor activities when mold counts are high. This will lessen the amount of mold spores you inhale and your symptoms.
- Wear a dust mask when cutting grass, digging around plants, picking up leaves and disturbing other plant materials.
Reduce Your Exposure to Mold Spores Inside
- Use central air conditioning with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter attachment. This can help trap mold spores from your entire home. Freestanding air cleaners only filter air in a limited area. Avoid devices that treat air with heat, electrostatic ions or ozone.
- Lower your indoor humidity. No air cleaners will help if excess moisture remains. If indoor humidity is above 50%, fungi will thrive. A hygrometer is a tool used to measure humidity. The goal is to keep humidity below 45%, but below 35% is better. If you have to use a humidifier, clean the fluid reservoir at least twice a week to prevent mold growth. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can also be a source of mold.
- Prevent mold and mildew build up inside the home. Pay close attention to mold in bathrooms, basements and laundry areas. Be aggressive about reducing dampness.
To Reduce Mold in Your Bathrooms:
To Reduce Mold in Your Kitchen:
To Reduce Mold in Your Laundry Area:
To Reduce Mold in Your Bedrooms:
To Reduce Mold in Your Basement:
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How Can I Treat My Mold Allergy Symptoms
If you or your family members have an allergy to mold, you can learn more about allergies and treatments here. A Teladoc doctor can help diagnose your symptoms and provide you with proper treatment. They can also recommend over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal decongestants. These medicines help with symptoms like runny or stuffy nose, congestion, cough and sneezing.
What Is The Outlook For People Who Have A Mold Allergy
Mold allergy cant be cured, but it can be managed with efforts to reduce your exposure to mold and with taking suggested medications if needed.
There are certain types of molds that are more dangerous to your health than others. These are molds that emit mycotoxins or cause infections, which can cause serious illness and even death.
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Signs Of Mold Illness
Mold is a big problem in most homes, but many people are unaware of the problem. Of course, everyone looks at the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement when he or she think about mold issues, but mold can grow just about anywhere.
Mold can be found in drywall, in the roof , and even in ones Christmas tree. One study found that Christmas trees can breed mold, quietly releasing millions of spores into the room causing winter allergies and asthma attacks. Studies have found that indoor air quality dropped six-fold over the 14 days a Christmas tree typically decorates a room.
There are 1,000 types of mold that can be found growing in the modern American home. Scientists classify these molds based on the effect they have on humans and other living things.