Thursday, April 18, 2024

How Bad Is Mold For Your Lungs

Is Mold Growing On The Lungs Fatal

What are the effects of mold in the lungs?

Just like anything else, if gone untreated, it can most certainly turn fatal.


Overall it generally depends on the current health of the person affected. Remember, mold generally wont grow on the lungs unless there are large spaces in your lungs.

You should already be on alert because you wont have large spaces on your lungs for the most part unless you have had some type illness associated with a lung infection.

Here is the bottom line:

It needs to be taken seriously

Removing Mold From Your Home

If exposure to mold at home is determined to be the cause of your condition, youll need to arrange to have the mold removed in order to recover and prevent permanent lung damage. If youre experiencing mold-related health problems, your doctor will probably recommend you arrange for someone else to handle the mold removal rather than doing the work yourself because the mold removal process would further expose you to the mold spores that are causing your illness. Even if you dont want to hire someone for the job, we recommend scheduling a free in-home inspection and consultation with a mold removal professional because you can benefit from some free expert advice about the work that needs to be done in your home. Follow this link to get a list of experienced mold removal professionals offering free consultations in your area.

Danger Danger Will Robinson

Mold is not good for Will Robinson, you, me or anyone else for that matter. The air is full of millions of molecules that we breathe into our lungs every day. Many of these molecules are dangerous, including mold spores. You breathe in mold spores every day. A low amount is not all that dangerous to a person with a healthy immune system. But if your immune system is breached, or you spend time in unsafe environments, this can be life-threatening.

The side effects can be devastating to your lungs and general health. The places that mold is most likely to thrive is wherever there is moisture. Weed is moist. For this reason, storing your weed in plastic containers, for example, can be problematic. Hence, it is vital that your buds dry out before storage. Otherwise, you are likely to become a mold farmer. Shoot for a dry place with less than 15% humidity.

The biggest problem is that mold is a living organism that is reproducing at a maddening pace before you can spot it with your eyes. By the time you see mold, there are millions of spores in your stash. Furthermore, the mold destroys the THC in the buds. And that is not a good thing.

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Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax After Vaping

Primary spontaneous pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, occurs when theres a hole in the lung through which oxygen escapes. This can be the result of an injury such as a gunshot or knife wound or when air blisters on the top of the lungs rupture and create tiny tears.

Those who develop these blisters are usually tall, thin people who had a period of rapid growth during adolescence, says Broderick. Because of the accelerated growth, a weak point may blister and develop at the top of the lungs. On their own, these blisters dont typically produce symptoms. You dont know you have them, unless they rupture. Smoking and now vaping are associated with an increased risk of bursting these blisters, leading to lung collapse.

At Johns Hopkins, were seeing a rash of collapsed lungs in younger people, reports Broderick. We always ask if theyve been smoking, and theyll often say, No, I dont smoke. But I do vape. Now we tell patients not to smoke or vape if they want to avoid another lung collapse and surgery in the future.

Signs of a collapsed lung include:

  • Sharp chest or shoulder pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing

Oxygen treatment and rest may be all thats need for a collapsed lung to heal. But more advanced cases require a chest tube to drain leaked oxygen from the body cavity or surgery to repair the hole in the lung.

Can Mold Exposure Be Lethal


This is a major area where information becomes muddled. Some sources of information will tell you that mold exposure of any kind can be deadly, whereas others will say that only exposure to toxic molds can seriously harm you.

Fortunately, exposure to mold isnt usually lethal to a healthy person. However, higher-risk groups can experience far more serious health complications after being exposed to pathogenic and toxigenic molds. Similar to those listed above, people at a higher risk include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who have recently had surgery or major medical treatments
  • People with compromised immune systems or immune disorders

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Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Due To Household Mold Exposure

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is one possible consequence of exposure to mold in the home. As you probably know, exposure to mold can lead to all sorts of health problems, especially respiratory problems. You can read about other mold-related health problems, but in this article were going to tell you about this condition, which can lead to permanent damage to the lungs if its not recognized and dealt with in a timely manner.

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.

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What Are The More Severe Symptoms Of Mold Toxicity In Humans

Some of the more severe symptoms of mold toxicity in humans include organ damage, neurological problems, and death. Mold exposure can be particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems or chronic respiratory conditions. If you think you may have been exposed to mold, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Mold toxicity is a serious health concern and should not be taken lightly.

Secondhand Vapor Isnt Safe Either

What Happens If You Breathe In Mold Spores?

Its a myth that secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes are harmless. Many people think the secondhand vapor is just water, but this couldnt be farther from the truth. The vapor emitted when someone exhales contains a variety of dangerous substances, which may include:

  • Nicotine
  • Diacetyl
  • Benzene

Although secondhand vapor may not affect the lungs the same way as vaping, it is better to avoid it, if possible.

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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

Medical Treatment For Mold On The Lungs

Anti-Fungal Medicine

The most common type of treatment for lungs that incur microbial growth is anti-fungal medicine. It usually involves taking prescription medication whether it be in pill or liquid form. Some of the names of the medications that are usually used are:

  • Itraconazole

Anti-fungal medication is generally for the mildest cases.


Another option which is for the mod severe cases of a condition which we will get more into below called Aspergillosis is to have surgery. Surgery can be risky and can even involve removing a lung which is the last resort option.

I know, scary stuff!


At least we have two lungs right? Truth is, you can actually breathe perfectly fine with just one functioning lung.

Boosting The Immune System

While this can be done with many types of diseases, boosting the immune system can help fight infections that are associated with mold growing on the lungs.

Boosting the Immune System can involve any type of medication that raises your white blood cells which is essential in helping you fight off diseases and infections.

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How To Minimize Your Risk

To know how to protect yourself, start by knowing where mold spores thrive. Besides growing best in warm, damp, humid spots. Outside, youll find mold in shady, damp areas or where leaves or other vegetation break down. Inside, mold grows in high-humidity locations, such as basements and showers, she says.

If you are prone to breathing problems, such as asthma, you should consider limiting exposure to damp, humid areas such as basements and saunas, she says.

Here are other things you can do to minimize your mold exposure risk:

  • Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep humidity levels below 50% at all times.
  • Check the humidity level in your home at least once a day because humidity changes with temperature shifts.
  • Be sure your home is adequately ventilated. If you have exhaust fans, use them especially when you shower.
  • Use paints fortified with mold inhibitors.
  • Use mold-killing bathroom cleaning products, such as bleach.
  • Dont carpet bedrooms or bathrooms. If you own your home and can afford to, remove carpeting from your home and replace with another surface, such as laminate tile, thats easy to clean.
  • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have gotten wet or soaked through in the past as these are breeding grounds for mold spores.

Can Mold Grow In Your Lungs

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Unfortunately, this is a possibility with certain infections, especially aspergillosis. However, it is treatable in most cases with some oral medications and, less frequently, surgery.

Mold spores spread through the air any time youre around a mold colony, youre breathing in some of those mold spores and introducing them to the sensitive tissue inside your trachea and lungs. The longer you breathe them in, the longer the spores have a chance to find an open cavity in your lungs to settle down and colonize. For most people with healthy lungs, there really isnt any open space inside, meaning the risk of this happening is relatively low. For individuals who have had recent surgeries or other diseases that can cause open cavities in the lungs , the risk is much higher.

Fortunately, your doctor can prescribe you oral corticosteroids to help bring down the inflammation and reduce symptoms. For more invasive cases of this disease, an oral antifungal may be prescribed. Especially severe cases may require surgery to physically remove mold from the lungs, though this is less common and typically only done if side effects become dangerous .

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Is Resting Beside Mold Bad For Your Health

Direct exposure to mold or wetness in your home has been associated with adverse respiratory results in all age groups. This direct exposure has actually likewise been connected to sleeplessness in adults. We aimed to explore the association between direct exposure to visible mold or wetness at home and also sleep problems in children.

Can Vaping Cause Lung Cancer

Cancer is definitely a concern, given that vaping introduces a host of chemicals into the lungs. But vaping products havent been around long enough for us to learn whether or not they cause cancer.

We do know that smoking tobacco forces tiny particles to be deposited deep in the bronchial tree and can lead to the development of cancer. The same may be true for vaping, says Broderick.

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What To Tell Your Doctor

If you have symptoms, and youve been exposed to mold at work, on a trip or at home, you should consult your doctor immediately, Dr. Ibrahim says. Tell your provider all that you can about the mold and the location.

Be sure to mention all symptoms you may have, no matter how trivial they may seem. There are no insignificant symptoms when youre being evaluated for a new problem, Dr. Ibrahim says. Pay close attention to symptoms that are only present or worsen at home or other public areas where mold is common.

The Chemicals You Inhale When Vaping

Health Effects That May Be Caused by Inhaling Mold or Mold Spores

Instead of bathing lung tissue with a therapeutic mist, just as a nebulizer does, vaping coats lungs with potentially harmful chemicals. E-liquid concoctions usually include some mix of flavorings, aromatic additives and nicotine or THC , dissolved in an oily liquid base. We think that some of the vaporized elements of the oil are getting deep down into the lungs and causing an inflammatory response, explains Broderick.

The substance at the center of investigation is vitamin E. Its often used as a thickening and delivery agent in e-liquid. And, while its safe when taken orally as a supplement or used on the skin, its likely an irritant when inhaled. Its been found in the lungs of people with severe, vaping-related damage.

Other common substances found in e-liquid or produced when its heated up may also pose a risk to the lungs. These include:

  • Diacetyl: This food additive, used to deepen e-cigarette flavors, is known to damage small passageways in the lungs.
  • Formaldehyde: This toxic chemical can cause lung disease and contribute to heart disease.
  • Acrolein: Most often used as a weed killer, this chemical can also damage lungs.

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How Can Dampness And Mold Problems Be Fixed

  • Identify and eliminate the water problem. The most critical step is to identify and eliminate the source of the water that is creating a damp environment. You may need technical assistance from a plumber or contractor to determine what needs to be fixed or changed.
  • Determine the extent of the problem. EPA recommends calling for professional help to clean any mold growth that covers more than 10 square feet.3 If you are unable to determine the extent of the problem, contact a professional, who can help you protect your family.
  • Remove, clean or discard affected materials. To get rid of mold, wash it off materials that can be effectively cleaned, such as hard surfaces. Use detergent and warm water. Dry the surface completely. If the materials cannot be cleaned or are too damaged to reuse, discard them. Porous materials, like ceiling tiles, likely cannot be cleaned thoroughly and must be discarded.3
  • Protect occupants and workers during the cleanup process. At minimum, wear an N-95 mask , disposable gloves and goggles. Workplace cleanup requires that the N-95 mask be professionally fitted.3

If water build up was caused by sewage, floods or other contaminated water, call a professional.

For more information on guidelines for safely cleaning up mold, visit the EPA’s mold clean up site.

  • References
  • Institute of Medicine .Damp Indoor Spaces and Health. National Academies Press. Washington, DC. 2004.

  • Is Spending Lots Of Time In Damp Indoor Environments Bad For Lung Health

    Research has shown that living, working or going to school in a damp indoor environment can cause a number of problems.

    These could include:

    • Asthma – flare-ups for people that already have the condition and possibly the onset of asthma

    • Cough

    • Wheeze

    • Catching colds or the flu

    • Catching chest infections that are caused by breathing in tiny pieces of moulds

    • Being short of breath or finding it hard to breathe

    • Rhinitis – swelling of the lining of the nose, causing sneezing and a runny or blocked nose

    • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis – when the tissue in your lungs has an allergic reaction to a substance you breathe in and becomes inflamed . It is, however, quite rare to get this condition because of a damp indoor environment.

    • House dust mites also thrive in warm, damp environments, and can cause allergic reactions

    People with lung conditions, babies and children, older people and those with weaker immune systems are more at risk.

    It is not clear what it is exactly in the damp and mould that causes lung health problems – but there are steps you can take that have been proven to reduce symptoms and protect lung health.

    When I react to mould, I firstly move away from the source. Then I take a significant dose of a steroid and my inhaler to help with my breathlessness.

    Nona, Italy

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    Getting A Diagnosis For Mold Sickness

    While symptoms to mold exposure are not uncommon , many health care professionals struggle to pinpoint the cause behind these symptoms.

    Often only a few people or one person and not everyone, in a home or workplace experience symptoms. This is frustrating and confusing for the sick person. When their doctors cant find any reason for the illness, they can start to feel like the sickness is all in their mind.

    People suffering from mold exposure can often be misdiagnosed with disorders such as:

    • Depression

    Dealing With Health Problems Resulting From Mold In Lungs

    What does mold do to your lungs

    If you’re experiencing health problems you think may be due to mold, see your doctor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests seeing your primary care physician, who may then refer you to a specialist based on your symptoms. For an infection in your lungs, you may need to see a pulmonologist. Your doctor may also refer you to an allergist or an infectious disease specialist.

    In addition to getting medical treatment, you’ll need to have the mold removed from your home in order to recover from mold-related respiratory illness. If you continue to be exposed to mold, you will most likely continue to be ill and your condition may even worsen, despite medical treatment.

    If you’re experiencing symptoms of mold-related illness, it is recommended that you not handle the mold removal job in your home yourself, since doing so will further expose you to mold that can make you worse. Instead, you should arrange for someone else to do the work for you. Follow this link to find out how to schedule a free consultation with an experienced mold removal professional in your own home. They will inspect your home, and explain what needs to be done to remove the mold and prevent it from returning.

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