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.
The Dangers Of Constant Exposure To Mold
There are many dangers associated with constant exposure to mold.
For one, prolonged mold exposure can cause respiratory problems, including asthma and other respiratory infections.
Additionally, constant mold exposure is likely to increase mold sensitivity and allergic reactions.
Lastly, if the mold exposure comes from toxic molds, more serious illnesses may result.
More recent studies are showing that children who have prolonged mold exposure are more likely to develop asthma, especially if they are already genetically susceptible to it.
Eye Infections Related To Toxic Black Mold:
Eye disorders caused by mold exposure include conjunctivitis, which is also known as pink eye. This eye infection causes a reddish or pinkish color to appear in the eye. It can also cause discharge from the eyes, watery eyes, and sensitivity to light.
Another common eye disorder caused by molds is known as keratitis. This disorder infects the cornea or the clear tissue that covers the iris and pupil. If the eye is treated without delay, it can save the eye from permanent vision loss. In case of vision loss, the only way to restore vision would be by undergoing a corneal transplant.
Endophthalmitis is yet another eye disorder that causes inflammation in the fluid-filled spaces of the eye and can lead to loss of vision. Perhaps the most severe of eye disorders, Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis causes swelling around the eyes and nose. A severe headache, vision problems, excruciating pain and sinus pressure, are part of its symptoms. The severity of this eye disorder is due to its ability to affect and eventually damage the brain.
The intraocular inflammation that affects the vitreous and anterior chamber of the eye is known as Endophthalmitis. In most cases, endophthalmitis results from contact with a bacterial organism such as a mold spore. Endophthalmitis, which is also referred to as fungal mold, can be divided into two categories which are the less common endogenous infections and the more common exogenous infections .
Recommended Reading: How To Get Mold Out Of Outdoor Carpet
Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Symptoms of mold exposure can include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
- Sneezing / Sneezing fits
Health effects linking to asthma
Adverse respiratory health effects are associated with occupancy in buildings with moisture and mold damage. Infants may develop respiratory symptoms due to exposure to a specific type of fungal mold, called Penicillium. Signs that an infant may have mold-related respiratory problems include a persistent cough and wheeze. Increased exposure increases the probability of developing respiratory symptoms during their first year of life. Studies have shown that a correlation exists between the probability of developing asthma and increased exposure to Penicillium. The levels are deemed ‘no mold’ to ‘low level’, from ‘low’ to ‘intermediate’, and ‘intermediate’ to ‘high’.
Mold exposures have a variety of health effects depending on the person. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Exposure to mold can cause several health issues such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, cough, and wheezing, as well as skin irritation in some cases. Exposure to mold may also cause heightened sensitivity depending on the time and nature of exposure. People at higher risk for mold allergies are people with chronic lung illnesses and weak immune systems, which can often result in more severe reactions when exposed to mold.
Can Black Mold Cause Autism
Compared to the average 6.8 abnormalities displayed by the eight boys with no previous mold-exposure history, the second group averages 12.2 abnormalities between them. While mold might not directly cause autism, it could be a factor as to why someone can develop autism.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Tested For Black Mold Exposure
Final Word On Black Mold: Best Avoidedbut Not Deadly
As for black molds toxic reputation, those with immune suppression, asthma, or other respiratory problems are most at risk of feeling ill.
Its not likely that youll die from black mold poisoning because its just not that toxic. That said, you should act quickly if you find it in your home. The good news is its treatable, removable, and preventable.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Check For Mold In The Walls
Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
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.
How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
Are you sick and suspect it might be from mold?
Determining whether exposure to mold is making you sick isnt always easy.
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression.
Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure. Many people suffering from mold illness struggle to get a proper diagnosis and investigation.
Its common to think my house is clean it cant be mold! However, mold comes in many forms. In this article, well share what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
Also Check: How To Remove Mold From Air Conditioner
Should I Move Out If I Have Black Mold
Ultimately, you should always prioritize your health above all else. If you have black mold in your house that is contained in a small enough area to be sufficiently removed, its likely that this will solve the issue .
Black mold is, however, a fungus that spreads and grows through its microscopic spores that permeate beyond where we can see. One of the trickiest aspects about this problem is that often people dont even realize that its growing inside their home until they start wheezing. And even if you clean it off, no longer seeing it in your home might not be enough to ensure your safety.
If you have a respiratory condition or simply dont feel comfortable regularly occupying a space that could be fostering black mold, either employ a removal expert to get rid of it or ask your landlord/building manager to get it removed. If you cannot get it removed, you may want to consider moving house for the sake of your health.
Who Is At Risk For Mold Toxicity
While anyone can become ill from exposure to mold and its mycotoxins, some are more susceptible than others.
People who already have allergies or asthma can be more severely affected by mold toxicity than those who do not have allergies.
Also, people who are already ill, have immune suppression, or who have respiratory illnesses are more likely to have noticeable and intense symptoms resulting from mold exposure.
Symptoms of mold toxicity are relatively persistent and should not be ignored.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Wet Wood To Prevent Mold
What Does Black Mold Look Like
The appearance of black mold can vary depending on the species, but it is usually a black to dark brown or greenish-black slimy film that grows on organic matter. It is often found in damp and dark places such as basements, bathrooms, and crawlspaces. Its easy to confuse black mold with other types of mold that you might encounter in your home.
Here are some signs that indicate youve got black mold:
- Unpleasant odors coming from your walls or other surfaces
- Moldy patches on walls or ceilings
- Mold growth on woodwork or other building materials
- Musty smells in different rooms of your house
How To Get Rid Of Mold
There are plenty of DIY mold removal options for you on the web some more effective than others. These may suffice if the problem is minor. After DIY treatment, it may be good to have an air quality test taken to determine the effectiveness of your work.
If the problem is more than minor, DIY methods will likely only remove the appearance of mold for a short time. If the problem is more serious, the best approach is to hire a certified and reputable local mold remediation company.
Most mold remediation companies will recommend demolition of the infected part of your home to get rid of mold, so keep in mind that you might have additional expenses to restore a portion of your house. Besides that, the process might take several days.
If you are looking into demolition-free mold removal, then look into the companies that use a dry fog technique. When properly done, this method not only kills mold without demolition to your home, but it also takes less than a day to complete.
Read Also: Why Does My Toilet Grow Mold
I Thought My House Was Perfect But The Home Inspector Found Mold Will I Lose The Sale
Its possible and probably likely. Mold is a deal breaker for most buyers. However, it doesnt have to be. Take the following actions to save the sale, or attract the next buyer.
Your Number One priority is to get your own comprehensive mold and air quality inspection performed. Maybe the problem is very small and you could DIY a solution. Maybe it takes over the entire downstairs! You wont know without your own comprehensive mold inspection report.
Do you know what to ask mold inspection and removal companies before you hire them? What do mold removal companies really do? Especially if you live outside our service area, check out our post: How to Choose the Best Mold Removal Company. We let you know all the questions to ask.
For Help With Mold Removal
If mold is making you ill, we recommend arranging for someone else to handle the mold removal process for you because the process would further expose you to mold spores that could make your condition worse. You can schedule a free in-home consultation with an experienced mold removal professional to discuss the work that needs to be done in your home. Even if you decide to handle the work yourself, you can benefit from some expert advice and theres no cost to you. Find a list of qualified mold removal professionals in your area by following the link provided.
Also Check: How To Stop Mold Smell In Basement
Recommended Reading: How To Self Test For Mold In House
Can Air Purifiers Reduce Mold Spores
To really protect yourself from the effects of breathing black mold spores, you have to address it in the air. The best way to reduce and eliminate black mold spores from your indoor air is by running a high-quality air purifier for mold. Not sure where to look? Weve got you covered.
At Air Oasis, we create superior air purifiers by utilizing the top purification technologies: activated carbon filtration, HEPA filtration, UV light and two types of ionization. In a 2018 study, our iAdaptAir® was able to reduce the airborne fungus Aspergillus niger by 99.9% after 10 minutes.
When youre ready to get serious about mold elimination, let our top-of-the-line air purifiers do the heavy lifting. By reducing and eliminating mold spores in the air, our air purifiers can prevent mold from recolonizing and help you to breathe safer. If you have questions about our air purifiers, reach out to us online or give us a call at .
What Are The Signs Of Mold In Your House
Musty smells are a tell-tale sign of mold. Another common indicator is visible signs of water damage.
As mentioned earlier, mold grows fast. Within 24 hours of a water leak, or a flood, mold will begin to take hold. This mold can grow on anything thats humid walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, and even wet laundry.
When there is a chance of mold, its important to have a professional in to test. Professionals qualified to do environmental investigations can:
- Check the surfaces of your house for mold
- Test the air for spores
- Help you to identify sources of moisture
- Identify where the mold is growing and help you decontaminate your house
- Use natural enzymes to kill mold spores
If you dont get rid of all sources of mold, you risk getting sick from it.
If youve encountered mold, either from a water-damaged building or contaminated foods, youve likely encountered mycotoxinstoxic byproducts of mold. Theyre common environmental toxins, and they have adverse effects on many body systems, including the gastrointestinal tract.
While youve probably heard about the respiratory symptoms that can follow mold exposure, research indicates that mycotoxins can cause serious problems for your gut, as well. Read on to learn how mycotoxins impact gut health and the microbiota and what you can do to help restore your gut health if youve been exposed.
Also Check: How To Clean Mold Off Canvas
Can Mold Kill You
Often times, when clients ask us this question, theyre not actually inquiring about the dangerous mold strains like Aspergillus fumigatus orCandida auris that have been known to cause serious fungal infections, especially in immunocompromised people. What they really want to know is whether or not household moldthat is, the stuff they smell in their carpets or notice growing on their wallsis truly life threatening, or if they can ignore it.
As with nearly all things in the mold testing and remediation biz, the answer to that question is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no.
Can Mold Exposure Cause Diarrhea
tract and not respiratory system. Gut related problems from mold toxin exposure are common. The principal route of exposure from breathing mold toxins is via the gut and not the lungs. Subsequently, a common result of elevated mycotoxin exposure is damage to gut microflora.
Also Know, how long does it take to detox from mold exposure? Some people get well very quickly after removing the source of mold toxins, just by getting into a clean environment and avoiding re-exposure. Others can take over a year to recover fully.
Thereof, what are the symptoms of mold exposure?
If they come into contact with mold, they may experience symptoms, such as:
- a runny or blocked nose.
- watery, red eyes.
Can mold cause headaches and fatigue?
Symptoms of Mold Exposure. Fatigue and Weakness On their own, fatigue and weakness arent enough to be symptoms of mold exposure. Mold releases spores into the atmosphere that trigger problems in those sensitive to such growths.So maybe you also have recurring infections of the respiratory tract or the sinuses.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Test For Mold Toxicity In Your Body
Harmful Side Effects Of Black Mold
Black mold, also referred to as mold or mildew, is a type of fungus that produces a fluffy or powdery growth on surfaces 4.Black mold is able to grow on many household surfaces, such as carpets, cloth, leather, wood, insulation and food 4. Exposure to black mold can lead to several health problems, which vary according to the method of contact 34. Symptoms of black mold exposure can be classified into four categories: allergies, irritations, infections and toxicities 4.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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.
You May Like: Does Vinegar And Water Kill Mold