Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How Can Mold Make You Sick

How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last

How Mold Can Make You Sick

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.

How Best To Remove Mold From Your Home

Here are some tips for how to remove mold from your home and prevent exposure:

  • Check your home for places where mold might lurk, such as under sinks and in basement walls. Things to look for include visible mold growth, water leaks, and water seepage.
  • Promptly fix any leaks you find, including leaky roofs and pipes.
  • Dry damp surfaces, such as shower stalls, immediately after use.
  • Control your homes humidity level with a dehumidifier.
  • Keep kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms well ventilated.
  • If flooding occurs, clean and dry the flooded area as quickly as possible.

Since mold can grow under carpets and behind walls, moldy homes dont always have obvious mold patches.

Mold smell is unmistakable but doesnt always accompany mold. If you suspect that your home is harboring mold but cant find the source, a home inspection will help.

What Is House Mold

Have you started to notice signs of mold growth in your home allergy-like symptoms, discoloration on surfaces, or even the distinct smell of mustiness in the air? These can all be signs of potential house mold growth within this indoor environment, and it is important not to ignore these indicators if present in your home. Household mold is a fungus that is versatile, allowing it the ability to grow in both indoor and outdoor environments where conditions for its growth and development are optimal. According to Medical News Today, mold can enter into your home through the air or even by attaching to objects or people that are brought into this environment, and thus allowing it to enter and grow rapidly on surfaces.

This type of fungus will spread rapidly throughout the indoor airspace through tiny spores that are unknowingly floating within this air in your home. These spores are called mold spores, these spores are minuscule reproductive seeds that move in the air in pursuit to attach to surfaces and begin its growth and development furthering the mold invasion in the environment. As mold spores travel in the air, the health risks become heightened since these small spores can easily become ingested and/or inhaled into the body, reaching deep into the recesses of the lungs and potentially into the bloodstream this can cause significant health issues quickly.

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Watch For Water Damage

Many property holders dont see rooftop breakage or water entering around windows before the harm is done. So, take a look at your home during and after serious storms to discover any spots that water might be entering and causing structural harm or endured materials. Water damage will prompt mold growth whenever left unchecked. This goes for cellars and upper rooms, no doubt.

Q: How To Know If Mold Is Making You Sick

Can House Mold Make 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.

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How To Detect And Remove Mold From Your Home

Mold is likely to appear in damp areas of your home, including your kitchen, bathrooms, or basement. While some mold is easy to spot, it will quite often grow behind walls or underneath surfaces like wallpaper. Mold has a strong, musty smell, so when it comes to finding mold, its better to follow your nose.

If you find mold in your home, or you suspect there may be mold in your home causing unwanted health effects, call a mold removal and remediation specialists.

Water Damage Advisor

The Water Damage Advisor content team is made up of multiple contributors, writers, and editors. We are your resource hub for anything related to water damage, mold and restoration needs that you may be challenged with facing.

Other Aspects That May Increase Mold Impact Include:

  • Other microbial infections

  • Nutrient deficiency

  • Genetics MTHFR, HLA-DR mutation

  • Level of alcohol and drug use

  • Other autoimmune or degenerative diseases

  • Method of exposure: Inhalation and ingestion are the most common

When mycotoxins invade your body, they can harm your cellular health by interfering with pathways and damaging your cells’ structure. They cause oxidative stress, apoptosis, cell death, DNA damage, and cell cycle arrest. When your cells don’t work correctly, it can lead to a series of problems -acute and chronic.

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Can Mold Make You Sick While Pregnant

Can Mold Make You Sick While Pregnant? Yes, mold has the potential to make you sick regardless of your age, sex, and pre-existing conditions. Prolonged exposure to mold spores is known to cause long-term allergic responses with multiple different places where symptoms can occur: skin, respiratory pathways, lungs, eyes.

What Are The Treatments For Mold Exposure


The first step in treating problems with mold exposure is to avoid the environment where the triggers are located. In short, the mold problem needs to be taken care of completely. If not, you will simply be managing the symptoms. It is also difficult to completely avoid any mold exposure, which means some medications or therapies will ease the symptoms rather than offer a cure. However, in conjunction with your physician, you should be able to enjoy an improved quality of life once you have had the mold removed and your immune system set back on track. Here are some of the treatments or medications that are used to address mold exposure.

Lifestyle changes may also need to be made for an individual to recover from mold poison. The primary consideration is removing the source of the toxin, either through mold remediation and cleanup or by taking yourself out of the environment. If you have found mold in your home, dont delay in having it removed. With a serious allergy to the substance, it isnt advised that you undertake the cleaning on your own. Professional help is advised if you want to thoroughly remove the contaminant without making the problem worse.

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Can Mold In Air Vents Make You Sick

Respiratory Issues Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath could all be symptoms you experience if there is decaying vermin or mold in your air vents. The American Lung Association warns that poor indoor air quality can contribute to the spread of bacteria, infections, and even lung disease in extreme cases.

How Can I Prevent A Relapse

Mold spores can be found just about anywhere, whether inside or outside. However, you can take preventative measures to ensure they dont breed into larger, toxic colonies. If there are water leaks in or around the house, have them repaired immediately. Dark, wet environments and plenty of organic material create the perfect home for mold growth. Keep your attic and basement or crawl space dry and free of moisture. Consider bringing in an environmental professional and having an ERMI mold test done every so often to evaluate your home for the presence of mold. There are DIY kits that can be purchased, but these results arent always accurate.

If you suspect that you have been exposed to mold, either because you have found mold in your home or you have had nagging symptoms similar to the ones discussed, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. As you make a plan to remove mold from your home and prevent future relapses, team to have the mold problem removed.

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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

You Might Be Eating Infected Grains

? Mold Can Make You Sick, ¿how?

People have known about the nasty effects of ingesting mold since the ancient times. In the Middle Ages, there was a massive outbreak of ergotism caused by eating contaminated breads. These people suffered gangrene, headaches, vomiting, and all sorts of other side effects because of moldy bread. While this strain is rare today, the WHO warns of other molds that can cause illness and even death if you accidentally eat them.

The Rx: If the food smells musty or moldy, throw it out.

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Stopping The Symptoms Of Black Mold

There are two things that need to be done in order to stop the symptoms that are occurring:

First you should consult with your doctor and let them know that you have been exposed to black mold. Most doctors are familiar with the dangers of black mold, and can prescribe treatment options for each of the symptoms that are occurring.

The second step is to get rid of the black mold problem. Going to the doctor will not do any good if you don’t eliminate the mold. Continued exposure will cause your symptoms to get progressively worse.

Be Aware Of Odd Smells

If you begin to smell strange scents, you should look for mold. Smelling implies duplicating by delivering spores, and breathing in these spores could be destructive. Remember that mold develops where water is available. So the best places to look include around defective A/C units or behind fridges.

If you discover mold, its essential not to deal with it straightforwardly. A few molds can be poisonous and cause skin issues if you come into contact.

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Mold In The Workplace

Some workplaces, such as poorly ventilated factories, greenhouses, and vineyards, may house large amounts of mold.

Any workplace that contains lots of old paper products, such as used book stores, may be a source of mold. Paper contains cellulose, an organic food source that certain mold species thrive upon. Old books thatve been housed in humid conditions may be filled with millions of mold spores.

Farms and stables may also harbor large amounts of moldy hay. Mold toxins often develop in hay after a delayed harvest. Hay that contains mold is dangerous for humans to breathe in and for horses to eat.

How Safe Is It To Eat Moldy Bread

Mold Can Make You Sick After Floods

While its never completely safe to eat moldy bread, the risks are fortunately not that high and not that serious in general cases. For those with severe allergies, you can experience more significant health effects, although this is relatively rare.

The greatest danger is with people who frequently eat moldy bread. The toxins produced by mold can increase your risk of developing serious health problems. This is why its best to avoid moldy foods in general.

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Your Pet Bowl Isn’t Much Better

You put a lot of thought into what your pet eatsbut what about the bowls the eat from? One study found that 45% of all pet bowls had mold growing on them, compared with 27% of toilet seats. So, it’s actually healthier for your pooch to drink from the toilet than eat their dinner from their bowl.

The Rx: You wash your own plates every time you eatdo the same for your pets.

What Should You Do If You Think You Have A Sick Building

Before you assume its your building making you sick, get some more information. Talk to your coworkers and other building occupants. If a number of them are experiencing similar health problems that only occur when you are in the building, theres a good chance that youve got a sick building and that you are suffering from Sick Building Syndrome.

If this is the case, report the situation to human resources, the office manger, or landlord, and request a thorough environmental health inspection. An independent testing company, like RTK Environmental, will conduct indoor air quality testing to determine if mold, VOCs, radon, or other harmful toxins are present in your environment. You may also want to see your physician to rule out any other possible medical conditions. Be sure to tell them if the symptoms occur when you are in a specific location. If you would like to schedule an indoor air quality inspection or have questions about sick building syndrome, call us today at 392-6468.

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Diagnosis Of Mold Toxicity

The conventional medical community is slow to acknowledge that chronic mold-induced illness is common. However, many functional and foundational medicine practitioners have expertise in mold toxicity and CIRS.

A common and simple test for mold toxicity is a urine mycotoxin test. Excreting an elevated level of mycotoxins is a sign of mold illness. Still, if your body is holding onto these toxins, your level may be falsely low.

Some functional medicine doctors also check specific immune system and inflammatory markers via blood tests. Examples are C4a, TGF Beta-1, and MMP-9. Elevated levels of these markers dont prove you have mold illness, but they contribute to the evidence.

Urine mycotoxin and inflammatory markers are best considered in the context of other signs and symptoms of mold illness. These include the following five areas:

The more of these criteria you meet, the more likely it is you have mold-related toxicity. And if you meet all five criteria, its more likely your mold illness is advanced and longstanding.

For more information, watch this short video on mold toxicity testing and its availability. The video mentions two labs that offer urine mycotoxin tests. These are Real Time Laboratories and The Great Plains Laboratory.

How To Prevent Sickness From Mold

Black Mold: What Is It and Can It Make You Sick?

“To avoid basement mold making you sick, the most important thing is to deal with it immediately,” said McBride. “And keep in mind that molds don’t only grow in basements, they can thrive unseen behind baseboard heating, between walls and in attics. Basically, anywhere moisture can be present, which is why heating, ventilation and air condition systems are notorious for creating mold issues.”

And because mold can grow within 24 hours of an area becoming wet, McBride suggests reducing the risk of long-term exposure by tackling the source of any excess moisture in your home whether thats condensation or a leak. When you know what’s causing the damp problem, you can carry out the appropriate home repairs.

You may need to get a professional to remove mold for you, but if it’s only a small amount you could opt to deal with it yourself. However, if you do decide to tackle mold patches yourself, be sure to protect your health from toxic mold microbes by wearing an N-95 mask , disposable gloves and goggles.

Fungicides can be just as toxic as mold, so I would use an everyday household detergent to clean the area, McBride told Live Science. Youll also need to contain and decontaminate any items that have been affected. For example, storage boxes, furniture or documents, in order to reduce the spread of toxic microbes. You can use a dehumidifier to help prevent mold, however, these can be susceptible to growing mold themselves, so be sure to maintain it very closely.

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Different Types Of Bread Mold

Rhizopus Stolonifer

Rhizopus stolonifera is also known as black bread mold. This is the most common type. It may also appear in fruits and vegetables. It will first appear as a fuzzy green or blue patch on a surface. If left alone, the patches will develop a black center. This type of mold is not dangerous but may cause mild indigestion.


Penicillium is actually a group of bread molds, although they are all very similar. This type of mold is used in some cheese products, and some species of it are used to create the antibiotic penicillin.

Penicillium will show up as white, blue, or gray patches. Certain types of Penicillium could produce mycotoxins, which may lead to chronic illnesses over time. The side effects of occasional ingestion tend to be mild.


Cladosporium is a fungus that is most irritating to anyone with allergies. If you continue to be exposed to Cladosporium, you may have sneezing or wheezing.

Cladosporium appears on the surface of the crust as a dark patch that can be green or black. What makes it noticeable is that it has a strong smell. Unless you have allergies, you likely wont be harmed by eating it.

Watery Or Irritated Eyes

When allergens are present, the body releases histamines as part of its immune response. This histamine release is what causes the eyes to water excessively when exposed to toxins from mold.

This reaction from histamine may be the bodys way of flushing out allergens and toxins. It can serve as a warning to you that your environment may contain dangerous black mold.

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