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.
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.
Quines Tienen El Mayor Riesgo De Presentar Problemas De Salud Asociados A La Exposicin Al Moho
Las personas con alergias pueden ser más sensibles al moho. Las personas inmunodeprimidas o que tengan una enfermedad pulmonar subyacente son más susceptibles a las infecciones por hongos. Las personas con enfermedades respiratorias crónicas podrían tener dificultad para respirar. Las personas inmunodeprimidas tienen un mayor riesgo de presentar infecciones provocadas por el moho. Si usted o los miembros de su familia tienen estas afecciones, deberían consultar a un médico calificado para obtener un diagnóstico y tratamiento.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Black Mold On Drywall
What Is Toxic Mold Syndrome
Lately, there has been a lot of conversation online about so-called toxic mold syndrome. The idea is that mold is responsible for a host of maladies that cant otherwise be explained, from fatigue to nausea to cognitive dysfunction. However, there is no evidence to prove this link, says Rampur.
I do often get patients thinking they could be allergic to mold, but these are not the symptoms of true allergies, she says. There is no proof that mold can cause all these immune dysfunctions. Vague symptoms like these are always a challenge, but most tests will come back negative for mold allergies.
I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family
There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.
Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.
There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
Recommended Reading: Mold On Shower Ceiling
Testing For Mold Toxicity
If you find mold in your home or workplace, it is important to test for mold toxicity in your body. Oftentimes, people who are struggling to get healthy , are dealing with mold toxicity.
Mold toxins increase the burden on the liver and create chronic inflammation in the body. These toxins are highly indicated in neurological disorders and symptoms like brain fog, depression, and anxiety. One very effective option for testing mold toxins in the body is the GPL-MycoTOX Profile.
Quick Read With Spring Comes Mold
- Your bathroom, kitchen or basement are probably crawling in it right about now.
- Mold is not only gross to look atit can cause infections and allergy symptoms in people who are allergic to mold or have a compromised immune system.
- The best way to avoid mold issues to prevent it from thriving in your home.
At the tail end of a long rainy season, the Pacific Northwest is rewarded with cherry blossoms, camellias and magnolias in bloom. Its not all beautiful flowers, bright green grass and magical-looking moss, though. Rainy season also creates the perfect environment for moldsometimes lots of itto invade our homes.
Mold thrives in moist environments, such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements. And its more likely to come out during Seattles fall, winter and early spring months when its wet out and there is a more dramatic temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors, explains Brandon Kemperman, an occupational health and safety specialist for Environmental Health & Safety at the University of Washington. When its chilly and damp outside and toasty inside, condensation can form on surfaces in your homeespecially if there isnt adequate ventilationthat are ideal breeding grounds for mold.
Not only is mold less appealing to the eye than spring blooms, it also can destroy your belongings and may contribute to nagging allergy symptoms in some people.
Also Check: Can You Kill Mold With Uv Light
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.
When Should You Test Your Home For Mold Exposure
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , if visible mold is present on inspection, testing is usually unnecessary. There are no Environmental Protection Agency or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room complies with any health regulations concerning mold exposure. Likewise, the CDC does not recommend routine sampling and testing of mold in the home. Health officials haven’t defined tolerable or acceptable limits of mold exposure for humans, and since individuals vary in their susceptibility to mold, testing cannot reliably predict the degree of health risks from any occurrence of mold.
When mold has previously been identified and cleanup procedures have been undertaken, sampling and testing may be carried out if necessary by qualified professionals to determine that adequate cleaning of a building has occurred.
You May Like: How To Remove Mold From Shower Ceiling
Whos At Greater Risk Of Mold Exposure
Some people are more sensitive to mold, whether this is because of their genetic makeup or the current state of their health. Individuals with already-compromised immune systems infants and small children the elderly and asthmatics are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure.
Remember that reactions to mold are uniquely individual, since no two immune systems are alike.
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.
You May Like: What Causes Mold On Ceiling In Bathroom
A More Clinical Description Of Health Effects
Molds produce acute health effects through toxin-induced inflammation, allergy, or infection. There is no information at this time on the effects of chronic, low dose inhalation exposure to mycotoxins.
Toxin-induced inflammation: Repeated or high exposures to airborne mycotoxins can cause mucous membrane irritation characterized by eye, nose and throat irritation . When small diameter spores are inhaled, they may reach the lung alveoli and induce an inflammatory reaction, creating toxic pneumonitis. Severe toxic pneumonitis can cause fever, flu-like symptoms and fatigue . Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a particular form of glaucomatous lung disease, is a syndrome caused by inhalation of large concentrations of dust containing organic material including fungal spores. It is generally an occupational hazard in agriculture, but has been reported in individuals exposed in the home . Other symptoms attributed to mycotoxin or fungal-originating VOCs include headache, dizziness, dermatitis, diarrhea and impaired or altered immune function.
Allergy: Indoor fungal allergens probably affect fewer people than do allergens from cats, mites or cockroaches. Yet a significant proportion of all asthmatics are sensitive to fungi.
Here is more information from the Center for Disease Control :
Mold Could Thrive In Your Home
It is estimated that half of the buildings in the United States may be WDB, meaning water-damaged buildings. Construction techniques in the U.S. turn out to be a feast and buffet for mold and fungal organisms. Our homes here are often built of wood and drywall rather than stone or brick as in Europe. Mold and fungi thrive on drywall, wood, and other soft materials.
Mold thrives in dark and moist environments and doesnt take much water to get the process going. A small drip from a leaky toilet, shower, or sink is all it takes. Small roof leaks are also common causes. If you see a stain on the ceiling or the wall there is very likely an associated hidden mold growth. This is not the type of mold that you see on the shower wall, but rather it is lurking behind the walls and in air ducts, crawl spaces, attics, and other areas.
You May Like: How To Clean Mold From Leather
What Are The Symptoms Of Aspergillosis
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the type of aspergillosis.
Pulmonary aspergillosis might not cause any symptoms, especially in the early stages. If the disease progresses, symptoms may include:
- Coughing, sometimes accompanied by mucus or blood.
- Bloody cough or massive bleeding from the lungs.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis may cause:
- Coughing accompanied by mucus or blood.
- Wheezing or worsening of asthma.
- Increased mucus or sputum secretions.
- Inability to tolerate exercise or asthma brought on by exercise.
Many patients with asthma or cystic fibrosis already experience respiratory symptoms similar to those caused by an allergic reaction, so it may be difficult to detect ABPA in these situations. Sometimes, a worsening of symptoms such as coughing and wheezing is the only sign that the person is experiencing an allergic reaction.
If the allergic reaction recurs over time, and the lungs become inflamed repeatedly, damage to the lungs and central airways can occur. Recurrent allergic reactions may cause scarring of lung tissue and widening of the central airways, a condition known as bronchiectasis.
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
Also Check: How Many Parts Bleach To Water To Kill Mold
Un Laboratorio Calificado De Anlisis Ambiental Tom Muestras De Moho En Mi Casa Y Me Dio Los Resultados Pueden Los Cdc Interpretar Esos Resultados
No se han establecido estándares para determinar cuál es la cantidad aceptable, tolerable o normal de moho. El análisis de muestras de moho puede ser caro, y no hay estándares establecidos para juzgar cuál es y cuál no es una cantidad aceptable de moho. Lo mejor que puede hacer es eliminar el moho y hacer lo posible para prevenir su crecimiento en el futuro. Si usted decide pagar por el análisis ambiental de una muestra de moho, antes de que lo haga, pídales a los consultores encargados del análisis que establezcan los criterios para la interpretación de los resultados de las pruebas. Ellos deben decirle con anticipación lo que van a hacer o el tipo de recomendaciones que harán con base en esos resultados. Los resultados del análisis para su caso específico no pueden interpretarse sin hacer una inspección física al área contaminada o sin tener en consideración las características de la edificación y los factores que causaron la condición actual.
How To Prevent Mold Growth
As mentioned earlier, mold is everywhere, including outside. Which is why Industrial Hygienist always tests outside the affected structure to get a baseline level of what is acceptable inside a structure. It is impossible to completely eliminate mold from your home. However, you can dramatically reduce the amount of mold and future growth of mold in your home by reducing and controlling the moisture.Some ways to control moisture in your home include:
Monitor humidity: make sure your home is dry. Ideal humidity levels to prevent mold growth are at or below 50%.
Use exhaust fans and vents: Turn on exhausts in your kitchen, bathroom, and the laundry room, especially when cooking or taking a shower. If you dont have an exhaust fan, open the nearest window to provide ventilation.
Clean up spills immediately: Spills provide a breeding ground for mold. The longer you let them sit, the better chance moisture has to soak into carpets and floorboards.
Fix leaks: Leaking pipes are a leading cause of mold buildup, especially in bathrooms and basements. Take note of areas with plumbing in your home and check them regularly. Fix any leaks immediately.
Run HVAC: Your HVAC acts like a dehumidifier removing moisture from the air, make sure you keep your HVAC system running year round.Mold and Your Health
Don’t Miss: How To Get Mold Off Shower Grout
How Toxic Mold Affects Your Pets And You
Toxic molds can cause disease and death in all living organisms such as plants, trees, insects, humans, and even domesticated animals like your cat and or dog.
Animals often suffer from the same symptoms as humans do when they are exposed to toxic mold. Symptoms such as allergic reactions like a constant runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, sinus infections, asthma, open sores that wont heal and itching and scratching when no fleas are present. They can also have other serious health symptoms such as inflammation, joint pain, chronic fatigue, depression, fungal skin diseases such as ringworm and many other life-threatening diseases.
The American Veterinary Medical Association lists fungi has one of the main causes of illnesses and diseases for pets such as dogs. The AVMA had stated
Fungal organisms in the soil can infect dogs when they eat or sniff contaminated soil. Dogs can also be infected through the skin, especially through a skin wound. The types of fungus seen vary throughout the U.S.: histoplasmosis is more common in the Eastern and Central U.S. blastomycosis is more common in the Southeast, Southcentral and Midwest regions cryptococcosis is more common in the Pacific Northwest region and coccidioidomycosis is more common in the Southwest U.S. Histoplasmosis can be spread by bird or bat droppings.
Mader then requested that the pet owners have their home tested for mold.
- Print Friendly