Tuesday, April 23, 2024

How Much Mold Is Too Much

Protect Others And The Building

How Much Is Too Much Mold In Our Schools?

If you decide to clean the mold yourself, it is important to protect yourself and the other people in the building. When cleaning a large amount of mold, consider the following:

  • Remove furnishings and items from the work area.
  • Enclose and seal mold material in plastic before carrying them through the home.
  • Cover air supply and return vents in the work area.
  • Use a fan to pull contaminated air out of the work area and exhaust it outdoors.
  • Consider renting an air scrubber to operate in the area .
  • Remove the outer layer of work clothing inside the work area and wash separately, or bag and discard the clothing.

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
  • Cough
  • 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 âno moldâ to âlow levelâ, from âlowâ to âintermediateâ, and âintermediateâ to âhighâ.

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.

The Toxic Effects Of Mycotoxins On Humans Sheep & Possibly On Pets

Mycotoxins are produced by some common molds found in buildings, including Aspergillus,Penicillium, Fusarium, Stachybotrys, and even Alternaria. Common classificationgroups of mycotoxins include aflatoxins, fumonisins, trichothecens, and ergotalkaloids. Arora has pointed out that the following conditions are necessaryfor mycotoxins to affect humans:

  • The right environment must be present for mycotoxin-producing molds to actually produce mycotoxins. For building occupants whose physician has tested and confirmed high trichothecene levels, the trichothecene exposure can often be traced to some species of Aspergillus or Penicillum but in a significant percentage of cases we have investigated, trichothecene levels correlated with the presence of a significant Stachybotrys chartarum mold reservoir. S chartarum is not normally airborne but becomes so during demolition
  • The person has to absorb a toxic dose of the mycotoxin over a sufficiently short time period. ” Very little is known about what constitutes a toxic dose for humans — see Stachybotrys chartarum mycotoxin discussion below.
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    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.

    Different Levels Of Mold Exposure

    How Much Mold Is Too Much Mold In A House?
    • Mild exposure

    In this level, the effects of mold exposure are not that serious. Mild exposure mainly occurs when non-allergic people are exposed to little amounts of mold. Individuals can be exposed when they are weeding their backyard, working in the kitchen gardens, or doing other activities that might cause exposure. Mold that causes mild exposure could be growing on wooden materials, walls, and other structures or even in moist areas below leaking taps. For sensitive individuals, mold exposure can cause stiffness in the nose, irritable eyes, sneezing, skin irritation, coughing and sometimes wheezing.

    • Severe Exposure

    Severe exposure happens when an allergic or an individual sensitive to mold comes into constant contact with mold for a long period. In the year 2004, the Institute of Medicine found enough evidence to link indoor mold exposure to respiratory problems within the upper tract system in people who are allergic and sensitive to mold. Such problems include coughing, wheezing, and other allergic reactions.

    Healthy children were also found to develop shortness of breath and respiratory illnesses and asthma in susceptible people when exposed to damp indoor environments. However, there was no substantial evidence to link mold exposure with adverse effects such as acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants, memory loss, or lethargy.

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    How To Remove Mold From A Crawl Space Or Basement

    When it comes to mold, preventing moisture buildup is a top priority. If there any leaks in your home, theyll promote more mold growth. Accordingly, you want to repair any leaks immediately.

    Youll also want to clean your kitchen trashcan regularly. Kitchen wastebaskets are fertile for mold growth. You may also want to think about using a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in your home.

    If you only have a small amount of mold growth, you should clean it right away. Youll want to wear rubber gloves to avoid a reaction to the mold.

    You must kill mold rather than simply wiping it away. You can use pure white vinegar to kill the mold in your kitchen and bathroom. Bleach also works well for killing mold.If you use bleach, you want to mix one cup of bleach with every gallon of water. Youd then apply it to the surface without rinsing.

    However, you could find that mold comes back repeatedly. In that case, youll need to seek the help of a professional mold removal service as soon as possible.

    A professional remediator can conduct a thorough basement or crawl space inspection. Theyll help you find the issue thats causing mold growth. Furthermore, a remediator has special mold removal equipment.

    You may need a mold inspection if you notice a musty smell in your home no matter how many times you clean. You may also notice cupping or sloping floors

    How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes

    Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.

    Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

    • Controlling humidity levels
    • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
    • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
    • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

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    Sheep Circling Disease And Toxic Mold Exposure

    A fellow aerobiologist who also has experience raising sheep, Larry Syzdek informed us of a mold-related illness well known to occur in sheep which Syzdek explained has occurred in his experience in sheep exposed to moldy straw, called in lay terms, “sheep circling disease”

    The author of this web article, has described field observations of dogs appearing to exhibit strange behavior (running in circles, falling down, disorientation, and occasional uncharacteristic aggressive behavior, and in one case, fatal internal bleeding after severe exposure to S. chartarum during a building demolition.

    These animals were pets of clients whose homes were severely mold-contaminated.

    With Syzdek, we have speculated on the possibility that other animals than sheep may be similar affected by exposure to some indoor molds and may be exhibiting behavior similar to that caused by Listgeriosis though the etiology of this disease is suspected to be different.

    At MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE or in the FAQs section of that article we include a 2014 report from a Salem Oregon family who describe drunken behaviour of dogs after the dogs spend time outdoors.

    These hypothetical remarks presented here intend to solicit additional field reports and data, possibly in support of future controlled studies. Readers should not assume that we have drawn conclusions from the suggestive anecdotal data currently at hand.

    Signs Of A Moldy Bedroom

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    If youre inspecting your bedroom for mold, its important to know that mold can grow for some time before it becomes visible. Therefore, when assessing your bedroom, keep an eye out for these signs of mold growth:

    • A humid or damp closet
    • Condensation on windows
    • Cracking paint or a dark area of wall
    • An unusual, musty odor

    Sometimes mold may be concealed underneath wallpaper, paneling, carpet, or behind walls. If you suspect hidden mold growing in your bedroom, its smart to consider hiring a professional.

    Also Check: How To Know If You Have Mold Allergies

    Closing Excerpt About Mold Testing From Cdph:

    There also is consensus that the traditional methods used to identify increased mold exposure do not reliably predict increased health risks. Therefore, the current practices for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of environmental samples for mold cannot be used to quantify health risks posed by dampness and mold in buildings or to guide health-based actions.

    Thats it folks. Straight from the donkeys mouth.

    Healthy Building Science is an environmental consulting firm which provides mold testing and mold inspection services for commercial, residential, multi-family, buildings, offices, industrial and manufacturing workplaces, hospitals and medical facilities, and single-family homes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and all of Northern California including the cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento.

    How Are We Exposed To Mold

    Mold needs organic matter to feed upon and moisture in order to grow. When growing conditions are right, mold releases spores and volatile organic compounds into the air, which may make some people feel sick.

    Mold spores may be breathed in or absorbed through skin. Mold can also grow on food and may be hazardous if ingested.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Exposure

    Mold allergies are progressive. The more contact you have, the more likely you are to experience severe symptoms.

    In some instances, no symptoms or only vague symptoms of mold exposure may occur. These can go unnoticed, especially in babies.

    Even without immediate, noticeable symptoms, long-term health effects, such as asthma, have been associated with mold. Its not currently known whether this is a direct cause of mold or merely an association.

    Mold may cause:

    • skin irritation
    • sporotrichosis, a skin infection that starts out as a small pink, red, or purple bump on the skin
    • itchy, red eyes

    How Much Does A Mold Inspection Cost

    Dancing Elephant Cake &  Chocolate Mold

    The cost of mold inspection can vary slightly from region to region, but the difference is generally pretty small. In fact, you are just as likely to find wider variations from one contractor to another in the same region.

    As a rough guideline, a mold inspection costs about the same as a regular home inspection, the kind that is done when you purchase a new home. On average, mold inspection costs $300 to $400 for small to medium-sized houses . Above 4,000 square feet, the cost increases to the $700 to $900 range. Keep in mind that these costs are for inspection only and do not necessarily include testing. Skipping the unneeded mold testing can save you some money.

    Some contractors that specialize in mold remediation will do a mold inspection for free, though they will obviously hope to be hired for the remediation itself.

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    Is Moldy Mulch Harmful To Plants & Trees

    Most mold is not harmful to healthy plants or trees. However, mold will grow on dead or fallen trees and plants to decompose them.

    If the plants in your garden are weak due to nutrient deficiencies or over watering, then they are more likely to fall victim to mold.

    Normally, there is no need to treat your mulch formold. If mold does grow, it is happeningas a natural part of the process of decomposing wood and other organic matter.

    If you are worried about mold harming your plants or trees, then avoid putting mulch too close to them. Leave a few inches of bare soil around the base of your plants or trees.

    This will prevent rain from splashing any mold spores from the mulch onto your plants.

    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.

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    What Causes Mold Sickness

    The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.

    For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.

    For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person

    In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.

    Finding The Right Mold Inspector

    Could too much ventilation be causing attic mold?

    Look for a contractor with specific experience and expertise in mold inspections and remediation. Ask them how many mold remediations theyâve done in the last six months. Call around your area and get a few estimates. There might be a wide price range, so shopping around could save you a few hundred dollars.

    Check your state health department or labor department to see if mold inspectors are required to have a special license or certification. If so, you obviously want to make sure you only work with a properly certified contractor.

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    Contamination Levels Of Non

    1. Baxter et als: Mold contamination is considered present in a building when the total mold spore concentration percubic meter is above 10,000. Our own field and lab experience confirms this view. However in special cases, even lowquantitative levels of certain particles or particle types maybe diagnostic and may indicate a hidden mold reservoir that at least merits further investigation.

    2. The National Allergy Bureau, reporting the NAB SCALE of mold and pollen counts, considers mold counts in outdoor air of 0-6499 spores per cubic meter of air as low, to 6500 to 12,999 spores per cubic meter of air as moderate, to 13,000 to 49,999 spores per cubic meter of air as high, and above 50,000 as very high. At “high” levels most individuals with any sensitivity will experiencesymptoms. AAAAI also provides absent, low, moderate, high, and very-high level level definitions for grass, tree, and weed pollen grains counted per cubic meter of outdoor air.Acceptable levels for individual species vary since species toxicity varies widely as does spore size, weight, and other features which affect riskto building occupants. E.g. Aspergillus/Penicillium in a “clean” residential building study was at a mean of 230, in buildings known to have amoisture or flooding problem it was at 2235 and in mold contaminated buildings the figure was 36,037.AAAAI provides an important qualification about mold and pollen counts as reported by that agency which we quote just below:

    Is Black Mold Dangerous Heres The Truth

    The truth is, many people arent negatively affected by mold. However, mold can cause allergies in some people who are sensitive to mold. In these cases, it can make their lives miserable. Mold can also cause severe medical issues with a small percentage of people who have other health complications.

    If youve seen a concerning growth in your home or been told that you have a black mold issue, you probably have a lot of questions.

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    How To Remove And Prevent Aspergillus Mold

    For small areas of household mold, find and fix any sources of excessive moisture, and make sure your home is properly ventilated. Install a heat recovery ventilator if necessary. Use a non-toxic registered fungicide to kill the mold, being careful not to disturb the area so you dont release fresh spores. For any possible Aspergillus mold growth larger than a few feet across, its best to call in mold removal professionals.

    Getting A Diagnosis For Mold Sickness

    Mold Remediation

    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

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