Is Everyone Vulnerable To Mold Exposure
Sometimes inhaling or touching mold or mildew may have hazardous health effects. But, everyone may not be adversely affected by molds. People who have other allergies or existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or other lung diseases are more susceptible to the effects of mold exposure. Also, those with an impaired or weakened immune system will have severe reactions to molds.2 Pregnancy, autoimmune disease, AIDS, or diabetes are medical conditions that can weaken your immune system. Infants, small children, and elderly people are also vulnerable to mold contamination.3
The Hidden Dangers Of Black Mold
Physical signs of mold exposure can range from itchy, water eyes to asthma and airway problems. The body reacts to a mold that may not otherwise be toxic by exhibiting allergy-related symptoms, such as an irritated throat, coughing, or a runny nose. For some people, the reaction may be more severe, causing nausea, fatigue, sinus infections or trouble breathing. In more extreme cases, fungus can produce volatile organic compounds, which can affect the central nervous system and cause headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and decreased attention span, according to www.toxic-black-mold-info.com. The Environmental Protection Agency also has information on mold and how to combat it and protect yourself and your home.Documentation of the dangers of mold, the result of studies being undertaken by countries around the world, is pointing toward an increase in the prevalence of the health problems mold can cause, particularly in children.
The Mold You BreatheMethods for Preventing and Dealing With Mold
Are You A Clean Freak?
It’s easy to spot a clean freak when you see one in action. What’s not so easy is recognizing the signs of compulsive obsession with cleanliness when you’re the one who’s obsessing. Having a clean house doesn’t mean that you are a clean freak.
How Can I Remove Black Mold
If youre looking to get rid of the black mold yourself, here are some pointers to do it properly:
- Clean the area with soap, water, and a diluted bleach formula. Repeat this process for a few days thereafter to get any potentially missed spores in the area
- Replace appliances, furniture or parts of your house that have been affected
- Cover any susceptible walls or corners with mold-preventable paint
Be aware that black mold can spread quickly and invisibly. If you do not feel comfortable removing it yourself, or dont feel equipped to do so, consider reaching out to professionals to do it for you.
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The Long Term Effects Of Mold: What You Need To Know
Mold, no one wants to find in their home. Whether in a basement, under a sink, or on the wall, mold can appear almost anywhere. At the time of exposure, you may not feel any effects of mold but as time goes by you may start to feel like something isnt right.
The harmful effects of exposure to mold, especially toxic mold, can show up years later after youve remedied the issue or even moved to a new location. Keep reading to learn more about the types of harmful mold, symptoms to look for, and what you can do to prevent it.
The types of mold are numerous, but generally, harmful mold falls into three types:
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.
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What Kind Of Mold Can Grow On Clothes
There are two major types of mold black mold and white mold. Black mold on clothes is not as commonly seen as white mold on clothes, but there are chances of both occurring under the right circumstances.
Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is an extremely toxic mold that grows in homes and produces mycotoxins that are capable of causing health hazards in humans, especially once its spores become airborne. By the time black mold is detected, it is often already a major problem in the home.
Though not as frequently perceived as a threat, white mold is fairly common in homes. It is harder to detect on lighter surfaces and has a propensity for changing colour. White mold also feels flaky, and has a powdery appearance, very similar to mildew, which is an earlier stage of mold.
White mold can be injurious to your health, though not to the same extent as black mold. Both black mold and white mold on clothes are dangerous, causing lasting damage to the surfaces they come in contact with, and must be treated as soon as they are recognised.
Can Living In A House With Mold Make You Sick
Damp and mold are sadly common occurrences in homes that have poor ventilation, single-glazed windows, and other forms of poor insulation. Black mold is one of the more severe types of fungus that can grow in these conditions.
Being constantly exposed to and breathing in black mold is very damaging to your health, a conclusion that goes undisputed in the research behind it. Here are just some of the discovered complications that fungus exposure can cause:
- Inability to breathe
just to name a few. It can damage your health permanently depending upon the amount of fungus, the length of your exposure, and whether you already have any respiratory conditions.
Another feature of black mold is that it can grow in those hard-to-reach or seldom-visited places, like behind cupboards and underneath floorboards. This means it could be completely unnoticeable to you, despite the fact that youre breathing it in. It can silently affect your health without your knowledge.
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Is Black Mold Toxic
Perhaps it is a little misleading to say, Yes when anyone asks, Is black mold toxic? The symptoms, allergies and illnesses that can arise as a result of black mold are real and create a serious health hazard. However, it is the Volatile Organic Compounds that are formed by molds that make them dangerous enough to create respiratory and immune problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control , mold itself is not toxic and the word toxic mold is a misnomer. Molds found in most homes are toxigenic, which means the molds produce the toxins that do the damage to human systems and homes.
How To Prevent Mold Growth
At the end of the day, the best way to prevent the growth of mold is to control the moisture in your home. There are several tools you can use:
- Dehumidify: Use a dehumidifier to reduce your indoor humidity. Try to keep your humidity level to around 40% relative humidity for optimal conditions.
- Use An Air Purifier: Take steps to reduce that risk of inhaling mold spores and other airborne irritants. Using a HEPA air purifier is a great way to eliminate microscopic particles for your indoor air.
- Proper Ventilation: If youve woken up in the morning to notice condensation on your windows, your home may not be properly ventilated. Consider installing a ventilation fan to improve the airflow in your home and limit the creation of moisture.
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What Can Breathing In Mold Do To You
Mold can grow just about anywhere. It sounds like a nightmare to deal with and in a way it sort of is. If you are a homeowner, finding out that you have mold can be the last piece of news you want to hear. While it isnt as bad as say, termites, mold can still be destructive. What sets it apart, however, is the harm it can do to your health. Breathing in mold can have serious negative health consequences both short and long term.
Stachybotrys Species As Pathogens
In the Ukraine in the early 1930s, a unique disease of horses was recognized that was characterized by lip edema, stomatitis, oral necrosis, rhinitis, and conjunctivitis. The symptoms often progressed through well-defined stages to pancytopenia, coagulopathy and hemorrhage, neurologic compromise , superinfections, and finally death . There was also a rare atypical or shocking form, which was primarily neurological and highly fatal, with areflexia , hyperesthesia , hyperirritability, blindness, and stupor. In these latter cases, there were no blood dyscrasias. Pathologic examination of tissue from affected animals revealed diffuse hemorrhage and necrosis, with involvement of the entire alimentary tract. Pulmonary changes consisted of lung congestion and edema . Pathologic changes in tissue appeared unique, since there was no zone of demarcation around necrotic foci and since the tissue appeared to be in a nonreactive state. In retrospect, these findings were perhaps the first indication that the entity had a toxigenic origin rather than being due to direct tissue infection. In the wake of the equine outbreak, it was soon realized the disease was not limited to horses. However, there were marked species and age effects on susceptibility: cattle were less affected than horses, and younger animals fared better than older ones .
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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.
Problems With Clinical Studies
Such findings may explain the confusing results of earlier studies. For example, some authors have claimed links between childhood asthma and damp, moldy housing . While retrospective questionnaires reported more wheezing, cough, and chest cold symptoms in children from affected houses, the degree of bronchospasm was not different between groups. Thus, despite the claim that there was a causal association between moldy houses and wheezing, there was no supporting objective evidence. Some studies which claim that moisture and mold were associated with respiratory infections, cough, and wheezing also fail to show differences in asthma prevalence between case and control schools . Other authors report that despite claims of symptoms being more prevalent in case groups , actual asthma prevalence was no different .
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What Are Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds
Another source of irritation from mold exposure comes from substances knownas microbial volatile organic compounds . These compounds are producedthrough fungal metabolism and are released directly into the air, often givingoff strong or unpleasant odors. Exposure to mVOCs from molds can irritate theeyes and respiratory system and has been linked to symptoms such as headaches,dizziness, fatigue, nasal irritation and nausea. The effects of mVOCs are notcompletely understood and research is still in the early stages.
Why Is There Black Stuff In Toilet After Flushing
If you notice black stuff after flushing your toilet it means that either the pipes that supply water to your house have some rust or leaks. The leaks and rust harbor black mold that is then transferred to your toilet tank.
At the same time, black stuff could indicate an issue with the water itself. The water may be dirty, with mineral deposits or some unidentified residue that is black.
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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.
Your Health Isnt The Only Thing At Risk
Nothing is more important than your health, but you should also know that mold can damage your home. Whether youre a tenant or a homeowner, the financial consequences can be huge.
Depending on property size and affected areas, the average cost of mold remediation services is around $2,000. While this may feel like a big expense, itll save you a lot of money in the long run. Left untreated, mold can damage your home in several ways, including:
- Collapsed Ceilings
- Broken Walls
- And more
This is because mold literally eats away at the wood, drywall, tiles, and other household materials. In severe cases, replacements can easily surpass the $10,000 mark. Frankly, rectifying the issue immediately is vital for your finances as well as your health and peace of mind.
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How To Clean Black Mold
Now that weve explained why black mold is dangerous, Im sure youre anxious to remove it.
Youve already identified where its coming from.
Although many of us like to DIY, Dr. Sponaugle does not recommend cleaning black mold yourself.
I do not recommend for anyone to put their health at risk by cleaning black mold themselves, thats what professionals are trained to do. I especially do not recommend anyone to clean black mold with chlorine or bleach. When you do so, you then rupture the cell wall, which is where the lethal mycotoxins are contained. If you bleach the spore, you then rupture the spore, and you will release those toxins throughout the air in your home, school, or workspace.
However, we realize not everyone can call a professional. If you must clean it yourself, a professional citrus spray removal is recommended. The citrus encapsulates the spore first, then kills the spore, and can dissolve the volatile organic compounds, i.e., the mold mycotoxins. There are several sprays on the market now, so please do your due diligence before purchasing.
Now that you have done your research on which citrus mold removal spray is most effective seal off the room where the black mold is located. Shut the doors, cover the vents, doors, etc. You dont want any spores escaping.
Place an exhaust fan to where the spores go out, ideally near a window
Wear gloves, a facemask, goggles, and cover all exposed skin when cleaning out the black mold.
If You Smell Signs Of A Black Mold Infestation You Should Act Now
You should not wait to face health issues or structural damage to your home due to a tiny mold colony. If you smell a musty odor or notice signs of mold contact your friendly professional environmental services company today to have your house checked and gain back your peace of mind.
To get a free consultation or schedule a mold inspection in the Walltownship, NJ area with GreenWorks, visit ourcontact page or call 222-2073.
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I Inhaled Black Mold What Do I Do
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Clean Your Air Conditioners Regularly
Home air conditioners often trap moisture within them, creating favorable conditions for mold breeding. Regular cleaning and maintenance of these conditioners keeps the moisture away. Keeping ducts clean and dust-free eliminates the food that mold feeds off of. Homeowners are highly encouraged to replace filters after no more than 3 months. Lastly, running your air conditioner at a low level will help with air circulation and prevent a rise in humidity levels.
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