Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Is Mold Affecting My Health

Symptoms Of Mold Exposure

Can Black Mold affect my health

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.

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.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Sickness

If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:

  • Wheezing/shortness of breath
  • Long standing or frequent sinusitis

And, serious pain and neurological symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle cramping, aches and pains
  • Persistent nerve pain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Poor memory, brain fog, difficulty with focus

In some cases, the spores from mold take root and grow in specific parts of the body, such as the lungs and sinuses. This can cause serious respiratory illnesses and infections.

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Mold Health Impact : Paranoia And Anxiety

Paranoia can often be caused by high levels of toxic molds, such as the trichothecene black mold toxin or the Ocratoxin-producing Aspergillus Mold. Paranoia and anxiety can occur when a mold toxic brain produces excessive levels of glutamate and PEA, two powerful electrifying brain chemicals. These two chemicals in the brain cause an over-electrified nervous system. Since many doctors are unaware of the effects mold toxicity has on a patients body, doctors will address the symptoms produced by mold toxicity by prescribing drugs like Klonopin or Xanax to calm their over-electrified, anxious brain. Unfortunately, this simply masks a larger issue that can only be solved by detoxifying the body of these mold toxins.

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How Does Mould Affect Health

Mould associated with damp buildings can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheeze, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions.

People who are more susceptible to these symptoms and other serious health effects include those with:

  • weakened immune systems
  • chronic, obstructive, or allergic lung diseases.

You should seek medical advice if you are concerned about the effects of mould.

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.

Read Also: Mold Growing On Ceiling In Bathroom

How Can I Be Exposed To Mold

People are exposed to molds every day, usually by touching or breathing them. Because molds naturally exist outdoors and indoors, living in a totally mold-free environment is practically impossible. As molds grow, spores can be released into the air where they can be easily inhaled. People who inhale large numbers of spores may get sick. Possible health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to clean up molds in indoor environments.

Test Your Environment For Mold

Can Black Mold affect my health

Testing your environmenthome or workplacefor mold can be very beneficial since the symptoms of mold-related illness can be similar to other chronic inflammatory conditions such as Lyme.

There are different avenues you may take to address mold testing. Options exist for both professional testing and for self-testing.

DIY Mold Testing

There are pros and cons to each so a combination of these may be used:

Find a Qualified Indoor Environmental Professionals for Inspection

An indoor environmental professional knowledgeable about the effects of mold on sensitive populations can be helpful. Their trained eyes and tools can be helpful in identifying the source of your mold. Here are tips for finding a qualified mold inspector:

  • Be sure the professional offers just inspection, not inspection with remediation to avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Consider a virtual or phone consultation with indoor professionals aligned with the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness and their standards for indoor health.
  • Look for a local IEP through ACAC.org
  • Find inspection professionals with the CIEC and CMC certifications.
  • Find remediation professionals with the CMRS and CMR certifications.

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It Changes Your Gut Microbiota

Mycotoxins can increase levels of harmful gut bacteria and deplete beneficial microbes. Research has found that exposure to deoxynivalenol , a fumonisin mycotoxin, significantly increases levels of Bacteroides in the gut also, a high proportion of Bacteroides is associated with inflammatory bowel disease . Ochratoxin reduces levels of Lactobacillus reuteri and bifidobacteria the reduction of beneficial lactobacilli and bifidobacteria decreases the intestinal production of short-chain fatty acids, leading to impaired gut immunity.

Mycotoxins also promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria. In animal studies, ochratoxin ingestion increases the growth of a family of bacteria that includes Staphylococcus and Listeria. A combination of aflatoxins and fumonisins enhances the growth of Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli, a type of E. coli that causes diarrhea, UTIs, and bloodstream infections.

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.

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Can Mold Affect Your Brain

Inflammation: Mold spores act as irritants, which can trigger the body to mount an immune response. This can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the brain can impair cognitive function, and in the case of chronic inflammation, this can lead to long-lasting cognitive impairment.

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A Perfect Guide for Excellent Mold Exposure Treatment ...
  • Hardin BD, et al. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2003 45 470-478.
  • Shoemaker RC, et al. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 2006 28:573-88.
  • Shoemaker et al. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 2005 27:29-46.
  • Hope J. Scientific World Journal. 2013. doi: 10.1155/2013/767482.
  • Dr. Andrew Campbell. YouTube. The Effects of Mycotoxins on Human Body.

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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.

What Are Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds

Another source of irritation from mold exposure comes from substances known as microbial volatile organic compounds . These compounds are produced through fungal metabolism and are released directly into the air, often giving off strong or unpleasant odors. Exposure to mVOCs from molds can irritate the eyes and respiratory system and has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nasal irritation and nausea. The effects of mVOCs are not completely understood and research is still in the early stages.

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How To Spot A Mould Problem Before It Affects Your Health

Mould is not always easy to recognise. It often looks like fuzz or appears to be a stain, smudge or discoloration. The most common moulds are black, green or white. However, mould can be many other colours, ranging from grey to orange to brown. Here are some warning signs that you might have a mould issue that could affect your health later on.

Humidity Issues

We insulate our houses to keep the heated or air conditioned air inside the building and forget that we thereby reduce air flow and increase the air humidity. High humidity means excess moisture in the air. This can cause mould to grow as well as encourage dust mites and other allergens to thrive. Timber furniture and building structures can also be affected by this moisture. This can result in dry rot, termite infestation and wet subfloors which also affect our air quality and our personal moods. In Australia, we allow high humidity to enter our homes when windows are left open for cross ventilation, all day or at night.

Stale Odours

Condensation on windows

Commonly in modern building structures, we find tightly sealed windows and doors, plus walls and ceilings sealed by vapour barriers. Here in Australia high humidity days are frequent. Traditional ventilating methods coupled with high humidity will raise moisture content in your walls and furniture. Moisture or condensation on the inside of your single or double glazing has become a sign of an unsound indoor climate.

Top Tips For Controlling Mold

Does Mold Affect My Health ?

It’s impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home, but because mold spores can’t grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mold growth. If there is already mold growing in your home, it’s important to clean up the mold and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mold but don’t fix the problem, the mold will most likely return.

Following is some advice for reducing moisture throughout the home with specific tips for the areas most prone to dampness and mold growth:

Around the house:

In the kitchen:

  • Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
  • Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
  • Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
  • Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary.

In basements and crawl spaces:

In the laundry room:

  • Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
  • Make sure the vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
  • Avoid leaving damp clothes in the laundry basket or dryer. Wash and dry them promptly.

In bathrooms:

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Does Every House Have Mold

Every house, every environment has mold spores. It becomes an issue when the concentration of mold spores in a home is greater than what is found outside. Mold needs three conditions to thrive: an ideal temperature, a source of food and moisture. The temperature in most houses is almost always ideal for mold growth.

Black Mold Is Toxigenic

Certain molds prove toxigenic, which means that they produce mycotoxins that cause ill health effects. A little mold is everywhere, but not all mold is poisonous. That doesnt mean you should ignore mold.

Most are familiar with black mold, which is toxigenic and produces mold spores. These form colonies and grow with other spores. High concentrations of these mycotoxins can cause mold poisoning in healthy people, too.

Mold poisoning is also known as mycotoxicosis. This condition affects the upper respiratory system with harmful cold or flu-like symptoms. Additional symptoms due to mycotoxins can prove fatal. Thats especially true for those with severe allergies, asthma or other conditions.

Green-black mold is also harmful. Its found on paper, dust, lint, fiberboard and other low-nitrogen content materials. It can develop and spread after water leaks, floods and condensation.

Until you know more, treat all molds the same due to the potential long-term side effects and health risks. Take mold growth seriously. You will usually see the mold colony and smell the signature musty smell.

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What Are Mycotoxins

Other metabolites, called mycotoxins, are potent substances produced by some molds. People can be exposed to mycotoxins through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact. Many molds, including species commonly found indoors, are capable of producing mycotoxins. The existence or identification of a toxin-producing mold indoors does not mean that building occupants have been exposed to mycotoxins or that they are even present, since molds do not produce them under all conditions. Mycotoxins can cause a variety of adverse health effects, but more research is needed to determine the health risks posed by mycotoxins in indoor environments. However, it is clearly advisable to avoid exposure to mold and mycotoxins.

What Can You Do

50 Signs of Mold and How it Can Affect Health

In addition to visible mould, other signs of damp problems may include: mould odour, water stains, frequent condensation, peeling or cracked paint or wall paper, damp basement, and standing water under or around the house.

No safe levels of indoor dampness and or mould have been defined. So health-based standards or guidelines do not exist.

Nonetheless, there are several practicable measures you can take to prevent or minimise indoor mould. These include adequately heating and, in colder climates, insulating your home to reduce air humidity levels and condensation.

Install and use appropriate ventilation, particularly in wet areas or areas where water vapour may be emitted, such as bathrooms, laundries and kitchen areas.

Its also critical to avoid water leaks by controlling and maintaining rain and surface water drainage. Where holes are created in the roof or walls to allow skylights, windows, doors, pipes or other structures to be fitted, make sure these are watertight.

If you find visible mould in your home, remove the mould and identify and address the cause of the excess moisture. Clean hard surfaces using soap and water or, if mould growth is persistent, a bleach solution could be used. You may need to throw away absorbent materials such as carpets, depending on the level of contamination.

In case of extensive mould damage, you may need to call on commercial mould remediation services.

Also Check: Mold On Shower Ceiling

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