Does Mold Cause Tuberculosis
Despite recent progress and advances in medicine, tuberculosis is still not a disease of the past. In Canada alone around 1 600 new cases of tuberculosis are reported each year.
On March 24 this year, the Ontario Lung Association stated that tuberculosis remains a serious public health concern in Ontario, with one-third of all cases in 2009 occurring primarily in the Greater Toronto Area.
With that in mind, learning more about tuberculosis causes and what you can do to prevent it is the key to keep you and your loved ones safe from this disease. In fact many things we do in our daily routine can be the cause behind the weak immune system and increase risk of tuberculosis. Living with mold is definitely one of those things
Actions You Can Take To Reduce Mould
The most important actions you can take to prevent mould in your home are those that minimise moisture.
- Fix leaky plumbing and roofs and other building faults
- Ensure gutters are cleared and maintained
- Reduce condensation by using exhaust fans, or open windows in the bathroom and kitchen when showering, cooking or using the dishwasher
- Wipe up excess water caused by condensation such as on single glazed windows and on shower glazing
- Air the home regularly by opening windows and doors on warmer days
- Vent clothes dryers to the outside and clean lint filters according to the manufacturers instructions.
Refer to information about cleaning up mould: refer to the information on the Better Health Channel website.
Pulmonary Hemorrhage/hemosiderosis Among Infants
On this page you can find five reports concerning acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants.
Report of the CDC Working Group on Pulmonary Hemorrhage/Hemosiderosis pdf iconReport of the CDC Working Group on Pulmonary Hemorrhage/Hemosiderosis 1999.
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Indoor Mold: A Threat To Our Health
According to the World Health Organization, up to half of the buildings in North America are water damaged and, thus, prime real estate for indoor molds. Molds such as Stachybotrys chartarum and Aspergillus thrive in damp environments rich in porous materials, such as particleboard, wood, and drywall. In the presence of these materials, a small water leak from a poorly sealed window or a hole in a basement foundation is all it takes to trigger a bloom of mold growth, with potentially drastic repercussions for residents health.
Once mold has established itself in a water-damaged indoor environment, it begins to release secondary metabolites called mycotoxins. Examples of mycotoxins include trichothecenes, produced by the Fusarium fungus, and gliotoxin and ochratoxin A, produced by Aspergillus fungi.
Mycotoxins pose a serious threat to human health, particularly when they are inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed via dermal contact in moldy buildings. The adverse health effects of mycotoxins are compounded by the presence of other biotoxins in damp buildings, including bacterial endotoxin, fungal and bacterial cell wall fragments, and microbial volatile organic compounds .
The constellation of symptoms caused by mold and biotoxin exposure is referred to as mold illness, biotoxin illness, or chronic inflammatory response syndrome . While mold and mycotoxins impact diverse body systems, the cognitive effects are among the most disconcerting.
What Are The Possibilities To Prevent The Formation Of Mold
The most important measure to prevent the formation of mold is regular ventilation. In a household with four people, about fifteen liters of water is released into the surrounding air every day, which is then deposited in the coldest parts of the room if it can not escape in any other way. To remove excess water vapor, the whole house should be ventilated at least 3-4 times a day for 15 minutes each time. This is especially important during or after cooking, showering, or drying laundry, as this is when a particularly large amount of moisture is generated.
Another option would be to use alkaline wall paint, as virtually no mold thrives on it. Lime-containing wall paints also absorb moisture and thus act against excessive humidity. In addition to that, the room temperature should not fall below 16 degrees Celsius in all living rooms and bedrooms. Even in winter, walls should not cool down too much. For perfect air circulation, furniture should not be placed too close to walls, and this is especially important for exterior walls. Strongly sealed houses can consider the purchase of a ventilation system, which will ensure the optimal exchange of air in their home. While stale air is canceled in the kitchen and bathroom, fresh air is blown into the bedroom and living room.
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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.
Does Mold Cause Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion, otherwise known as a stuffy nose, can happen to you regardless of whether or not you have allergies. Often, a stuffed up nose can be the result of a cold, the flu or dry air and shouldnt be a cause for concern. However, if you notice recurring and persistent nasal congestion, particularly at night, then there may be something in your environment thats causing your body to react this way. One of the most common reasons for a stuffy nose is mold, and if you experience this repeatedly over a long period of time, you likely have a mold problem somewhere in your house one that should be remediated as soon as possible.
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Your Brain On Toxic Mold: Seven Effects Of Mold Illness
A brain exposed to toxic indoor mold and mycotoxins is typically not a very happy brain. Research indicates that the spectrum of cognitive impairments caused by mold and mycotoxin exposure are extensive. Many of these mental health conditions are quite prevalent in our society. This should make us wonder how many of these cases might be due to toxic environmental exposures, such as mold.
Helpful Tips For Reducing A Stuffy Nose
Nasal decongestants in the form of sprays and tablets can help relieve a stuffy nose. However, these are only temporary fixes and should not be used too often as they can become addictive. In fact, nasal sprays can actually damage your nasal passages if used in excess.
A humidifier can also help reduce stuffiness by adding moisture to the air and promoting mucous production.
If you are still having persistent stuffy nose, you should contact your doctor or another medical professional.
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General Information What Is Mold
Mold is a naturally occurring fungus that is both necessary and useful outdoors. It actively decomposes matter such as dead leaves and fallen trees, playing a crucial biological role in our larger environment. But indoors, as we all know, it should be avoided. Mold reproduces via microscopic spores. Tiny and light, mold spores are a ubiquitious airborne threat. If a mold spore lands on a damp surface that provides it with moisture and nourishment , it will grow and reproduce to form colonies. Thats when problems start!
Ways To Prevent Mold Formation
The best way to reduce your chance of exposure to dangerous mold is to keep it from forming in your home. Here is a checklist from the Environmental Protection Agency about how to prevent mold formation:
Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens in most cases mold will not grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture / water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
Actions that will help to reduce humidity
- Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside whenever possible.
- Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers when needed.
- Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher, etc.
Actions that will help prevent condensation
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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 Are Toxigenic Reactions To Mold
A toxigenic mold produces toxins. There are approximately 20 common toxins that mold is known to produce.
When you ingest or inhale these toxins, your chance of becoming ill increases. Upon exposure to toxigenic mold, you may experience the following effects:
- Mucous membrane irritation
- Acute/chronic central nervous system disorders
- Hormone disorders
Another serious condition associated with mold exposure is hypersensitive pneumonitis. This is an acute, or chronic, lung disease brought on by inhaling fungal antigens.
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How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last
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.
Cleaning Up Mold Safely
Mold cleanup can be a dangerous undertaking, exposing the person doing the cleaning to excess amounts of the substance as it gets disturbed. In general, according to the EPAs Mold Cleanup guidelines, if the moldy area is less than about 10 feet square, you can attempt to do the job yourself otherwise, you should consult a mold remediation professional.
When cleaning up any amount of mold, its important to take the proper precautions:
- Wear goggles and gloves to avoid contact with mold.
- Prevent mold spore inhalation by using an KN95-rated respirator/mask.
- Consider using an All-in-1 Mold & Mildew Clean Up Kit.
- Also remember to keep the room or area you are cleaning well-ventilated to avoid over-exposure to fumes from cleaning products.
For more a more detailed explanation of cleaning up after water damage and safely restoring areas affected by excess moisture or flood waters, check out our Restoring Water Damage section of our website.
When humidity is high, making every effort to control moisture and humidity in your home helps protect your family from the dangerous impact mold can have on your health. To learn more about the overall effects humidity can have on the human body.
For more information on mold, allergies, and humidity,
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Mold Toxicity Vs Mold Allergies
Often times confusion surrounds the different mold illnesses, specifically mold toxicity and mold allergies. These two separate illnesses illicit different reactions in the body and can affect a person differently.
Mold allergies are caused by mold spores that become inhaled and stimulate symptoms similar to those of hay fever . Mold toxicity, in comparison to mold allergies, is caused by the volatile toxic vapors that are dispersed by mold that in turn elicits a chronic inflammatory response.
Diagnosing this condition is very hard, especially for medical professionals who often misdiagnose it because of the wide variation of possible symptoms. The first step in diagnosing mold toxicity or even mold allergies is identifying mold within your environment, particularly in your home.
Black Mold Symptoms And Health Effects
Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.
A mold infested room of an old building.
Mold in homes can be a costly and dangerous problem, particularly when infestations of toxic black mold occur. The symptoms and health effects of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning cover a wide range of health problems, but understanding the indicators can help keep you and your family safe.
Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans.
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Different Types Of Mold
Allergenic Molds. Allergenic molds are on the low end of the danger scale. They only cause problems for those with asthma and a predisposed allergy to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have mold allergies than adults.
Pathogenic Molds. Pathogenic molds will cause some infection. This is a big problem for those with a suppressed immune system. An acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia is commonly found with those exposed to these types of mold.
Toxigenic Molds. As the name implies, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health effects. They have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. The toxic chemicals found in these types of molds can be absorbed into the body when one inhales them, eats them, or even touches them.
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Where Is Mold Found In A Home
A research study found that Stachybotrys preferred a very high relative humidity within wallsapproximately 97%which indicates that relative humidity could be an important risk factor . For black mold, you may consider smaller microclimates that may harbor such humidity levels: sweating pipes, under sink cabinets, front loading washing machines, standing water, roof leaks, damp cars, windows with condensation, etc. Generally, common places to check for mold growth include the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
However, humidity alone is not the only requirement for mold growthmold requires nutrients to grow. Any environment that has nutrients like cellulose or other organic matter can harbor mold if the humidity level is right. To further enable mold growth, an environment that has poor air flow and minimal disruption is ideal. For example, you can find mold on wallpaper, furniture, drywall, overly-packed bookshelves or overstuffed closets.
Test Your Current Environment For Mold And Mycotoxins
This step can get pretty confusing, as there are many types of mold and mycotoxin tests out there, and many different companies offering environmental assessments of varying qualities. While the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index test has long been considered the gold standard, it tests only for mold, not mycotoxins. Instead, I suggest doing an Environmental Mold and Mycotoxin Assessment . The EMMA tests for both mold and mycotoxins, and it assesses for all clinically relevant organisms using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. If youd rather have a professional guide you through the testing process from the get-go, I recommend getting in touch with indoor environmental professional Michael Schrantz of Environmental Analytics.
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