Friday, June 14, 2024

What Can Exposure To Mold Cause

The Truth About Toxic Mold

Health Effects of Mold Exposure

Concern about toxic mold is increasing with heightened public awareness that exposure can cause serious health problems- and even death. However, all molds, toxic or not, should be of concern when they persist at elevated levels indoors.

Mold affects both the home and workplace environment, compromising the structural integrity of buildings and the health of those inside.

Recent claim settlements have reached high into the millions-the most notorious case being a $32 million settlement in Austin, Texas, which was later reduced to a $4 million verdict.

The heath effects associated with mold vary depending on the type of mold and the person exposed. Immuno-altered and immuno-compromised individuals are at a much higher risk of suffering health effects. Exposure to mold, via skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation, can result in allergic reactions, infections, or toxic effects. The associated symptoms range from a rash and cold and flu-like effects to neurological damage and even death.

In some cases, indoor mold growth may not be obvious. Mold can grow on hidden surfaces, such as the backside of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Some building materials, such as vinyl wallpaper may act as a vapor barrier, trapping moisture beneath the surface and thereby providing a moist environment where mold can grow on the wallboard or wood paneling underneath.

How Do You Get Rid Of Mold On Walls

How to Clean Mould on Walls in Three Steps

  • Make a solution of chlorine bleach and water usually 1 part bleach to 3 parts water or get hold of a household detergent like Domestos bleach spray with bleach as an active ingredient.
  • Using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the blackened area.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry.
  • How Toxic Mold Affects Your Health

    A person can develop symptoms of toxic mold by breathing in the mold spores, ingesting the mold through exposed food, or coming in contact with the mold on their skin. In the beginning, you may be breathing the mold spores without realizing there is a problem, and toxicity begins to cause minor health problems that can eventually develop into serious illnesses.

    If anyone in your family has breathing problems such as allergies or asthma, they may be more prone to diseases caused by toxic mold. Also, a person with a suppressed immune system may be at a higher risk, because the medication weakens their immune system. Health conditions that require this type of medication include HIV, organ transplants, or cancer. Their respiratory system is already weakened by the asthma or allergies, and breathing mold spores will cause additional problems.

    When you begin the cleanup process, it is critical to protect yourself by wearing a N95 mask and covering your skin with protective clothing. The cleanup process will send additional mold spores into the air, and you need to avoid breathing them as much as possible. Additionally, dont let the mold touch your skin, because it may cause you to develop symptoms of toxic mold.

    Also Check: How To Clean Mold Off Ceiling

    Symptoms Of A Mold Rash

    A mold rash typically manifests as an area of red irritated skin, that gradually starts to develop small, raised bumps. Mold rashes are usually described by the individual sufferer as being Extremely itchy.

    Mold Rash Can Contribute To A Skin Infection

    The severe itchiness of a mold rash can be hard to ignore. Many sufferers fail to avoid the impulse to scratch excessively. This can harm the various dermal layers that are already overwhelmed by the presence of microbial mold, making them more likely to develop an infection.

    As this starts to happen, you will like notice increased swelling and severe redness. As time goes on the infected area of skin might even release discharge or start to feel warm.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure

    Pin on Toxic Mold and CIRS Health Effects

    Black mold, also known as toxic black mold or Stachubotrys, can cause many serious heath problems if found inside a home. There are numerous negative health effects from mold exposure, such as mental impairment, breathing problems, internal organ damage, and in some cases, even death. The symptoms of black mold exposure can be separated into different groups depending upon the area affected by mold presence.

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    How Does Mold Impact Our Health

    As mentioned above, some types of mold produce mycotoxins nasty little spores that cannot be seen without a special equipment. For example, one often found toxic type of mold is the infamous black mold.

    In most cases, mold spores will weaken your immune system enough that you become vulnerable to many diseases. How much of a harmful effect mold will have on your health will mainly depend on the time spend in mold presence. The longer you live inside a moldy house and breathe in mold spores, the greater the risk for you and, of course, your loved ones.

    Ensuring that your home stays mold free is one of the best ways to prevent diseases and infections such as tuberculosis.

    What Causes Nasal Congestion

  • Dry air. The nose acts as a filter, preparing the air youve just inhaled for your lungs. At times, the process is hindered by various factors such as changes in humidity levels. When there is an inadequate amount of humidity in the air, the nasal membranes cannot produce enough mucous. The nasal passages can then dry out and suffer from irritation and swelling. Since we breathe deeper when we sleep, nasal congestion is amplified at night.
  • Gravity. Sinuses are small airbags found near the bones of the face. Since gravity plays a big role in sinus drainage, you may find it very difficult to breathe through your nose if your sinuses cannot drain properly. For most people this problem gets worse at night because lying down forces the sinuses to drain down the back of your throat and cause irritation. If you lie on one side, the sinuses will drain to that side, making it difficult to breathe through that nostril
  • Allergies. Allergies are another cause of night-time stuffiness. You may experience an allergic reaction to a certain type of laundry detergent or it may occur when your face comes into contact with the sheets or pillowcase you sleep on. If your allergies or breathing difficulties appear only at night, you may be allergic to the material or stuffing in your pillow.
  • Read Also: Get Rid Of Black Mold In Basement

    For Help With Mold Removal

    If you think you are experiencing symptoms of asthma due to mold exposure, you should not attempt to clean up the mold yourself. The cleanup process stirs up mold spores, which causes them to become airborne. This increases your risk of exposure and can make your symptoms significantly worse. The last place you should be if you have asthma due to mold exposure is in the middle of a mold remediation project. That is why it is sometimes appropriate for you to vacate your home.

    Contact a certified mold removal professional to inspect your home, to develop a remediation plan, and to provide a solution to your mold problem. A trained professional will know how to do the job safely and will have all the equipment needed to make sure that the mold is completely eliminated, and that no mold spores are allowed to spread to other areas of the home during the cleanup process. Click on this link to find qualified mold removal professionals near your home that can provide a free inspection and a no-obligation estimate for the molds removal.

    Where Is Mold Found In A Home

    What is Black Mold and What are the Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure – Mold Busters

    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.

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    How To Know If You Have Black Mold In Your House

    Mold isnt always visible. If you can see mold, its only a sign of the real potential health risk, which is the harmful types of unhealthy levels of mold in the air of your home or workplace.

    Airborne mold is all around us in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold is what determines the potential health risk. Most of us are typically accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.

    Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture , many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or your pets.

    These signs will help you know if you possibly have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:

    • Allergic symptoms
    • A damp or musty odor in one or more places
    • Frequent headaches
    • The air in the home feels different
    • Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
    • You previously tried removing mold yourself

    Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when youre out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you cant see mold.

    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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    Is Mold Linked To Asthma In Children

    The dangers associated with mold exposure and inhaling mold spores have been common knowledge to the public for many years now. Mold releases toxic spores that are damaging to human health when inhaled for a prolonged period of time. For example, they can contribute to or worsen asthma symptoms.

    There are thousands of different species of mold, and some are more harmful than others. The most harmful strand of mold is Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold. Some of the most common symptoms of black mold exposure are shortness of breath, sneezing, coughing, skin irritation, red or itchy eyes, wheezing and respiratory complications and infections .

    Did you know?

    Stachybotrys is the 3rd common toxic mold type found in homes we tested?! Find out more exciting mold stats and facts inside our mold statistics page.

    Recently, a study confirmed a link between mold and childhood onset of asthma. A strong link between mold exposure and asthma in children is a significant cause for concern. Having your home inspected for mold by a professional can determine whether or not its hiding and reduce the chance of future outbreaks. Many times, homeowners are not even aware of existing mold problems in their homes because mold can hide behind walls and ceilings, underneath carpets and in other places that are difficult to reach.

    Create a healthy and safe environment for you and your family by helping reduce the chance of black mold growth.

    How To Remove Black Mold

    Follow The Yellow Brick Home

    Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.

    Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â

    Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:

    • Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
    • Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
    • Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
    • Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
    • Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
    • Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
    • Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â

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    How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold

    You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.

    Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .

    A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .

    Who Is Most At Risk Of Mold Exposure

    We come into contact with mold in three primary ways: inhalation, physical contact or ingestion. But every reaction to mold is different, as no two immune systems are the same.

    Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Both your genetic makeup and your current state of health are factors that will influence your reaction.

    The following groups of people are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure, because their bodies may be weak to begin with:

    • Infants and small children

    If youve been experiencing some of these symptoms and are concerned, .

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    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.

    Perpetuating A Vicious Inflammatory Cycle

    Toxic mold devastates family, causes myriad health problems

    Impaired immune function of activated lymphocytes, phagocytic macrophages, and cytokines leads to a state where regulation of cytokine response is totally lost. This leaves you more susceptible to gut infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites.4 MARCoNS, for example, an antibiotic resistant staph, is able to survive in mucous membrane biofilm and produce exotoxins A and B, which cleave MSH5, compounding the MSH deficiency.

    With little to no MSH to go around, pituitary production of antidiuretic hormone is diminished, causing thirst and frequent urination. As the cycle continues, lack of MSH causes malabsorption, aggravating leaky gut symptoms such as these:

    • Bloating
    • Skin problems
    • Sleep problems from low melatonin production

    For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, this is the mechanism at work. Gliadin, a protein found in gluten, releases zonulin, expanding the tight junctions and allowing the gliadin to move through the intestinal wall and into the blood. The immune system tags gluten as a foreign invader and a resulting autoimmune response occurs whenever gluten is ingested.

    Sensitivity to any food can result in the same way. If you find yourself reacting to random foods after mold exposure, your practitioner can order an MSH test in addition to other labs to check for leaky gut as well as CIRS. Over 95% of CIRS patients have low MSH.

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    What Are The Mental & Neurological Symptoms Associated With Black Mold Exposure

    Black mold produces toxins that can kill neurons in the brain and can impair a persons mental faculties. Exposure to black mold toxins may cause mental & neurological conditions, like nervous disorders. Symptoms of mental & neurological effects of black mold exposure include altered behavior, mood swings, and irritability.

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