How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick let the doctor know that right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
- Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
- IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
- Urine mycotoxins test
- A fungal culture of the nose sinuses
The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.
Who Is At Risk Of Mold
According to the WHO, 15 percent of houses in cold climates show signs of dampness, and about 5 percent have signs of mold problems. In warm climates, however, it is estimated that 20 percent of houses have dampness, and 25 percent have mold. Dampness is most likely to occur in overcrowded houses or those that lack appropriate ventilation, heating and insulation. Because symptoms of mold infection are similar to other respiratory ailments, they are often misdiagnosed.
If You Use Bleach To Clean Up Mold
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce a poisonous gas.
- Always follow the manufacturers instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
- Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
- Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected areas.
- If you need to clean more than 10 square feet, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, which gives advice on all building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at .
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Will Painting Concrete Prevent Mold
Many people assume that a new coat of paint will solve mold problems, but it wont. Paint cannot prevent mold from germinating in the first place. Mold is a fungus that thrives in warm, moist conditions. It can grow on almost any surface, including walls, floors, and ceilings.
Mold can also be found on surfaces that have been treated with chemicals, such as paint, carpeting, or vinyl siding.
Other Places In The Kitchen
Wooden cutting boards, trash cans, behind the stove and windows and window sills in the kitchen are like heaven for mold spores. They feed off of these places, so keeping them clean and dry is critical for keeping mold at bay.
To keep your kitchen mold free, be sure to:
- Ventilate when cooking and doing dishes by opening a window, using a fan, or both
- Wash the dishes every day, so they dont pile up in the sink
- Clean and dry the stove top, microwave, counters, cabinets, and window sills regularly
- Clean out the inside of your fridge and your fridge drip tray often
- Take the trash out every day
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Plan Of Attack To Removing Mold From Your Home
What can you do when you find a mold source in your home, what plan of action is required next? First and foremost, when you locate mold growth in your home you will want to examine the underlying cause of the mold growth, whether there was a moisture leak or what type of conditions surround the mold in the environment.
Second, you will want to call a mold remediation specialist to assist you in the removal of this mold from your homes surfaces. Often times we will try to utilize different methods of mold removal that we find online, but in reality, the best solution is having a trained professional come to your aid to ensure that proper removal occurs of this mold.
Third, eliminating the mold spores that have traveled into your air. We often dont consider that mold can compromise the quality of your homes air by collecting mold spores released from mold.
How can you eliminate these mold spores from your air? The enhanced chemical reactivity found in the EnviroKlenz Cartridge makes it ideal for removing harmful mold-generated VOCs.
The EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Air System is a portable air filtration machine that contains this enhanced chemically reactive technology that can effectively work at taking in mold spores and capturing them from your air.
Whats The Best Way To Get Rid Of Red Mold
Several at-home products can effectively remove red mold. Before cleaning surfaces, protect yourself to prevent contact with the mold. Always wear goggles, gloves, and a dust mask. You should also open a window before cleaning to increase ventilation.
To clean red mold from hard surfaces , you can use a commercial cleaning product like bleach.
Combine one-part bleach with three parts water. Next, soak a cloth in the bleach solution and apply it over the surface. Let the solution sit for about an hour, and then scrub and rinse with warm water.
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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.
The Paint Is Bubbling On Your Walls
Have you noticed that the paint is bubbling on the walls of your bathroom or near a window? One of the most common reasons paint begins to bubble is moisture. And where theres moisture, theres probably mold. You wont be able to cover up the problem with a fresh coat of paint you have to find the source of the moisture. It could be a leaky windowsill, too much humidity, or leaky plumbing. Once you fix the moisture issue, then you can repaint. Just make sure to scrape, patch, clean, and thoroughly dry the walls before rolling on the first coat. Watch out for these sneaky everyday objects you touch every day that can be toxic.
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Cover Your Crawl Space Floor
Groundwater seeping into crawl spaces can add gallons of moisture vapor into your house every day. The simplest defense is to cover crawl space floors with a plastic vapor barrier 6 mil polyethylene that traps moisture in the ground.
If you regularly crawl in your crawl space, use a heavier plastic that wont rip as easily: Some 20 mil plastic coverings are on the market.
How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment
Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.
Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.
It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly after any flooding. Dig out mud and dirt . Use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces with soapy water and a bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with water and dish detergent. Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have a fan, air conditioner or dehumidifier that wasnt affected by flooding use it to help the surfaces dry after you finish cleaning
Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
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Your Skin Is Tingling
If youre allergic to mycotoxins, youll experience tingling, itching, or burning sensations when you come into contact with the mold. Your body is reacting by releasing histamines, and the result can be dry, itchy, and scaly skin you could get hives. If the condition persists, see an allergist and look into ways to locate and eradicate the growth. Here are some more hidden dangers in your home you should never ignore.
The Truth About Toxic Mold
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.
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Brain Immune Gut Summit
Did you know that you have a second brain in your gut that communicates directly with your brain, or that the majority of your immune system resides in your gut?
New understandings on the link between the gut and the brain show that not only does our brain influence our gut health, but it also works the other way around!
Gut issues can impact your brain and cognition, causing anxiety, depression and other symptoms, just as poor gut health can impair your immune systems ability to respond.
Often, suppressed immunity, autoimmunity, gut symptoms and mental health concerns are treated as separate issues, while deeper dysfunction within the brain-immune-gut axis goes undetected .
But its not just one or the other we have to look at this as a symphony and not one stand-alone thing, or we stay sick.
In order to reverse chronic health issues, we must treat the root cause and optimize the brain-immune-gut axis. The secret is how you sequence the protocol based on the priorities of your body.
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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How Are Mold Exposure And Tuberculosis Related
As we mentioned earlier, there are three types of mold:
Each of these types can have a different impact on your health, from a simple skin rash to breathing issues and even cancer. Which symptoms you will experience depends mainly on your immune system. But, even the strongest immune systems can weaken with time if it is continuously expose to mold. Especially to Pathogenic and Toxigenic types of mold.
Tuberculosis is one of the possible mold effect you can experience and we can blame the toxic type of mold for that. Toxic mold spores often produce mycotoxins that threaten your health and make you vulnerable to diseases, like the above mentioned tuberculosis.
At Mold Busters, we often get asked whether mold can cause tuberculosis, given that it has such a profound effect on the respiratory system.
No at least not directly.
Although mold itself cannot cause tuberculosis, it does weaken peoples immune systems, making them more vulnerable to infections. Once your immune systems stops working full-time, you shouldnt worry about tuberculosis only, but many other infections, mold related or not.
People who spend a substantial amount of time in areas with poor air quality are at greater risk of mold exposure and are, therefore, more susceptible to allergic, bacterial and viral infections due to weakened immune systems.
What Mold Looks Like
Molds are a type of fungus and can look like their fungal cousins, mushrooms and yeasts. Outdoors, molds can be seen gobbling up the dead organic matter on decomposing surfaces like fallen leaves and rotting logs indoors, house mold thrives in wet, humid environments like bathrooms and basements or anywhere that has recently flooded. There are thousands of types of mold, and their appearance can vary depending on the type of mold and where its growing.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum , is also sometimes found in homes and other buildings. This greenish-black growth can grow on fiberboard, paper, dust, and lint, particularly in areas that may have recently flooded or suffered other types of water damage. While black mold can certainly look scary, the CDC says that Stachybotrys chartarum isnt any more harmful than other types of mold.
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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.
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.
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Removing Mold From Fabric
If your home has been flooded and mold and bacteria have been left to grow for many days, it may be impossible to salvage fabric items. However, if mildew has developed due to dampness and is caught early, it can easily be removed from most fabrics.
Begin by taking the items outside to brush away as much surface mold as possible and to prevent spreading the mold spores inside your home. If the fabric is washable, use the hottest water recommended on the care label and add a disinfectant. If stains remain, create a solution of oxygen bleach and water and allow the clothes to soak for at least eight hours. Oxygen bleach can be used safely on any washable fabric.
For fabrics that are dry clean only, brush away the mildew outside and then head to a professional cleaner. Identify and point out the stains most fabrics can be successfully restored.
Health Symptoms That Can Be Caused By Mold In Your House
Mold doesnt bother everyone. In fact, out of thousands of mold species, only a few dozen will trigger any health problems at all, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Still, some of us are sensitive to molds. People who are allergic to an indoor mold can experience year-round symptoms like a sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, and more for those who also have asthma, mold can trigger an asthma attack. People with a weakened immune system or a chronic lung condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can develop a serious infection in the lungs if theyre exposed to mold.
People without allergies and asthma arent immune to the effects: In 2004, the Institute of Medicine concluded that people without pre-existing lung conditions can also experience symptoms like nasal congestion and a sore throat if they live in a house with damp floors or moisture accumulation.
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