Cleaning For Mold Prevention
Areas that are more prone to mold and mildew should be cleaned more often. Bathrooms, kitchens, and anywhere else in the home where water could collect are the important spots to watch.
Homebiotic, which is a probiotic for the home, also helps create an environment hostile to harmful microbes. Use these products regularly to prevent mold growth, not to clean a mold infestation!
What To Do If You Are Breathing In Mold
If you suspect that you are breathing in mold or experiencing symptoms discussed above, getting your home checked for mold growth is a good first step. For non-toxic mold symptoms an over-the-counter antihistamine can help reduce the itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose. A decongestant can also help relieve some of the nasal congestion that is associated with breathing in mold. However, the only way to truly remedy symptoms from breathing in mold is to stop breathing it in, meaning that you need to have it removed from your home.
Recovering From A Toxic Mold Exposure Skin Rash
Someone who is recovering from a severe infection as a result of a skin rash caused by toxic mold exposure should absolutely recover in a mold-free environment. Exposure to mold during the recovery process will only cause more rashes and itching, and with a compromised immune system, that person is less able to fight off the harmful effects of mold.
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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.
Do I Need Professional Testing
In short, usually not! Because, remember the saying: no mold, no matter what color, belongs in a healthy home. And that is good news because a professional mold inspection with testing can run anywhere from $300-$750. In most cases where mold is clearly visible, knowing exactly what type of mold you have is unnecessary. We advise most of our clients to forgo the inspection process and just apply that money saved to the cost of fixing the problem. The EPA agrees that mold testing isnt necessary in most cases.
There are exceptions, however, such as when a mold inspection with testing is required as part of a real estate sale or if you require proof that a mold problem is present, such as for a legal dispute. If you think you may have a mold problem, but arent sure, then we recommend formal testing from a professional. And if you require clearance testing to verify an all clear after a mold problem is fixed, then professional mold testing is necessary.
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The Journey From Outdoor Mold Spore To Indoor Mold Problem
Whether out enjoying a hike or inside examining the grocery stores produce section, we are constantly transporting and breathing in tiny mold spores. An open window, a family pet or even your sneakers can bring outdoor spores to a new homeyour home or workplace.
These mold spores can be harmless. However, problems arise if the spores come in contact with a moisture source. Moisture lets the spores grow into mold that could affect health.
Brain Spect Imaging Helps Treat Brain Toxicity Caused By Black Mold
Kimberlyn had booked a Full Evaluation, which took two days to complete. She filled out multiple questionnaires and history forms, talked to specialized counselors, and finally had a set of SPECT images taken of her brain. Just to really see exactly what was happening to my brain in the SPECT scans and that I do have a toxic injury due to mold was amazing, said Kimberlyn. They did such a good job with all of the evaluations, and they were so thorough. By the end of the second day, Dr. Arsalan Darmal had a whole binder of material that discussed the results of the testing I had done while I was there.
Dr. Darmal and the staff at Amen Clinics Orange County, CA discovered that Kimberlyn also had ADHD and a previous traumatic brain injury that was increasing the effects of the mold injury. When my brain swelled from the mold exposure, I was getting almost no blood flow to my prefrontal cortex, explained Kimberlyn.
Co-occurring conditions that can increase the effects of an injury or illness on the brain are common, yet can be easily overlooked. Kimberlyn was shocked to hear that the brain injury she had suffered in high school was impacting her life today and even more surprised that she had ADHD. The medication for ADHD has made a huge difference in my productivity and ability to focus. That was like the bonus prize that I wasnt even expecting, said Kimberlyn.
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Prevent Mold Growth With Routine Maintenance
To prevent mold growth, we suggest using a dehumidifier during the warm months and providing your home or business with the proper ventilation. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Clean surfaces with mold-killing products.
Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. Humidity levels shift throughout the day. Inspecting your structure for mold growth is an important part of routine building maintenance.
Seek treatment from a doctor soon as you notice any eye irritation, skin irritation or other common symptoms after exposure to mold, especially when symptoms persist. Its better to be safe than sorry. ECOS Environmental is happy to step in and test your home or business for mold and assist with the cleanup and renovation.
Common Toxic Mold Symptoms
- One of the first and most common symptoms of toxic mold poisoning is the development of respiratory issues. Labored breathing, asthma, cough, irritation of the sinuses or mucous membranes in the nose and throat, or pulmonary bleeding are all common. These would be especially worrisome if you are not someone who typically suffers from allergies or asthma-like symptoms.
- Also watch for toxic mold symptoms that hint at problems with the nervous system. They are less common, but signal the presence of critical problems. Headaches, dizziness, memory loss or a loss of concentration all hint at something being seriously wrong.
- Sooner or later, a toxic mold infestation can even cause damage to other body systems as well. Pain in the liver or other organs, fertility problems, unexplained lethargy, nausea, urinary tract infections, and other otherwise unexplained health issues can all be symptoms of toxic mold poisoning and require immediate intervention.
If one or more family members or residents of a particular home experience these same symptoms at the same time or symptoms appear to temporarily get better upon leaving the house, its even more likely that a toxic mold has invaded your home and begun to make it unlivable. Its important not to wait to deal with the issue at hand. These are very clear signs that serious damage is being done to your system.
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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.
Identifying Mold In Your Home
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Coughing And Shortness Of Breath
The irritation and inflammation caused by mold often lead to frequent coughing that is otherwise unexplained.
The throat and lungs are irritated continuously when repeatedly exposed to mycotoxins. If the issue isnt addressed, this coughing can develop into more severe conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
The same inflammation that causes irritated, constricted airways that lead to wheezing and coughing can eventually lead to shortness of breath.
This gives a feeling of tightness in the chest. It may feel like you are unable to take in a full breath.
What To Do When Mold At Work Is Making You Sick
The dark, damp environment is a perfect breeding ground for mold-sometimes enough to make us sick. The Remedy Rx: Clean your coffeemaker thoroughly-with vinegar. Fill your carafe with equal parts vinegar and water, brew until its half empty, turn off and let it sit for a half hour, then turn back on and finish brewing.
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Support Your Energy Oxygen And Thyroid
Mycotoxins can wreak havoc with your mitochondria. Dysfunctional mitochondria result in less cellular energy. And that decreases your ability to fight mold illness. Support your mitochondria with supplements specially designed to restore mitochondrial function.
Mold can also squelch your oxygen levels. Your mitochondria need oxygen to generate energy efficiently. Stabilized molecular oxygen supplements support mitochondrial function.
Additionally, mold exposure can hamper thyroid gland function. Supporting it with supplemental iodine may be helpful.
How Can Mold Affect My Health
Many molds can cause health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants and,sometimes, toxins that may cause adverse reactions in humans. A reaction tomold depends on how much a person is exposed to, the age of the person and thepersons sensitivities or allergies. The same amount of mold may causehealth effects in one person, but not in another.
Exposure to mold can cause a variety of symptoms. Sensitive people who havetouched or inhaled mold or mold spores may have allergic reactions such as arunny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash and itching. Molds can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic tomolds, causing wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. A diseaselike pneumonia may also develop after exposure to mold, but this is uncommon.
Infectious diseases from molds can occur in people with weakened immunesystems, such as those who are immune-compromised or immune-suppressed fromdrug treatment. Some types of mold are known to cause infections inimmune-compromised people. Such infections can affect the skin, eyes, lungs orother organs. These are considered opportunistic infections that usually do notaffect healthy people.
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Mold Health Impact : Short
Do you ever walk into a room and think, What did I come in here for? Mold toxicity may be the reason. When mold mycotoxins are present in the body, they destroy the myelin sheath through lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. The most sensitive organ to this toxin-induced reduction of electrical activity is, of course, the brain. Additionally, the most sensitive brain region to toxin-induced down-regulation is our executive center, known as the prefrontal cortex, or PFC. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex houses our shortest of short-term memories. This is where our four second-learning and processing memory is most sensitive. So, when individuals initially become mold toxic, they start to experience brain fog, difficulty focusing, and forgetfulness.
Mold Toxicity: The Effects Of Living With Mold
Rapid growth and an overtaking of your environment are a few characteristics that can be used to describe the dreaded but common household issue that we know as mold. Mold is a fungus that can grow on almost anything, with the ability to thrive in many conditions but most specifically in warm temperatures and high moisture environments.
The versatility of mold allows for this fungus to grow in both indoor and outdoor environments, making it an invasive presence in both your outdoor area and most importantly in your indoor areas such as your home. When you are exposed to mold chronically, you can develop mold toxicity symptoms.
Mold has the ability to spread far and wide, as tiny microscopic spores are released from the source in an effort to allow additional mold to grow. As mold begins to reproduce, its effect on humans who have been exposed could be significant.
Sensitivities can plague some individuals when contact occurs between mold, with symptoms spurring into overdrive in some cases. The type of mold present can lead to variations of symptoms, with a rough estimate of 1,000 species of mold currently in the United States . The level of hazard existing to human health can significantly reflect based upon on the specific type of mold in the environment and can thus lead to a scary health effect called mold toxicity.
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How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
Are you sick and suspect it might be from mold?
Determining whether exposure to mold is making you sick isnt always easy.
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression.
Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure. Many people suffering from mold illness struggle to get a proper diagnosis and investigation.
Its common to think my house is clean it cant be mold! However, mold comes in many forms. In this article, well share what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
What About Tiny Mold Toxins Aka Mycotoxins
As mentioned above, though the Stachybotrys spores may be sticky and not easily airborne, there are other airborne contaminants to worry about: tiny fragments of mold and special toxins called mycotoxins. These contaminants may cause illness in those who are exposed, with mycotoxins being the most concerning.
You can think about mycotoxins as the molds defense: they are used for protection from environmental threats. Mycotoxins are minute organic compounds as small as 0.03 microns. These tiny molecules can stick to particles already floating through the air. Studies have found Stachybotrys mycotoxins on mold fragments that have broken off from a mold colony after it has been disturbed . This can be harmfulairborne particles less than 1.0 microns are easily breathed into the respiratory system, where they can cause irritation and potential allergic reactions. If this occurs, mycotoxins could accumulate onto local tissue and ultimately enter the bloodstream. The study by Brasel cited above showed that trichothecenes could be measured in the blood of people exposed to an indoor environment that had Stachybotrys.
Stachybotrys creates a class of mycotoxins referred to as trichothecenes. Trichothecenes have been widely studied and have been proven to be detrimental to the health of humans, animals and plants. In fact, trichothecenes have been investigated for the purpose of biological warfare needless to say, they are not something to which you want to be exposed.
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Can Toxic Mold Exposure Cause Skin Rashes
In short, yes.
Allergic reactions come about when a person’s immune system overreacts to a minimally harmful substance , producing large quantities of antibodies and other chemicals to destroy the substance and protect the body from this perceived threat. The allergic reaction causes swelling, inflammation, and irritation of the skin. In more severe cases, this swelling can occur in the throat, impeding breathing and creating a life-threatening situation. While the swelling of the throat is a rarer occurrence in relation to toxic mold exposure, rashes and hives are not at all uncommon.
A rash from toxic mold exposure can be very itchy and it’s hard not to scratch – but beware. Excessive scratching often breaks the skin and allows an infection to set in. Signs of infection include swelling, redness, warmth to the touch, fever, increased levels of pain, and discharge.