Wednesday, May 18, 2022

What Does Mold Do To Your Lungs

What Species Of Mold Is Most Likely To Grow On The Lungs

Breathing Mold Can Cause Health Issues

The most common type of mold that will grow in the lungs is called Aspergillus.

Look:

Aspergillus is a very common species of mold. If you live in hot and humid state than it will be very common to not only find some Aspergillus spore types in your home but also outdoors.

But just like anything in life, its all about it being present in moderation, although I will say if you have an allergy to Aspergillus you would want to keep that number to as close to zero spores as you possibly can.

The only way to truly know if you are allergic to Aspergillus is to get tested by a doctor who specializes in mold-related illnesses.

Aspergillus will generally be at high levels in your home when water damage to building materials is present which is why it is extremely important if you experienced any kind of water damage in your home, you call a water damage restoration company or mold specialist immediately!

More on Aspergillus later.

How To Prevent Mold Exposure

Denying them a place to grow is an important step in preventing mold. And for that, you need to control the moisture inside your home. You should make sure that your home and the workplace is free of visible mold growth or strong moldy odor. Here are a few tips for that.18

  • Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep the humidity level low.
  • Make sure that your floor and wall are dry after flooding.
  • Fix water problems such as roof leaks and plumbing leaks.
  • Provide enough ventilation for your house.
  • Use mold-killing products while cleaning bathrooms.
  • If absorbent materials like carpet become moldy, they should be removed.
  • Cleaning frequently keeps mold to a minimum.
  • Do not paint moldy surfaces without cleaning up the mold and drying the surface.19

Cleaning up the mold in your home is the first thing you should do. These are a few ways to do it:

  • Remove mold growth from hard surfaces using soap and water.
  • You can also use a bleach solution.
  • Take less than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water to remove the mold. Remember, never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners as it produces toxic fumes.20
  • Make sure that the windows and doors are open while you use bleach.
  • Also, wear protective gloves and eye mask.

If you are worried about mold exposure from your workplace and the symptoms associated with it, you should consult an occupational health clinic.

References

How Long Does It Take For Mold To Affect You

Personal experience at water jobs: Mold does not seem to grow on every job in 24 to 48 hours. Personal experience on mold jobs: The labs take 48 to 72 hours to grow mold under ideal conditions. Non-scientific experiment where mold was not visible until day 18. The guidance documents imply 24 to 48 hours for mold growth

Recommended Reading: How Long Does Uv Light Take To Kill Mold

What Is Black Mold

Black mold is easily distinguishable from other molds because, not surprisingly, it tends to be dark black. Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, can be found indoors growing on a variety of surfaces, especially things with a high cellulose content like wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, lint and dust.

Other than being black, what does black mold look like? Black mold can actually be a greenish or grayish black. It has a distinctive odor thats musty and mildew-like.

What is mold? A mold is a type of fungus that grows in filaments and reproduces by forming mold spores that cannot be seen by the naked human eye. Mold can grow and thrive in any season, indoors or outdoors, in damp, warm and humid environments, and it spreads like wild fire. Mold itself flourishes in warm, moist environments, but mold spores can actually survive in harsh, dry environments. The spores float around in indoor and outdoor air. When the spores land on a moist surface, the mold can then start to grow.

Black mold is most likely to rear its ugly head in areas of the home that are warm, humid and damp. In addition to showers, basements and crawlspaces that may have leaks, or some other sources of moisture, are commonly susceptible to the growth of toxic black mold.

Actions You Can Take To Reduce Mould

Can Mold Grow On Your Lungs?

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.
  • Use reverse cycle air conditioning and or mechanical dehumidification if available
  • Ensure sufficient exhaust openings to the outside of the building if using evaporative cooling. Evaporative coolers increase the moisture content in indoor air, so the manufacturers instructions should be followed to ensure airflow in the home.
  • Maintain heating, ventilation and cooling systems according to the manufacturers instructions.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Avoid placing mattresses on the floor or surfaces without adequate ventilation.
  • Vacuum, and or turn mattresses if it can be done safely.
  • Increase air circulation around furniture by moving the furniture away from the walls.
  • Refer to information about cleaning up mould: refer to the information on the Better Health Channel website.

    Read Also: Mold On Cutting Board

    How Do I Know If My Cough Is From Mold

    Coughing. Another one of the most immediate symptoms of a mold allergy is a dry and scratchy throat, prompting a nagging cough. In some cases, mold can cause heavier coughs as well. Mucus and histamine production can lead to persistent coughing as your body tries to clear the throat of mucus buildup.

    How Do I Get Rid Of Mold In My House

    First, you need to fix the problem thatâs leading to dampness. If you donât, the mold will come back.

    For areas bigger than 10 square feet, you may want to call in a pro.

    For smaller areas, youâll have to throw out anything thatâs soft or can soak up water, like carpets, drywall, and ceiling tiles.

    On hard surfaces, scrub with a stiff brush or cleaning pad along with a general-purpose detergent in hot water. Then rinse with water and let completely dry.

    The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center: âAllergy and Asthma in the Southwestern United States.â

    American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: âMold Allergy.â

    University of Minnesota Extension: âMolds — Your Safe Home.â

    NIH, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Toxicology Program: âMold.â

    NIH, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: âMold.â

    Mayo Clinic: âChronic Sinusitis,â âPulmonary Fibrosis.â

    Merck Manual, Consumer Version: âAspergillosis.â

    Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: âBy the way, doctor: Do mold spores cause lung cancer?â

    British Lung Foundation: âCauses of Pulmonary Fibrosis.â

    National Poison Control Center: âMold 101: Effects on Human Health.â

    Rhode Island Department of Health: âSome Facts About Mold.â

    Connecticut Department of Public Health: âMold in the Home: Health Concerns.â

    NIH, National Cancer Institute: âAflatoxins.â

    Food Standards Agency: âMycotoxins.â

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    Is There A Way To Prevent Mold From Growing On The Lungs

    There is a simple answer to this:

    Keep mold from growing in your house!

    Oh, wait

    . I forgot that theres one big problem where you may not be able to avoid mold growing indoors.

    Its called life!

    The hope if you are reading this thinking you may have mold in your system but you are otherwise healthy and are not confined to your home.

    Unfortunately, unless you wear a mask everywhere you go, you cannot 100% guarantee that you will not inhale mold spores. I have actually read a story about a family that lived in a tent instead of living in their home with toxic mold.

    So no, there is no sure fire way to prevent mold from growing on your lungs. If you do have any kind of lung infection or disease, you want to be proactive to ensure that mold is not growing in your home where you are spending most of your time

    Get A Mold Inspection

    If you have a compromised immune system, especially as it relates to your lungs one of the best gifts you can get yourself is assurance that you dont have active mold growth in your home by having a mold inspection.

    Heres the thing:

    Many people will decide to get an at home mold test kit to try and save money. There are two problems with this:

  • Many times it will not be able to be determined if there is an actual mold problem by the test alone
  • The visual inspection by a licensed mold inspector is just as important as the mold sampling itself
  • Install An Air Purification System

    Pretty cool huh?

    Only problem:

    But how much is your health worth to you?

    Can Mold Grow On Your Lungs

    Do You Have Mold In Your Body? The 3 Tests You Need To Find Out! with Evan H. Hirsch, MD

    Can mold grow on your lungs?

    SPOILER ALERT!

    but its not exactly what you may think

    Read through this whole article, especially if you have a lung condition.

    Some of what you read may shock you, but its important to know.

    In this article, we will cover:

  • How mold can grow on the lungs
  • How mold on the lungs can be treated
  • Is mold growing on the lungs fatal
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    What Should I Do If I Suspect Mold In My House

    Youll need to address the cause of the mold such as water damage, excessive condensation, poor ventilation, and so on. The best way to make sure you get rid of mold in your house is to hire a professional mold inspector. They will conduct a thorough examination of your home, and assess the molds that are present.

    Does Mold In Lungs Really Exist

    Mold tends to breed in all sorts of warm, damp, and humid areas both inside and outside of your home. But did you also know that certain molds can grow right inside your lungs? Researchers now believe that Aspergillus fumigates, a mold commonly found in soil and compost piles, can seep into the lungs and begin to grow, leading to long-term damage.

    Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling

    Medical Treatment For Mold On The Lungs

    Anti-Fungal Medicine

    The most common type of treatment for lungs that incur microbial growth is anti-fungal medicine. It usually involves taking prescription medication whether it be in pill or liquid form. Some of the names of the medications that are usually used are:

    • Itraconazole

    Anti-fungal medication is generally for the mildest cases.

    Surgery

    Another option which is for the mod severe cases of a condition which we will get more into below called Aspergillosis is to have surgery. Surgery can be risky and can even involve removing a lung which is the last resort option.

    I know, scary stuff!

    But

    At least we have two lungs right? Truth is, you can actually breathe perfectly fine with just one functioning lung.

    Boosting The Immune System

    While this can be done with many types of diseases, boosting the immune system can help fight infections that are associated with mold growing on the lungs.

    Boosting the Immune System can involve any type of medication that raises your white blood cells which is essential in helping you fight off diseases and infections.

    What Is Mould And Damp

    Symptoms of Mold Sickness

    Mould is a type of fungus that grows in damp areas. It releases tiny particles called spores that can be harmful when breathed in.

    Mould and damp are found in buildings where there is excess moisture, poor ventilation and/or lack of sunlight. This could be caused by any of the following:

    • Leaking pipes, roofs or window frames

    • Rising damp – where water from the ground is absorbed into the walls in basements or ground-level rooms

    • Condensation – where humid air comes into contact with cold surfaces indoors and collects as drops of water

    • Water used as part of building work that has not fully dried out yet

      Also Check: Cleaning Mold On Boat Seats

      Prevention Is Key To Keeping Lungs Safe From Mold

      The best thing to do to prevent any dangerous effects of mold including mold growing in lungs is to prevent mold from growing in your home at all times. D youo think your home has mold and you are worried about the safety of yourself or your family? If so, a professional mold remediation company can help to determine the presence of mold. And, to perform proper and safe mold removal so that you and your family are no longer at risk for mold-related health issues.

      Looking for a professional, licensed, bonded, and insured mold removal company in South Florida? Call A Plus Mold Remediation Inc. today at 561-247-3506 for your free quote!

      How Is It Diagnosed

      Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and examine your medical history. They may suspect ABPA or a mold infection if you have a condition that weakens your immune system or an existing respiratory condition.

      The next step of diagnosis often involves taking a small sample of your lung fluid to examine under a microscope. They take the sample by inserting a special instrument into your nose or mouth to collect a small amount of lung tissue.

      Your doctor may also run a blood test to look for evidence of fungal spores or antibodies in your blood.

      An X-ray or CT scan may help them rule out other conditions and look for a buildup of mold in your lungs.

      Recommended Reading: How Quickly Can Mold Grow From Water Damage

      When Should You Test Your Home For Mold Exposure

      According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , if visible mold is present on inspection, testing is usually unnecessary. There are no Environmental Protection Agency or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room complies with any health regulations concerning mold exposure. Likewise, the CDC does not recommend routine sampling and testing of mold in the home. Health officials haven’t defined tolerable or acceptable limits of mold exposure for humans, and since individuals vary in their susceptibility to mold, testing cannot reliably predict the degree of health risks from any occurrence of mold.

      When mold has previously been identified and cleanup procedures have been undertaken, sampling and testing may be carried out if necessary by qualified professionals to determine that adequate cleaning of a building has occurred.

      How Does Mold In Lungs Cause Illness

      Health Effects That May Be Caused by Inhaling Mold or Mold Spores

      Mold can cause respiratory illness in a number of ways.

      First, it causes irritation to the delicate lining of the bronchi and the tiny bronchioles in the lungs. Inflammation and irritation of the bronchioles make it difficult to get enough air through, causing wheezing and labored breathing. Asthma attacks may occur. Infection of the bronchi, called bronchitis, can also result from mold in the air passages.

      Second, microscopic particles of mold that are not expelled by coughing can lead to pneumonia when they become lodged in the lungs. Symptoms of pneumonia range from moderate to severe and include fever, shortness of breathing, coughing, and chest pain when you cough or breathe.

      Third, since mold is a foreign substance in the body, it can trigger an immune response in the form of an allergic reaction. This can cause respiratory symptoms as well as an itchy rash or hives.

      Finally, some types of mold produce toxic substances called mycotoxins, which may cause a wide range of health problems.

      Some people are more susceptible to mold-related illness than others, including small children, elderly people, people with pre-existing respiratory disorders like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder , and people with weakened immune systems, like those with HIV/AIDS or those undergoing chemotherapy.

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      Dangerous Mold That Damages The Lungs

      After I saw him, Gerard and Priscilla had their apartment inspected. Air sample tests found high levels of aspergillus and other molds in their apartment. This confirmed his diagnosis.

      Doctors call this condition hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Its not an infection, but instead happens when your lungs are hypersensitive to mold spores or another organic antigen, an airborne microbe or animal protein. For reasons that we dont understand, these organic antigens trigger inflammation and cause scar tissue to develop in the lungs.

      Nearly 4 out of 10 pulmonary fibrosis patients in my practice have hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Mold is by far the most common trigger. Ive seen mold-related PF caused by water damage in basements, contaminated humidifiers and forced air heating systems, musty old vacation homes, and even once in a librarian whose library had been repeatedly flooded moldy books were the culprit.

      Organic antigens from birds yes, birds living in your home or in outdoor cages can also cause pulmonary fibrosis. About 1 out of 20 patients in my practice has PF due to their birds.

      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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