Prevention And Treatment Of Mold
You may be able to prevent serious mold-related infections and subsequent organ damage by avoiding exposure to mold when possible and by seeking treatment for any mold-related health problems right away. If you have compromised immune system functioning for any reason or take medication that lowers immunity, it is especially important to avoid mold. If you discover mold in your home, you should arrange to have the mold removed as soon as possible.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends consulting your physician before attempting to clean up mold yourself if you have health problems that might be made worse by exposure to mold. If your health is severely compromised, your doctor may even recommend not staying in your home until the mold can be removed. Talk to your doctor about how to protect yourself.
Of course, if youve developed an infection serious enough to damage your heart, youll require medical care. You may need to see an infectious disease specialist to treat the fungal infection, but youll also need a good cardiologist to treat your heart problems. Hospitalization will probably be required. You may need intravenous medication and may even require surgery.
In order to make a full recovery, though, youll need to have the mold removed from your home. Otherwise, you will probably succumb to additional mold-related infections as soon as you return home.
Symptoms Of Black Mold
What Does Black Mold Look Like?
Stachybotrys is commonly known as black mold because its black in color. We see black mold most often when there is flooding or water damage, such as attics, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.What does black mold look like? Check out these photos of black mold in basements that experienced flooding:
Is black mold dangerous?
The answer to the above question is It can be, but the vast majority of black mold situations we see are nothing to panic about.If you search black mold youll be sure to find plenty of websites and articles that tout the dangers of it. Weve seen quite the long, sensational list everything from seizures to cancer to death. But the truth is that it most situations are nothing to panic about because:It has never been scientifically proven that black mold is any more harmful than other types and colors of mold.Only a small percentage of people are especially sensitive to mold .Most horror stories come from people with severe, prolonged exposure to mold while most situations are small areas of mold growth that get cleaned up rather quickly.So why does black mold get so much hype? Well, a lot of it has to do with a general lack of information about a strange substance that looks especially ugly and threatening.
What are mycotoxins?Can black mold make you sick, cause cancer, or kill you?
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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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.
What Kind Of Mold Can Grow On Clothes
There are two major types of mold black mold and white mold. Black mold on clothes is not as commonly seen as white mold on clothes, but there are chances of both occurring under the right circumstances.
Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is an extremely toxic mold that grows in homes and produces mycotoxins that are capable of causing health hazards in humans, especially once its spores become airborne. By the time black mold is detected, it is often already a major problem in the home.
Though not as frequently perceived as a threat, white mold is fairly common in homes. It is harder to detect on lighter surfaces and has a propensity for changing colour. White mold also feels flaky, and has a powdery appearance, very similar to mildew, which is an earlier stage of mold.
White mold can be injurious to your health, though not to the same extent as black mold. Both black mold and white mold on clothes are dangerous, causing lasting damage to the surfaces they come in contact with, and must be treated as soon as they are recognised.
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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.
Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Symptoms of mold exposure can include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
- Sneezing / Sneezing fits
Health effects linking to asthma
Adverse respiratory health effects are associated with occupancy in buildings with moisture and mold damage. Infants may develop respiratory symptoms due to exposure to a specific type of fungal mold, called Penicillium. Signs that an infant may have mold-related respiratory problems include a persistent cough and wheeze. Increased exposure increases the probability of developing respiratory symptoms during their first year of life. Studies have shown that a correlation exists between the probability of developing asthma and increased exposure to Penicillium. The levels are deemed âno moldâ to âlow levelâ, from âlowâ to âintermediateâ, and âintermediateâ to âhighâ.
Mold exposures have a variety of health effects depending on the person. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Exposure to mold can cause several health issues such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, cough, and wheezing, as well as skin irritation in some cases. Exposure to mold may also cause heightened sensitivity depending on the time and nature of exposure. People at higher risk for mold allergies are people with chronic lung illnesses and weak immune systems, which can often result in more severe reactions when exposed to mold.
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How Are We Exposed To Mold
Mold needs organic matter to feed upon and moisture in order to grow. When growing conditions are right, mold releases spores and volatile organic compounds into the air, which may make some people feel sick.
Mold spores may be breathed in or absorbed through skin. Mold can also grow on food and may be hazardous if ingested.
Health Symptoms Of Prolonged Mold Exposure
Health Check Certified By: Dr. Gerald Morris
Mold is literally everywhere in our homes, outside, and even in our food. However, while it sometimes goes unnoticed to many, some Americans might be exposed to higher amounts of mold or have a sensitivity to it.
Your home is a prime place for mold to grow, especially if you have a damp basement. You should also try avoiding certain foods, if its determined you have mold sensitivity. Here are 13 health effects that prolonged mold exposure can have on you
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How Much Mold Exposure Is Harmful
Molds are a type of fungi, which can flourish both indoors and outside. There are millions of mold species.
Mold is important for the planets ecosystem, because it helps break down waste products and organic matter, such as leaves, dead trees, and garbage.
Some people get sick from exposure to mold. Others have no symptoms and dont experience ill effects of any kind.
In this article, well talk about the potential dangers of mold exposure, identify whos most vulnerable, and provide solutions for keeping your environment mold-proof.
Get A Professional Mold Inspection
Mold is a difficult thing to find. Step 1 should be a comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection. The company you choose for the inspection should offer a comprehensive mold inspection that you payfor, not hand over a price without truly investigating the problem. Your inspector should define the extent of the necessary work and what may or may not need to be done. The inspector should talk you through all your options and tailor a plan that fits your needs and your budget.
Check out our post: Do You Have Mold? How to Choose Between a Paid or Free Mold Inspection to learn about a problem we solved for a homeowner that was NOT mold.
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Facts About Stachybotrys Chartarum
What is Stachybotrys chartarum?
Stachybotrys chartarum is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth.
Does Stachybotrys chartarum cause acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants?
To date, a possible association between acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants and Stachybotrys chartarum has not been proven. Further studies are needed to determine what causes acute idiopathic hemorrhage.
What if my child has acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage?
Parents should ensure that their children get proper medical treatment.
Is there a test for Stachybotrys chartarum?
At present, no test exists that proves an association between Stachybotrys chartarum and particular health symptoms. Individuals with persistent symptoms should see their physician. However, if Stachybotrys chartarum or other molds are found in a building they should be removed.
Stachybotrys chartarum and other molds may cause health symptoms that are nonspecific. It is not necessary to determine what type of mold you may have growing in your home or other building. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.
How Does Mould Affect Health
Mould associated with damp buildings can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheeze, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions.
People who are more susceptible to these symptoms and other serious health effects include those with:
- weakened immune systems
- chronic, obstructive, or allergic lung diseases.
You should seek medical advice if you are concerned about the effects of mould.
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Exposure Sources And Prevention
The primary sources of mold exposure are from the indoor air in buildings with substantial mold growth and the ingestion of food with mold growths.
While mold and related microbial agents can be found both inside and outside, specific factors can lead to significantly higher levels of these microbes, creating a potential health hazard. Several notable factors are water damage in buildings, the use of building materials which provide a suitable substrate and source of food to amplify mold growth, relative humidity, and energy-efficient building designs, which can prevent proper circulation of outside air and create a unique ecology in the built environment. A common issue with mold hazards in the household can be the placement of furniture, resulting in a lack of ventilation of the nearby wall. The simplest method of avoiding mold in a home so affected is to move the furniture in question.
Prevention of mold exposure and its ensuing health issues begins with the prevention of mold growth in the first place by avoiding a mold-supporting environment. Extensive flooding and water damage can support extensive mold growth. Following hurricanes, homes with greater flood damage, especially those with more than 3 feet of indoor flooding, demonstrated far higher levels of mold growth compared with homes with little or no flooding.
Know When To Clean And When To Call
Its not hard to take care of mold as a homeowner, but its a good idea to know when to call in the pros. If you smell a musty odor in your home you cant identify, or have health problems associated with mold, its time to call in the professionals. If an area of mold covers more than around 10 square feet, there is a good chance the mold problem is more than an isolated issue, and its time to call the professionals.
Especially if you dont live in our service area, check out our post: How to Choose the Best Black Mold Removal Company. We help you know all the questions to ask and give you all the correct answers.
The company you choose should know all the answers to the questions in our article. Dont get scammed! Get smart! Always ask a lot of questions before hiring anyone to work on your home.
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Can Black Mold Spores Travel In The Air
Yes. Mold spores are airborne and can attach themselves to peoples skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags, furniture, carpets, and even pets. Once spores enter your home, they can settle onto any surface and start to multiply. They can also enter your house through open doorways, open windows, and HVAC systems.
Mold spores are microscopic and are virtually found everywhere. They are naturally found in the air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors. Since spores are tiny and lightweight, they become airborne easily, every time we vacuum or walk on the carpets or even sit on our couch.
What Can You Do
In addition to visible mould, other signs of damp problems may include: mould odour, water stains, frequent condensation, peeling or cracked paint or wall paper, damp basement, and standing water under or around the house.
No safe levels of indoor dampness and or mould have been defined. So health-based standards or guidelines do not exist.
Nonetheless, there are several practicable measures you can take to prevent or minimise indoor mould. These include adequately heating and, in colder climates, insulating your home to reduce air humidity levels and condensation.
Install and use appropriate ventilation, particularly in wet areas or areas where water vapour may be emitted, such as bathrooms, laundries and kitchen areas.
Its also critical to avoid water leaks by controlling and maintaining rain and surface water drainage. Where holes are created in the roof or walls to allow skylights, windows, doors, pipes or other structures to be fitted, make sure these are watertight.
If you find visible mould in your home, remove the mould and identify and address the cause of the excess moisture. Clean hard surfaces using soap and water or, if mould growth is persistent, a bleach solution could be used. You may need to throw away absorbent materials such as carpets, depending on the level of contamination.
In case of extensive mould damage, you may need to call on commercial mould remediation services.
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