What Are Toxigenic Reactions To Mold
A toxigenic mold produces toxins. There are approximately 20 common toxins that mold is known to produce.
When you ingest or inhale these toxins, your chance of becoming ill increases. Upon exposure to toxigenic mold, you may experience the following effects:
- Mucous membrane irritation
- Acute/chronic central nervous system disorders
- Hormone disorders
Another serious condition associated with mold exposure is hypersensitive pneumonitis. This is an acute, or chronic, lung disease brought on by inhaling fungal antigens.
Mold Exposure And Serious Conditions
Moldspores can aggravate symptoms in people with more serious conditions. Three ofthe most serious conditions are:
- Bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
This condition happens to people with severe asthma and cystic fibrosis.When spores trigger strong reactions, they can cause coughing , fever, and severe asthmatic symptoms.
Aspergilloma is a condition where spores invade body cavities, includingthe lungs. This condition often happens to people with tuberculosis or emphysema.Symptoms include wheezing breath, coughing blood, difficulties in breathing,and fatigue.
Aspergillosis is the more severe level of aspergillosis. It is acondition where the infection spreads from lungs to other organs, such askidneys, heart, skin, and even brain. However, it only happens when the personsuffers from low immunity.
Peoplewho already suffer from a certain type of cancer could experience worsecondition when exposed to mold. Chemotherapy and certain types of drugs canalso suppress the immune system.
Getting A Diagnosis For Mold Sickness
While symptoms to mold exposure are not uncommon , many health care professionals struggle to pinpoint the cause behind these symptoms.
Often only a few people or one person and not everyone, in a home or workplace experience symptoms. This is frustrating and confusing for the sick person. When their doctors cant find any reason for the illness, they can start to feel like the sickness is all in their mind.
People suffering from mold exposure can often be misdiagnosed with disorders such as:
Also Check: How To Clean Black Mold On Shower Grout
How Can Aspergillosis Be Prevented
Due to the prevalence of aspergillus mold in the environment, it is very difficult to avoid exposure. It is best to avoid locations with excessive amounts of dust or mold, such as construction sites or compost piles. People with weakened immune systems or mold allergies should avoid activities such as gardening or lawn mowing. If exposure to airborne dust or mold is likely, considering wearing a face mask or N95 mask. In some cases, your doctor might recommend the use of an antifungal medicine to prevent infection.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/09/2019.
Rental Properties With Mould Issues
When a rental property has mould, the owner should fix any mould caused by faults in gutters or other fixtures, but the tenant should ensure that extractor fans are used when available and the home is aired regularly where possible.
Sometimes, the cause of the mould growth may be due to a building fault that may not be easily rectified.
If as a tenant, you have taken measures to make sure the building is properly ventilated and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner.
Information on mould in rental properties is available on Consumer Affairs Victorias website.
Tenants seeking further advice on their rights can also contact the Tenants Union of Victoria on .
Don’t Miss: How To Clean Mold From Boat Seats
How To Cure Mold Related Asthma Symptoms
If youve ever experienced the effects of the persistent and hazardous micro-organism called mold, then you already know how unpleasant and debilitating these effects can be.
The very first step in doing away with your symptoms is to find the and the have it removed.
In most cases, mold problems can be traced back to some sort of moisture problem since water is the leading factor contributing to fungal growth. So, begin with detecting the problematic areas in your home. These areas most often include the kitchen sink, leaking toilets, condensation around windows and cracks in the foundation. Also keep an eye on areas that are poorly insulation and more humid.
In some cases, areas that are contaminated with mold are easily identified theyre unsightly, attract dust and release unpleasant odours. Once youve identified them, the next step is fixing them in an efficient manner.
Unless you are lucky enough to possess specialized equipment and knowledge of proper mold remediation procedures, your best option is calling a team of mold removal experts. Not only are they well equipped with all the latest equipment, but they also have years of first-hand experience dealing with all types of mold problems. Theyll be able to pinpoint with certainty the source of the mold contamination and plan for a strategic remediation. Also, theyll ultimately be able to minimize your risk of future mold growth.
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.
Also Check: How To Clean Vinyl Boat Seats Of Mildew
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:
How Can I Be Exposed To Mold
People are exposed to molds every day, usually by touching or breathingthem. Because molds naturally exist outdoors and indoors, living in a totallymold-free environment is practically impossible. As molds grow, spores can bereleased into the air where they can be easily inhaled. People who inhale largenumbers of spores may get sick. Possible health concerns are an importantreason to prevent mold growth and to clean up molds in indoor environments.
You May Like: Homemade Mildew Remover For Vinyl Boat Seats
How Can Dampness And Mold Problems Be Fixed
- Identify and eliminate the water problem. The most critical step is to identify and eliminate the source of the water that is creating a damp environment. You may need technical assistance from a plumber or contractor to determine what needs to be fixed or changed.
- Determine the extent of the problem. EPA recommends calling for professional help to clean any mold growth that covers more than 10 square feet.3 If you are unable to determine the extent of the problem, contact a professional, who can help you protect your family.
- Remove, clean or discard affected materials. To get rid of mold, wash it off materials that can be effectively cleaned, such as hard surfaces. Use detergent and warm water. Dry the surface completely. If the materials cannot be cleaned or are too damaged to reuse, discard them. Porous materials, like ceiling tiles, likely cannot be cleaned thoroughly and must be discarded.3
- Protect occupants and workers during the cleanup process. At minimum, wear an N-95 mask , disposable gloves and goggles. Workplace cleanup requires that the N-95 mask be professionally fitted.3
If water build up was caused by sewage, floods or other contaminated water, call a professional.
For more information on guidelines for safely cleaning up mold, visit the EPA’s mold clean up site.
Institute of Medicine .Damp Indoor Spaces and Health. National Academies Press. Washington, DC. 2004.
Tips For Preventing Mold In Your Home
Mold can get into your house through doors and windows. It can enter through air-conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems. It can even hitch a ride on you, your pets, or anything you carry in from outside. Read on for tips on how to prevent mold from taking hold in your home.
- Keep the humidity level low. If you dont have an air conditioner, you can use a dehumidifier. Shop for a dehumidifier online.
Recommended Reading: Mold On Boat Seats
Retrace Your Past Experiences
A case in point is a young male patient who came to Amen Clinics with complaints of sleep disturbance, anxiety, and brain fog. He was initially seen by one of our psychiatrists and referred to me for further workup. A careful history-taking found that these symptoms all started when he moved back home from college into his parents basement apartment. The whole family seems to have forgotten that the basement flooded on several occasions. Mold diagnostic testing revealed the patient had high levels of mold toxins in his body.
The first step is always to remove oneself from the moldy environment, and then treatment can begin. Treatment for a Toxic Brain typically consists of binding agents and other medications, such as antifungals, and metabolic support supplements. This patient improved with proper treatment and remediation of the mold problem. Here was a patient who didnt need any psychiatric medications he simply needed the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. What would have been the outcome for this patient without the proper diagnosis? He almost certainly would have been misdiagnosed as having a mental illness and treated with psychiatric medications.
The good news is that there are ways to determine if a patient has been exposed to toxic mold and that there are successful treatments available.
Different Types Of Mold
Allergenic Molds. Allergenic molds are on the low end of the danger scale. They only cause problems for those with asthma and a predisposed allergy to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have mold allergies than adults.
Pathogenic Molds. Pathogenic molds will cause some infection. This is a big problem for those with a suppressed immune system. An acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia is commonly found with those exposed to these types of mold.
Toxigenic Molds. As the name implies, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health effects. They have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. The toxic chemicals found in these types of molds can be absorbed into the body when one inhales them, eats them, or even touches them.
Recommended Reading: Can You Kill Mold With Uv Light
Mold Related Health Issues
An example of extreme mold growth. In most cases it is not nearly this obvious. See how it can be green or black?
Depending on a person’s age and overall health, both mold and mildew can cause damaging health effects.
Joint pain, migraines, heart issues and depression are standard with long-term mold exposure. People without mold allergies may be lucky enough to have limited health problems such as headaches, congestion, sneezing, fatigue and skin irritation, but really, nobody is built to live with constant exposure to mold or mildew. Even those with low sensitivity to mold will experience fatigue and general malaise.
The Institute of Medicine tells us people with allergies to mold and mildew typically experience wheezing, chest tightness and coughing and related respiratory illnesses. Mold exposure as a child means greater risk of developing asthma in later years.
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.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold From Boat Seats
Other Common Indoor Molds
If youre allergic to mold, your symptoms may be more severe, such as lung irritation.
According to the , in 2004, the Institute of Medicine found sufficient evidence linking indoor mold, and damp indoor environments in general, with:
- upper respiratory symptoms in healthy people
- asthma symptoms in people who have asthma
- hypersensitivity pneumonitis in susceptible people
Limited evidence suggests a link between exposure to mold and damp indoor environments and:
- respiratory illness in healthy children
- potential development of asthma in susceptible people
In 2009, the World Health Organization also reported a suggested link between early exposure to mold and development of asthma in children, especially those who are genetically susceptible to asthma.
A 2017 report found no scientific evidence that black mold exposure leads to:
- autoimmune disease
- infant pulmonary hemorrhage
- memory loss
Aspergillus fumigatus can cause a serious reaction in some people, especially those with asthma or cystic fibrosis. This condition is called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Symptoms may include:
- cough, possibly with blood or mucus
- worsening symptoms of asthma
- a cough, sometimes with blood
- weight loss
I Found Mold Growing In My Home How Do I Test The Mold
If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you cannot rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Black Mold On Shower Grout
Treating Mold Health Problems
If you think you are experiencing mold-related health problems, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Be sure to let your doctor know youve been exposed to mold and that you think mold may be contributing to your health issues. Many of the health issues that can be caused by mold can be caused by a number of other things, as well. In fact, it can be challenging to figure out whats causing things like a migraine, rash, or fatigue. Letting your doctor know youve been exposed to mold can help him or her make an accurate diagnosis and determine an appropriate treatment plan.
In addition to getting medical treatment, youll need to have all traces of mold removed from your home in order to recover from mold-related health issues. As long as you continue to be exposed to mold on a daily basis, your symptoms are unlikely to go away, even with treatment. In fact, your symptoms may even continue to get worse.
While some homeowners prefer to handle the mold removal process themselves, doctors usually recommend against doing that if youre experiencing mold-related health problems. The cleanup process stirs up hundreds of thousands of tiny mold spores, which are easily inhaled. The very process of cleaning up mold can make your symptoms worse, especially if you dont have the right protective equipment or know how to use it properly.
Top Tips For Controlling Mold
It’s impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home, but because mold spores can’t grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mold growth. If there is already mold growing in your home, it’s important to clean up the mold and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mold but don’t fix the problem, the mold will most likely return.
Following is some advice for reducing moisture throughout the home with specific tips for the areas most prone to dampness and mold growth:
Around the house:
In the kitchen:
- Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
- Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
- Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
- Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary.
In basements and crawl spaces:
In the laundry room:
- Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
- Make sure the vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
- Avoid leaving damp clothes in the laundry basket or dryer. Wash and dry them promptly.
Also Check: How To Clean Mold From Boat Seats