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.
What Medical Tests Are Available To Determine If I Am Allergic Tomold
There are medical tests to determine if you are allergic to a particularsubstance, such as mold. These can be performed on skin or blood. Skin testsare considered more reliable than blood tests to determine allergic reaction toa substance. Skin tests yield results more quickly, are less expensive thanblood tests and are generally considered more sensitive. If an individual hassymptoms year-round, which may indicate an indoor allergy, skin testing may berecommended.
Blood testing called the RAST test can be done to showif you are allergic to a substance. The RAST test detects levels of antibodiesto particular allergens. The test is expensive to perform and results areusually not available for about two weeks.
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.
Read Also: Mold On Shower Ceiling
What If I Dont See Any Mold
Unfortunately, just because you dont see mold doesnt mean that it isnt there. Mold is an expert at hiding in the places you cant see. It can live behind drywall, in the ceiling, in your ventilation, and even in your homes insulation. Regardless of where it lives, if you have mold growing in your home, its spores will be airborne. Being constantly exposed to those in the air that you breathe can have many negative effects on your health.
How To Clean Mold Out Of Lungs
Q: Dear Dr. Mao,After a few days of sleeping in a friends basement, I woke up with pain in my lungs that occurred when breathing. I was told that there had, at one time, been mold there, but that it had been cleaned up. How can I clean out my lungs?
A: First, I would like to suggest a possible alternative cause for the pain. In youth there are often slight pleural effusion pains due to the growth of the chest cavity. The pain is a normal result of the lungs growing and pushing against the pleural cavity. This notwithstanding, it is possible that you may have been exposed to mold or fungal spores. In that case, the best thing to do is to have your lungs checked for an infection. Fungal infections can cause complications when left untreated. Seek advice from a licensed acupuncturist/herbalist to help with a prescription to clear the lungs. They will also prescribe breathing exercises that can help. One such exercise is the bellows breath exercise, which I often prescribe. It is done in the early morning in fresh clean air outside. Stand facing east, feet shoulder width apart, slightly bent at the knees, and arms draped at your sides. In short bursts , inhale clean air and likewise in bellows blow out the air in short bursts through the mouth. When exhaling, direct the flow to the ground in front of you and slightly bend forward. Repeat 31 times, taking care not to hyperventilate.
Recommended Reading: Bathroom Mold Ceiling
Signs And Symptoms Of Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold exposure may often present with your typical allergic complaints that are listed above. However, one must be mindful that other non-allergic, mold-related illnesses exist and may present similarly to a mold allergy, but often with more seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Research has found that people who have been exposed to mixed mold, mold spores and mycotoxins have experienced neurological and behavioral symptoms. These symptoms have been corroborated by other studies like Gordon et al. and Rea et al. .
Such non-allergic symptoms to mold may include, but are not limited to:
- Cognitive impairment
How Mold Takes Hold
While many kinds of mold can grow inside buildings, the most common culprit is Stachybotrys atra, also called Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold. S. atra is greenish black and thrives where there is a continuous supply of moisture and nutrients . Mold also can grow inside building vents and air-conditioning systems.
S. atra is not itself toxic, but it can produce toxins, as can other molds, called mycotoxins. But even when mycotoxins are not present, inhaled spores can cause an allergic reactionan immune system reactionor nonallergic irritation of lungs and nasal passages.
People with allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are most likely to have a reaction or a worsening of the symptoms of their condition when they inhale mold spores. In otherwise healthy people, typical symptoms include stuffy nose, itchy eyes and wheezingwhich usually clear up quickly once the exposure stops.
Mycotoxins, on the other hand, can be nasty. Some mycotoxins are powerful enough to kill bacteria and mycotoxins have been weaponized for chemical warfare. Mycotoxins from common indoor molds are not as deadly but still can cause acute and chronic illness.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Black Mold On Shower Grout
What To Do If Coughing Is Caused By Mold Exposure
First consult your family doctor. Your health, and that of other family members in the home should be of utmost concern.
Next, we recommend scheduling a free in-home consultation with a mold remediation professional. They will inspect your home and advise you about the mold removal process. They will also tell you how to prevent the mold from returning. If youre experiencing a cough or other health problems related to exposure to mold, its probably best for you to have a professional handle the mold removal for you. Be sure to ask your doctor if removing mold from your home yourself could make your condition worse. Even if you plan to handle the mold removal yourself, you can benefit from some free expert advice. Follow this link to get a list of experienced mold removal professionals offering free in-home consultations near you.
So Is There Any Reason To Detox My Body To Undo Mold Exposure
There are various treatment methods out there for mold exposure, like sweating it out and even gut health cleanses that claim to detox the moldbut none of them have been proven by studies to treat anything .
For example, activated charcoal is often used in emergency rooms to prevent treat substance abuse overdosebut it wont necessarily do anything to treat or detox mold exposure, says Dr. Parikh . Probioticswhich are in and of themselves beneficial for your overall gut healthhave also been thrown around as a treatment for mold-related illness. But they cant treat an active bacterial infection in any way, Dr. Parikh notes.
Many touted mold treatment options also arent FDA-approved and may not be covered by health insurance, Dr. Parikh points out, so you should approach what you read about mold with a critical eye.
You May Like: Remove Mildew From Bathroom Ceiling
What To Do After Exposure To Covid
After being exposed to COVID-19, you can spread the virus even if you dont show any symptoms. Quarantine keeps people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 away from other people. This helps prevent the spread of the illness.
If you need to quarantine, you should stay at home until it is safe to be around others. Learn when to quarantine and when it is safe to be around other people.
Is Mould A Landlords Responsibility
As a landlord, its both your legal responsibility and a duty of care to your tenants to make sure your property is free of damp and mould. And because damp and mould can wipe thousands off a propertys value, tackling the problem at the earliest stage will help ensure your investment isnt adversely affected.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Mold Off Shower Grout
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.
How Much Can You Sue For Mold Exposure
If sued in the small claims court, you can expect to sue for $3-10,000 depending on the claim and the damage the mold exposure has caused.
There have been cases where individuals have won more depending on the severity of the mold. If an employer or a large corporation caused the mold, you could expect a larger payout then too. Generally, you can expect a few thousand dollars if you are suing for health-related issues or property loss. When completing your claim, be sure to note the exact cost at the point of purchase to get the correct money for your possessions lost to mold. In these cases, it can help contact a professional who can provide accurate information based on the small claims court near you and help accurately complete your claim.
Also Check: How To Clean Mold From Boat Seats
Side Effects Of Black Mold
With the current awareness of potential health problems associated with mold growth in houses people want to know if they have been exposed to harmful black mold. All molds are potentially harmful. However, a few types have frequently been associated with adverse human health effects. Generally people are concerned when they see black mold growth in their houses or offices. The colour of the mold, however, does not determine whether a mold is harmful or not.
Stachybotrys chartarum is the infamous species of mold known as black mold. Black mold grows in areas of excessive moisture and poor air quality. Though not rare, black mold ranks among the least common of mold species. It thrives in materials rich in cellulose such as gypsum board. Black mold also thrives in the presence of constant moisture caused by excessive humidity, condensation and flooding. People with allergies, suppressed immune systems, or chronic lung diseases are more susceptible to exposure to black mold. Even healthy individuals experience symptoms of black mold poisoning.
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.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold From Boat Seats
Suing Your Landlord For Mold
If you truly feel that the existence of mold in your rented property has caused you significant damage, then you can sue your landlord for damages. Typically, you can file a lawsuit against your landlord for mold under the following circumstances:
- If you informed the property owner that there was water leakage or visible traces of mold in your house, but he/she did nothing to remedy the situation, and things have now got out of hand.
- If you have incurred significant medical expenses due to mold exposure.
- If you have incurred any cost trying to get rid of the mold yourself.
- If you have lost wages or will probably lose wages in the future due to health complications you developed after being exposed to the mold.
- If you have suffered significant pain and suffering.
What Are The Signs Of A Mold Illness
Individuals suffering from mold illness often exhibit signs in their digestive health: Some common symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain and a lack of appetite. Mold illness could lead to serious respiratory complications in fact, one of the most common signs of the condition is difficulty breathing.
Don’t Miss: Can Black Mold Be Removed From Wood
How To Remove Black Mold
Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.
Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â
Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:
- Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
- Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
- Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
- Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
- Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
- Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â
What Causes Mold Sickness
The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.
For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.
For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person
In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.
Don’t Miss: How To Mold Leather Holster
Which Mold Is Worse Black Or White
Black mold is considered highly toxic mold and poses terrible health risks. On the other hand, white mold is a powdery, stringy, flakey, or filmy substance that can change colour or remain white, making it difficult to identify. Generally speaking, white molds present less health risks than black mold.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Mildew From Canvas Boat Cover
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.
Read Also: How To Treat The Inside Of A Leather Holster