What Are Symptoms And Signs Of Mold Exposure
Molds produce irritating substances that may act as allergy-causing substances in sensitive individuals. Furthermore, some molds produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins, but mold itself is not poisonous or toxic. The term “toxic mold,” therefore, refers to the fact that certain kinds of mold can produce mycotoxins. The conditions under which some molds produce toxins are not understood, and the presence of mold, even a mold that is capable of producing toxins, does not always imply that toxins are being produced or that a health risk or problem is present. Mold may not cause any health problems, or it may lead to allergy or other symptoms in people, including adults and children, who are sensitive to molds.
Allergic reactions to mold are the most common health effects of mold and are therefore the greatest health risk related to mold. Allergic reactions may happen immediately or develop after a period following exposure. Both growing mold and mold spores may lead to allergic reactions. Symptoms and signs of mold allergy may include
Mold or mold spores may cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and are allergic to mold. Even in some non-allergic individuals, mold can cause symptoms of irritation in the eyes, skin, and airways. For example, the “black mold”Stachybotrys, along with some other types of mold, produces toxins known as mycotoxins that can cause irritation of the skin and airways in susceptible individuals.
Test Your Environment For Mold
Testing your environmenthome or workplacefor mold can be very beneficial since the symptoms of mold-related illness can be similar to other chronic inflammatory conditions such as Lyme.
There are different avenues you may take to address mold testing. Options exist for both professional testing and for self-testing.
DIY Mold Testing
There are pros and cons to each so a combination of these may be used:
Find a Qualified Indoor Environmental Professionals for Inspection
An indoor environmental professional knowledgeable about the effects of mold on sensitive populations can be helpful. Their trained eyes and tools can be helpful in identifying the source of your mold. Here are tips for finding a qualified mold inspector:
- Be sure the professional offers just inspection, not inspection with remediation to avoid conflicts of interest.
- Consider a virtual or phone consultation with indoor professionals aligned with the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness and their standards for indoor health.
- Look for a local IEP through ACAC.org
- Find inspection professionals with the CIEC and CMC certifications.
- Find remediation professionals with the CMRS and CMR certifications.
Mold In The Workplace
Some workplaces, such as poorly ventilated factories, greenhouses, and vineyards, may house large amounts of mold.
Any workplace that contains lots of old paper products, such as used book stores, may be a source of mold. Paper contains cellulose, an organic food source that certain mold species thrive upon. Old books thatve been housed in humid conditions may be filled with millions of mold spores.
Farms and stables may also harbor large amounts of moldy hay. Mold toxins often develop in hay after a delayed harvest. Hay that contains mold is dangerous for humans to breathe in and for horses to eat.
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Question 1 Of : How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
What Happens If You Are Exposed To Black Mold For A Long Time
The most common black mold symptoms and health effects are associated with a respiratory response. Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches can all be symptomatic of black mold exposure or black mold poisoning.
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How Are Mold Allergies And Exposure Diagnosed
There are no proven tests that show when or where you may have been exposed to mold. However, your doctor may check for mold allergies by reviewing your symptoms and performing one of the following tests:
- Blood test. Your doctor takes a blood sample and then sends it to a laboratory to measure the number of certain antibodies, which can indicate your immune systems sensitivity to different mold species.
- Skin prick test. Your doctor takes small amounts of mold and applies it to your skin using a tiny needle. Your skin will break out in bumps, a rash, or hives if youre allergic to that type of mold.
Keep It Clean And Dry
It never hurts to clean regularly. Make sure humid areas and rooms with plumbing get regular spot checks. Add mold and mildew removal products to your cleaning routine, especially for the bathroom and kitchen.
Mold thrives on moisture, so use dehumidifiers in humid areas of your home like bathrooms, basements, or closets.
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What Happens When You Breathe In Mold Spores
The human immune system is designed to react when foreign contaminants enter the body this is exactly what can happen when you breathe in mold spores. People who are asthmatic or allergic to mold may experience a more severe reaction than those who are not, but anyone can experience adverse symptoms after too much exposure to mold.
Mold spores can enter your airways through your nose and mouth, and they may irritate your exposed eyes and skin as well. Once the spores have made their way into your body, your immune system will try to get rid of them by eliciting a series of physical responses from you, such as coughing or sneezing. The intensity of these responses is mostly based on how sensitive you are to mold.
The most common symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Redness and dry skin
- Asthma attack
Fortunately, mold exposure symptoms typically only last as long as the mold spores are present in your body. Once youve cleared away the mold in your home, bathed and circulated fresh, clean air throughout your respiratory system, the side effects should lessen within a day or two.
What To Tell Your Doctor
If you have symptoms, and youve been exposed to mold at work, on a trip or at home, you should consult your doctor immediately, Dr. Ibrahim says. Tell your provider all that you can about the mold and the location.
Be sure to mention all symptoms you may have, no matter how trivial they may seem. There are no insignificant symptoms when youre being evaluated for a new problem, Dr. Ibrahim says. Pay close attention to symptoms that are only present or worsen at home or other public areas where mold is common.
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How Much Of A Priority Should I Make Cleansing My Home Of Mold
Theres no need to panic about small amounts of mold. Of course, if you recently had a flood or water damage, its worth contacting a mold inspector. Or, if youre in a high-risk immune category or have allergy and asthma symptoms that might be related to mold, you should definitely address it, Dr. Parikh says. Regular home inspections should be able to detect mold, though.
To prevent mold growth in your house to begin with, the ideal scenario is to use central air conditioning with a certified allergy and asthma-friendly filter, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
If you dont have access to A/C, try to use a dehumidifier, especially when its hazy and humid outside. When youre showering, turn on an exhaust fan or crack a window so mold doesnt appear over time. Cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room regularly with an anti-mildew cleaner is your best bet to zap mold in its tracks.
What To Do If You Are Concerned About Mold
If you suspect mold is growing in your workplace and its affecting your health, you need to report it to your employer. Then, you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment and ask whether you need to stay away from the work environment on medical grounds. If you become ill as a result of your work and you need to take time off, you may be able to access workers comp benefits.
Your employer is required to ensure that the workplace is safe. This means they should have measures in place to handle excessive moisture and humidity. In the event that mold develops, they should call in the professionals promptly to have it dealt with. If your employer doesnt own the building, they should inform the landlord and inform employees about the presence of mold.
Regardless of whether the mold situation is your employers fault or not, if you become too ill to work, you should be able to claim workers comp benefits while you recover. The workers comp system doesnt require you to prove that someone was responsible for you becoming ill. However, you do need to prove that your illness occurred because of your work. If you want to ensure that you file a strong claim for compensation and get all the benefits you deserve, its a good idea to contact a Florida workers compensation lawyer.
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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.
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 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 To Prevent Mold
Whether you just got rid of the mold or you dont ever want to see it in your house you need to know the mold prevention rules. To prevent mold from appearing in your house:
Small investments in prevention can go long waysand keep a lot of cash in your pocket!
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What Should You Do If You Have Been Exposed To Black Mold
Also, a solution of warm, distilled water and saline can help rinse your nasal passages of mold spores and remove congestion. Over-the-counter medications. Antihistamines, such as cetirizine or loratadine , reduce your immune system response, minimizing airway inflammation.
Secondly, how much mold exposure is dangerous? 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.
Herein, is exposure to black mold dangerous?
Based on current research, black mold exposure is no more dangerous than any other type of mold exposure. It is impossible to avoid exposure to mold the spores are almost everywhere around us. In high amounts or in people with allergies, exposure to any mold may cause allergy symptoms.
How do you know if mold is making you sick?
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
If you are experiencing symptoms of black mold exposure, then it is important to take care of the mold problem as quickly as possible in order to avoid long-term health issues. The problem with these symptoms is the fact that they are often similar to symptoms of other health conditions, so many people don’t realize that there is a mold problem.
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How Can You Tell If Theres Mold In Your Lungs
If your exposure to mold is fairly minimal, chances are you may not even experience any symptoms. For more prolonged cases of exposure, the symptoms are generally recognizable across the board: sneezing, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or discomfort, and shortness of breath are all strong indicators that there are mold spores in your lungs.
The issue here is that all of these symptoms can be found in a variety of illnesses or allergic reactions, so it can be difficult to directly pin down mold exposure as the cause. Pay close attention to your symptoms, as well as when they started and how they change. Make a mental note of when you discovered mold growing around you, how long you were around it and whether or not you had any protection . If you fear at all that there may be mold in your lungs, dont hesitate contact medical professionals and let them know whats going on. Its always better to be safe than sorry.
Mold exposure can potentially cause serious problems, but most healthy people have nothing to worry about aside from some uncomfortable, temporary symptoms. If youre worried about mold in your home, contact your local professional to learn what you can do about it.
Sneezing And Nasal Congestion
While many things can trigger sneezing, its also a symptom of mold toxicity that should get your attention. If youve never had allergies or hay fever symptoms and youre positive you dont have a cold, those sneezes could be indicative of mold exposure.
Sneezing is the immune systems standard response to allergens. It could also be a warning sign that your home has a mold problem.
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How Can I Clean Moldy Surfaces
It is important to make sure that the source of moisture is fixed before the mold is cleaned up. If this is not done, the mold will grow again. How you clean up areas contaminated with mold depends on the surface where the mold is growing. A professional should be consulted if large areas are contaminated with mold. If the surface is non-porous , you can take the following steps:
- The surfaces first need to be cleaned:
- Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent in warm water and scrub the entire area affected by the mold. Use a stiff brush or cleaning pad on block walls or uneven surfaces.
- Rinse clean with water.
- Dry completely.
- The next step, if desired, is to disinfect the surfaces to help kill any mold missed by the initial cleaning:
- Ventilate the area before using a disinfectant.
- Disinfect the area with a solution of water and bleach . Never mix bleach with ammonia the vapors are hazardous. Straight bleach will not be more effective.
- Let disinfecting areas air dry completely.