Reduce Your Exposure To Mold In Your Home
After a hurricane or major flood, you may have to live in a home with mold in it. This could last for weeks, if you have nowhere else to go, or even months, if your whole community was affected. If you have to stay in a moldy home, you need to take steps to reduce your exposure to mold.
If you have asthma, COPD, or if you are immune-compromised you should not stay in a moldy home, or even be there while it is being cleaned.
Should I Remove Camembert Mold Before Eating
Yes, you can eat the rind of Camembert, Brie, or any soft-ripened cheese. The white mold is Penicillium camemberti (a.k.a. P. To avoid this, the best bet is to examine the cheese before purchase, if you can. Its rind should look fresh and white, and the disc should feel plump in its container or box.
Can You Just Cut Around The Mold
Although cutting off the mold seems like an easy solution, other harmful substances could still be left behind. The more moisture there is on the food product, not only will you have mold, but youll also have bacteria as well, Dr. Craggs-Dino says. Youre not just eating mold youre eating bacteria. Bacteria can cause serious foodborne illnesses such as listeria, which commonly grows on lunch meat and cheese, even in the refrigerator.
The potential for hidden bacteria is why adjacent mold can also be harmful. Say you have a container of strawberries where a few have turned moldy, but the others look fine. Unfortunately, you cant throw out the fuzzy ones, wash the rest and munch away.
Fruit has a lot of moisture and this mold could also harbor bacteria, says Dr. Craggs-Dino. Toss the pack since the spores are airborne, and most likely the entire package is contaminated even though you dont see the fuzzy growth on all the fruit.
Additionally, she says certain foods absolutely need to be thrown away if theyre moldy, including:
- Soft vegetables and fruits, such as cucumbers, tomatoes and peaches.
- Lunch meats such as deli ham.
- Restaurant leftovers.
- Peanut butter.
In general, if youre not sure if moldy food is safe to eat, Dr. Craggs-Dino says to err on the side of caution: If in doubt, throw it out.
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Is Moldy Food Dangerous Not Always
Food spoilage is often caused by mold.
Moldy food has an undesirable taste and texture and may have green or white fuzzy spots.
Just the thought of eating moldy food grosses most people out.
While some types of mold can produce harmful toxins, other types are used to produce certain foods, including some cheeses.
This article takes a close look at mold in food and whether its actually bad for you.
Mold Is A Potentially Dangerous Fungus
Some molds produce toxic byproducts called mycotoxins. These poisonous substances primarily affect grain and nut crops like wheat and peanuts. One of these, aflatoxin, is associated with cancer.
A mold’s genome, combined with the environment in which it grows, determines whether it makes toxins or not, Schaffner says, adding that “what makes a mold a toxin in one environment may not affect it in another.”
Thankfully, it’s less common for the most prevalent bread mold, Penicillium, to produce mycotoxins. But it can happen in rare cases, which is why it’s best to be safe than sorry.
Mold spores will also sometimes produce proteins that cause an allergic reaction that can cause coughing, itchy eyes, or an asthma attack. However, if you don’t have mold allergies, you are not likely to become seriously ill if you accidentally consume it.
Yet, people with compromised immune systems, like those undergoing cancer treatment or with an immune disorder, could be at higher risk for a fungal infection, Worobo says. Call your doctor if you accidentally consumed mold and are experiencing symptoms like nausea or vomiting.
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Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
How To Remove Black Mold Yourself
Did you know that its often possible to remove black mold yourself? Its true! Professional mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars and is often excluded from many homeowners insurance policies. But in many instances hiring a mold removal professional isnt necessary and black mold can be removed by a handy homeowner in less than one weekend of work.
If you feel like you may be a homeowner who is up to the challenge, weve written an eBook that gives step-by-step instructions on how to tackle your mold problem. For less than $20, we guarantee that youll save hundreds, if not thousands, of your hard-earned dollars.
You can purchase our eBook here:
And if youre not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, were happy to provide you a quote if youre in our service area. Just contact us for a completely free quote.
Bottom Line: No mold belongs in a healthy home. Be it black mold, or any other color of mold. It should all be treated the same. If you have mold, remove it.
Myths About Black Mold
Its important to address myths some people may have about black mold. One common rumor is that black mold releases toxic compounds called mycotoxins that cause health issues, like memory loss, headaches, and infant pulmonary hemorrhage.
But according to a review from 2017, theres no evidence that exposure to black mold causes particular health conditions.
Furthermore, while a variety of molds produce mycotoxins, these compounds are primarily dangerous for humans only when eaten in significant quantities.
A 2019 review of research into this topic states theres currently no evidence that mycotoxins in the air cause disease.
Dont Try To Salvage Moldy Bread
The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture advises discarding the entire loaf of bread if it has developed mold .
Though you may only see a few spots of the fungus, its microscopic roots can spread quickly through porous bread. Therefore, dont try to scrape off mold or salvage the rest of your loaf.
Some mold can produce harmful and invisible poisons called mycotoxins. These may spread through bread, particularly when mold growth is heavy .
High intake of mycotoxins may cause digestive upset or other illness. These toxins can also sicken animals, so dont feed contaminated bread to your pets (
Vinegar and certain spices, such as cinnamon and cloves, may also deter mold growth. However, the spices may alter the flavor and aroma of bread, so their use for this purpose is limited .
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Mold Can Produce Mycotoxins
Mold can produce toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. These can cause disease and even death, depending on the amount consumed, the length of exposure and the age and health of the individual .
Acute toxicity includes gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, as well as acute liver disease. Long-term low levels of mycotoxins can suppress the immune system and may even cause cancer .
Besides being exposed through the ingestion of contaminated food, people can also get exposed through inhalation or skin contact with mycotoxins in the environment .
Even though mold growth is usually quite obvious, mycotoxins themselves are invisible to the human eye .
One of the most common, most toxic and most studied mycotoxins is aflatoxin. It is a known carcinogen and can cause death if ingested in high amounts. Aflatoxin contamination is more common in warm regions and often linked to drought conditions .
Aflatoxin, as well as many other mycotoxins, is very heat-stable, so it can survive food processing. Therefore, it may be present in processed food, such as peanut butter .
Summary:Mold can produce mycotoxins that can cause disease and death. Aflatoxin, a known carcinogen, is the most toxic known mycotoxin.
Mold Is Used To Make Certain Foods
Mold is not always undesirable in food.
Penicillium is a genus of molds used in the production of many types of cheese, including blue cheese, Gorgonzola, brie and Camembert (
Other safe molds are koji molds, including Aspergillus oryzae, which are used to ferment soybeans to make soy sauce. They are also used to make vinegar, as well as fermented beverages, including the Japanese drink sake .
Its important to note that even though some molds are added to particular foods during production to achieve certain effects, the same molds can still spoil other products.
For example, Penicillium roqueforti is used to make blue cheese, but it will cause spoilage if it grows in fresh or grated cheese .
Summary: Food companies use particular molds to make cheese, soy sauce, vinegar and fermented beverages. These molds are safe to eat, as long as they are consumed as part of the foods they were intended for and dont contaminate other foods.
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Mold May Cause Allergic Reactions
Some people have a respiratory allergy to molds, and consuming moldy food might cause these people to have an allergic reaction.
Not much research exists on this topic, but there have been several case studies.
In a small number of cases, people who are allergic to mold have reported allergic symptoms after they ate Quorn. Quorn is a food product made from mycoproteins, or fungal proteins, that are derived from the mold Fusarium venenatum .
Despite these incidents, there is no need for healthy individuals to avoid Quorn.
In another case study, a patient who was very sensitive to molds experienced a serious allergic reaction after ingesting a bee pollen supplement that was contaminated with the molds Alternaria and Cladosporium .
In another case, a teenager allergic to mold died after consuming pancake mix that was heavily contaminated with mold .
People who are not sensitive or allergic to mold are probably not affected if they accidentally ingest a small amount of it.
One study found that individuals who were not sensitive to mold experienced fewer symptoms than those who were sensitive to mold after they ingested a mixed mold extract preparation. However, not many studies exist on this topic, so more research is needed .
Summary:People with respiratory allergies to mold may experience an allergic reaction after ingesting mold. More research on this topic is needed.
Removing Mold From Your Home
Resolve any issues causing mold growth, and throw away anything affected by mold or contributing to mold growth that you cant clean.
- Wear protective gear. As youre dealing with the moldy area, cover yourself with a mask, gloves, goggles, and rubber boots. If youre cleaning a lot of mold, you can also wear disposable clothing or a mold-resistant suit.
- Ventilate the room. Open all doors and windows to increase ventilation.
- Sort and discard. Remove any objects from the area that havent been touched by mold growth. Throw away any items that cant be cleaned.
- Replace moldy housing materials. Cut away and replace mold-damaged drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpet.
- Scrub and disinfect. Cover and scrub nonporous surfaces affected by mold with bleach, a fungicide, or detergent and water, then dry them. Dont mix cleaning products together.
- Address any water issues. Make sure any water problems are fixed and the area is dry before you renovate the room.
You cant prevent all mold, but you can reduce the amount in your home. Here are some dos and donts for managing mold and keeping it from growing indoors.
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Causes Of Damp And Mould
Mould and damp are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames.
A newly built home may be damp if the water used when building it is still drying out for example, in the plaster on the walls. Excess moisture indoors can also be caused by condensation.
If you have mould or damp it’s important to find out why you have excess moisture in your home. When you know what’s causing the damp, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air. You may need to get a professional to remove mould for you, but if it’s only a small amount you may be able to remove it yourself.
Page last reviewed: 8 August 2018 Next review due: 8 August 2021
How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
Are you sick and suspect it might be from mold?
Determining whether exposure to mold is making you sick isnt always easy.
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression.
Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure. Many people suffering from mold illness struggle to get a proper diagnosis and investigation.
Its common to think my house is clean it cant be mold! However, mold comes in many forms. In this article, well share what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
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How Bad Is Black Mold Really
You don’t want mold in your home. Black, green, orange, yellow no matter the color, it’s all undesirable. Yet you don’t necessarily have to panic if you see it growing on your walls or windowsills. Because while mold can negatively affect your health, and sometimes dramatically, you may suffer no ill effects at all from mold exposure.
Mold is a type of fungus, and it’s everywhere indoors, outdoors and even in the air. That’s not too surprising when you consider there are more than 100,000 types of mold in existence, and possibly even millions. Mold gets into homes and buildings through open windows, doors, vents and ductwork. It can also attach itself to your clothes or pets when you’re outside, so you inadvertently bring it indoors with you.
Once indoors, mold grows wherever there’s a lot of a lot of moisture. That’s why you’ll often see mold around leaky windows or pipes, or on drywall after flooding. It also grows easily on paper and on fabric, carpet, upholstery, insulation and even in dust.
How Will I Know When Ive Been Exposed To Mold
Chances are you may not know right away. Some individuals are so sensitive to mold, they can tell the moment they step into a moldy room. For the rest of us, it can be more difficult to sense. If you, a co-worker, or a family member are experiencing the harmful symptoms of mold exposure, the best thing to do is consult a physician.
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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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What Is Black Mold
Black mold is the common name for a certain type of mold called Stachybotrys, which is thought to be particularly harmful to a persons health.
Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.
When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.
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.Learn more about identifying black mold.
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