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The Truth About Mold And Its Health Effects
Molds are obscure fungi; They are fuzzy because they are made up of root-like structures called hyphae. Most mold hyphae grow on and inside decaying plant material or wall boards and release millions of tiny spores that float passively in the air like tiny seeds blown by the wind.
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds cause allergies and irritations. Touching or inhaling mold spores can cause allergic symptoms in sensitive people. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, red eyes, skin rash, sore throat, sinus congestion, difficulty breathing, skin and eye irritation, risk of sinus infections and colds, and rarely upper respiratory tract infections. The effects of mold vary greatly from one person to another.
It does not suit all family members. Some people who may be at a higher risk level are:
o Pregnant women and unborn children
o Infants, children and the elderly
o Individuals with severe respiratory sensitivities
o People with immune system problems such as people infected with HIV, patients undergoing chemotherapy and organ transplant recipients.
o People with allergies
o People with asthma
Molds are also a cause of frequent asthma attacks in people who already suffer from asthma.
The smell of mold alone is associated with a two-fold increase in a child’s chance of developing asthma later in life. So someone who doesn’t find a single spore test doesn’t prove that your property is safe from mold. Mold in your walls can create undetectable odors that increase the risk of allergy-like symptoms and asthma. A mold assessment involves more than air sampling, it’s a multi-disciplinary investigation of building defects, moisture issues, air pressure and flow conditions, AC ducts, mold odors, spore levels and more.
Exposure to high levels of mold over long periods of time eventually becomes unhealthy. Short-term high exposure can cause organic dust poisoning syndrome with flu-like symptoms for a few days. Long-term increased exposure can lead to pneumonia-like symptoms and long-term complications, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Regarding toxic mold, yes many molds commonly found in the home produce toxins and these toxins are very potent. Mold toxins are a form of self-defense that compensates for the lack of legs, fangs, claws, and hard shells in molds. It is important that you do not panic. Numerous studies have shown that the level of mold spores in your office or home is usually too low to cause a toxic reaction. But the synergistic effects of indoor pollutants and various mycotoxins are still not fully understood, further studies are needed. However, you may not be able to avoid mold allergies, sinus infections, and asthma attacks, which can lead to chronic illnesses.
But that’s not all, molds have a general tendency to destroy everything they grow on. By controlling moisture, you can prevent this damage to your belongings, your home, and your health. If it’s too late and you already have mold, moisture, humidity, or odors, contact a certified mold inspector for testing, inspection, and a written recommendation. If you suspect health problems related to mold or indoor air quality, do not rely on this article for medical advice, consult a physician.
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