Molds are very tiny organisms which can be found growing on organic material such as soil, foods, and plant matter. They reproduce through spores, which spread through air, water, or by insects. These spores act like seeds, they form new mold growth when given the right condition. The key to preventing mold growth is to control all moisture problems. Extensive mold contamination may not just damage your home but as well as cause life-threatening health problems.
There had already been a lot of researches conducted which hold that allergies are commonly associated with mold. An allergy is a negative reaction of one's immune system to something that does not affect most other people at all. Usually, a person who has an allergy to one specific thing could also be allergic to some other things. There are several substances present in the environment we live in that could bring about allergic reactions. Examples of these are dust, food, fumes, stings, pills and even mold spores. Allergic reactions could be in the form of having a runny nose, rashes, swollen body parts, itches, repeated sneezes or asthma. Symptoms actually vary. Allergies usually make you feel very uncomfortable but are not usually fatal. However, studies proved that anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction which could actually endanger lives. Even people who do not have allergies could be badly affected when exposed to high concentration of mycotoxins. Other examples of allergic reactions associated to mold and mildew are nasal congestion, fatigue, hay fever, throat irritation, respiratory problems, and sensitivity to light.
Effects on Body Systems
Toxic mold greatly affect our body systems. Some toxic mold including Aspergillus, , Stachybotrys, and Trichoderma are able to produce mycotoxins which are capable of causing severe health problems. Toxic mold can increase your susceptibility to a wide variety of diseases by weakening your immune system. Eye irritations cause burning, reddening, watery, and sensitivity to light of your eyes; skin irritations cause dermatitis or skin rash, athlete's foot, or yeast infection. Nasal or sinus congestion will cause headache, runny nose, and coughing.
Exacerbation of Pre-existing Conditions
There are some individuals which may be more susceptible to health problems from mold exposure so they are more likely to experience exacerbations compared to others. These are individuals with current respiratory sensitivities (e.g., asthma, allergies, or emphysema) and with a compromised immune system (e.g., chemotherapy patients, HIV/AIDS infection, or organ transplant patients). These patients are also more potential for dangerous complications such as aspergillosis, dyspnea leading to apnea, alveolar collapse or cardiac arrest. Life-threatening conditions are more likely to occur in these patients.
For sensitive people, a simple contact or inhalation of even the tiniest mold or mold spores could cause asthma attacks. Anyone who is allergic to mold should avoid having contact with them. It is in fact alarming to know that when people with asthma are exposed to high amounts mold it could lead to death. Taking this in mind, homes with mold problems should be addressed as soon as possible.
Sufficient moisture gives mold spore a very good environment to grow and replicate. Moisture can be in the form of very high humidity, condensation, or water from a leaking pipe. Organic materials like ceiling tile, drywall, paper, or natural fiber carpet padding also aids in mold growth. Indications of a moisture problem may include discoloration, warping or condensation of the household surfaces. Obvious mold growth at home should be cleaned up as exposure to high amounts of mold is not healthy for anyone.
Prevention of Mold Growth and its Effects
It is always better to prevent illness rather than to cure them especially when they are already serious and life-threatening. Maintaining good health takes proper discipline which means maintaining a healthy lifestyle and environment. Making sure your home is mold-free is another act of health promoting behavior. The process of mold removal is typically known as remediation. It is called remediation because spores exist pretty much everywhere, and most of them are benign or they are in low enough quantities to be harmless. Therefore, they cannot all be completely removed. However, remediation refers to the process of reducing the number of spores to a safe level.
Professionals will come into your home and inspect it to determine the severity of your infestation. If the problem has not spread beyond one room of the house, they will section off that part of the house. They will physically remove mold. Isolating the affected room of the house prevents spores from spreading to other parts of the building.
After physically removing affected areas, they will kill it in hard-to-reach areas using chemical agents such as bleach, ammonia, borax, and vinegar. Some porous materials such as clothes, upholstery, and drywall might not be salvageable. Non-porous materials such as glass, metal, and plastic should be reusable after a thorough cleaning.
The professionals will then use a high-efficiency particulate air resistance (HEPA) filtered vacuum to clean up the spores and dry the air in the room. A dry environment will help prevent spores from returning.
In addition to seeking professional help, you as the homeowner must play your part. There are several preventive measures you can undertake such as;
- Dampness being one of the key factors in the growth of black mold, keeping an eye on the level of humidity that causes damp conditions can help to keep it at bay. You can do so by dehumidifying your home when humidity levels are high.
- Make sure that your air conditioners and ventilation ducts are cleaned regularly since it can grow in these places without your knowledge.
- Bathroom tiles, appliances, and curtains should be kept very clean since these are conducive to growth of black mold due to the high level of moisture content.
- Use of air purifiers can help contain it to a great extent.
As you can see, there are many ways to counteract its growth and adverse effects. By taking adequate measures to control this menace, quick action must be taken, especially to avoid being sick due to exposure to mold and its poisonous effects. If you notice you have mold, call a Certified Mold Inspection Company immediately.
Check out our last Article: Types of Mold Health Risks and Prevention Measures
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