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What are the Health Effects of Mold Exposure?

What are the Health Effects of Mold Exposure?

Mold is a type of fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. The damp conditions often found in homes provide an ideal environment for mold growth, which can create a breeding zone that exposes people to the potential health risks associated with mold exposure. It is a common problem in many homes and buildings and can have a significant impact on the health of people who are exposed.

While some people are more sensitive to mold than others, anyone can experience health effects from mold exposure. The worst-case scenario is when you or a house member suffers from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma, mold can lead to severe breathing problems.

Don’t underestimate mold exposure. Learn about the symptoms and health effects associated with mold.

Toxic Mold

There are many types of mold that can be harmful to a person’s health. These fungi are known to produce toxic substances called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can cause various symptoms, including respiratory issues, allergies, and even organ damage. Some types of mold, such as black mold, are particularly dangerous because they produce high levels of mycotoxins. Inhaling or ingesting these toxins can lead to serious health issues, including death in severe cases. It is important to identify toxic mold to help you take precautions whenever you plan to eliminate them from your home.

Mold which can cause mycotoxicosis diseases includes:

  • Stachybotrys or black mold
  • Aspergillus
  • Alternaria
  • Penicillium
  • Cladosporium

Non-Toxic Mold

It is important to note that while some types of mold can be harmful to people, there are also many types that are not harmful to humans and don’t cause mycotoxicosis diseases. Although these types of mold are non-toxic, they can still cause damage to property.

One type of mold that is not harmful to humans but can cause damage to property is wood-degrading mold. This type of mold feeds on wood, causing it to rot and weaken. This can be a significant problem in homes and buildings with wooden structures, as the mold can cause the wood to become structurally unsound.

Another type of mold that is not harmful to humans but can cause damage to property is mold that grows on fabrics. This type of mold can cause fabrics to deteriorate and become discolored, making them unsightly and potentially damaging to clothing, furniture, and other items made of fabric.

In addition to damaging wood and fabrics, mold can also cause damage to other materials, such as paper and leather. Mold can cause paper to become discolored and brittle, and it can cause leather to become dry and cracked.

Mold which doesn’t cause mycotoxicosis diseases includes:

  • Nigrospora
  • Dresclera
  • Pithomyces
  • Aureobasidium
  • Ulocladium
  • Stemphylium

Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Usually, visible mold colonies may not directly cause symptoms; however, when mold grows in a home or building, it can release tiny spores into the air. These spores can be inhaled by people, causing a range of health problems. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others, but anyone can experience health effects from mold exposure.

There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate you have been exposed to mold. Some common health effects of mold exposure include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Respiratory problems
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Eye irritation
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Skin irritation
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

In addition to these common health effects, mold exposure can also cause more serious health problems, such as lung infections in immune-deficient individuals.

Suspect You Have Mold Poisoning?

Whenever you suspect poisoning due to mold exposure, contact your doctor and inform them about the situation.

Only trained doctors can tell if the poisoning is from mold exposure or another health condition. When you suspect mold symptoms, avoid breathing in areas with mold. Detoxing yourself when experiencing mold poisoning or symptoms is not recommended.

After diagnosing your condition, your doctor will identify if you are allergic to mold or if you have underlying health conditions, such as asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases. To treat the symptoms, the doctor may suggest the following medication:

  • Regular allergy medicine
  • Nasal sprays to curb runny or stuffy nose
  • Over-the-counter medication that lowers airway inflammation and suppresses allergic reactions

Identifying the Type of Mold

Mold experts are the best people to help you test for mold exposure. The tests can determine if there are any hidden signs of mold allergies. Alternatively, you can perform the test yourself using many commercially available home or DIY mold test kits. DIY tests are commonly used for testing the air in your home for mold spores, which can help confirm the concentration of fungus spores in the air. Despite the popularity of home mold tests, mold professionals are still the best people to consult to accurately and reliably test and identify mold in your home.

Getting Rid of Mold

The most effective way to get rid of mold is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Here are some steps you can take to do so:

  • Fixing any leaks or moisture problems, such as plumbing leaks or leaks in the roof
  • Ventilating areas that are prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens
  • Using a dehumidifier in areas of the home or building that have high humidity levels
  • Regularly cleaning and maintaining HVAC systems
  • Removing any mold that is already present

If mold gets out of hand, it’s time to call a professional to deal with it. It is important to have a professional handle mold for several reasons. First, professionals have the training and expertise to assess the extent of a mold problem properly and identify the types of mold that are present. This information is crucial for determining the best course of action for removal and preventing the mold from returning.

Second, professionals have access to specialized equipment and methods for removing mold. This includes personal protective equipment to prevent exposure to the mold, as well as specialized tools and techniques for removing the mold and cleaning surfaces to prevent it from returning.

Third, professionals have the knowledge and experience to address the underlying causes of the mold problem, such as moisture and ventilation issues. This is essential for preventing the mold from returning and for ensuring the safety and health of the occupants of the home or building.

Get Fast, Reliable, And Effective Mold Removal & Remediation Services

Getting rid of mold from your building may require time and effort. But with MoldCare, you are just a phone call away from complete mold removal in every part of your home. We also offer reconstruction and restoration of properties damaged by mold infestation. Contact us for first-class mold removal services in Toronto and Kitchener/Waterloo.

Contact Mold Care