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Paula Hensley, August 30 2021

Brief intro into mold

Some types of mold, such as aspergillus, can cause serious health problems in some people, known as aspergillosis. Most people who inhale spores from these fungi get sick, but people with weakened immune systems or existing lung diseases may have more severe reactions. In people who are allergic to mould, inhaling spores can trigger asthma attacks.     

If you have a mold allergy or asthma, your asthma symptoms may be triggered by contact with mold spores. In some people, exposure to certain fungi can cause severe asthma attacks. People with a severe mold allergy can have serious reactions such as hay fever-like symptoms and shortness of breath.    

People with allergies to certain types of mould may have allergic symptoms such as sneezing, nasal bumps, upper respiratory tract irritation, cough and eye irritation. People who are allergic to indoor moulds can experience year-round symptoms such as sore throats, coughs, stuffy noses and more asthma mould, triggering asthma attacks. Excessive exposure to mould can lead to an increase in the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms.    

Mold allergies can cause coughing, itchy eyes and other symptoms that make you unhappy. Exposure to mold spores can trigger a reaction, but the reaction can be delayed. Mould allergies can also cause delayed symptoms, which can lead to nasal congestion, which can worsen asthma over time.    Show Source Texts 

Exposure increases when moldy indoor materials are dry, damaged or disturbed, causing spores and other mould cells to be released or inhaled into the air. There is no way to prevent spores if they persist in conditions where the mould itself cannot grow. Mould spores can be dropped in places where excessive moisture develops, e.g. When roofs, pipes, walls, plants or pots are flooded with mould spores.    

Mould is multiplied by tiny spores that grow when there is sufficient moisture, food and organic materials such as paper, wood and cellulose. During reproduction, mould releases spores, which spread in air, water and animals. Mould infestation in indoor areas occurs when humidity is high, especially in basements and showers.    

The health effects of mold can vary from person to person, but the CDC says that if you see or smell mold, it should be removed no matter what type of mold you have in your home. Indoor mould infestation can be eliminated independently of the type of mould, regardless of whether it produces mycotoxins or not.   

The smell of indoor moulds differs according to the type of mould, the surface on which it grows and its moisture source. Mold swallows dead organic matter, decomposes surfaces, fallen leaves and rotting tree trunks indoors, and thrives in damp environments such as flooded bathrooms and basements. It can also grow under just the right conditions, such as basement walls, frames, soap-coated joints and other damp surfaces, as well as on carpet upholstery and the carpet itself.  

Mold poses a risk to human and animal health if consumed after certain types of mould have developed in stored foods. Mold spores can also be found in the air we breathe, and extensive mould contamination can cause health problems. Although mould is ubiquitous, mould spores are a common component of household dust and workplace dust and, when present in large amounts, can pose a health risk to humans and cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.  

Black mold, stachybotry and other types of mold produce toxins called mycotoxins, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory irritation in sensitive individuals. In some people, exposure to mould can lead to symptoms such as a blocked nose, wheezing, red, itchy eyes and skin. Even if mould does not cause health problems, it can cause allergy and other symptoms in people, including adults and children who are sensitive to it.   

High quantities of airborne spores in indoor areas compared to external conditions indicate mold growth in indoor areas. There is no conclusive scientific evidence that inhaling black mold spores (a type of mold) indoors is associated with diseases other than the allergy symptoms previously described.    

There are various practices that can be followed to alleviate mold problems in the building, but the most important thing is to reduce the moisture that promotes mold growth. Areas of high humidity such as bathrooms require additional attention to prevent excessive humidity and water problems that can cause mould to form inside. Keeping humidity below 60% and venting humidity from showers and cooking to the outside are several ways to prevent conditions that lead to mold forming outdoors.    

Narrow windows and door seals can trap moisture indoors and prevent proper ventilation, creating ideal conditions for mould to form. Whether it is cold and humid in winter or warm and humid in summer, indoor activities can lead to moisture and mould. If mold spores are contained in your home, they can grow on any surface with sufficient moisture.    

Mold fungi grow on dead organic matter in nature, and their presence is visible to the naked eye as they form large colonies. They grow indoors on any surface where moisture, oxygen and organic matter are present. Mold spores and fragments are transmitted in the air we breathe.  

Written by

Paula Hensley

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