The cleanest homes are vulnerable, the problem is usually hidden, and your health can be compromised. Mold presents a challenge because it often goes unnoticed until the family begins to feel its effects. Even then, you might mistake coughing and itchy eyes as reactions to seasonal changes.
We understand your concerns about the impact of mold on your family’s health, so we’re sharing information that can help you understand the problem a little better.
Unhealthy Black Mold Mycotoxins
That black stuff that grows in damp spaces can be Stachybotrys chartarum, and it’s a type of mold that can quickly reproduce anywhere in your home. If you’re dealing with black mold (to test for its less dangerous cousin mildew, simply dab a few drops of household bleach on the blackened area. If it lightens after one to two minutes, you have mildew), you have to get into action fast!
Why? Its airborne spores transmit mycotoxins through touch, and the microscopic organisms can be inhaled and ingested. Their ability to rapidly mutate can wreak havoc on weakened immune systems and affect people who suffer from allergies.
Children and older adults are especially susceptible to black mold mycotoxins. If the organisms are inhaled, they can enter the brain through olfactory neurons while airborne contaminants that come in contact with the eye can reach the brain through the optic nerve.
That sounds scary, right? Well, it is.
Mold Exposure Health Risks
Fortunately, severe health problems caused by mold are limited, and most mimic a nagging cold or a case of the flu. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites studies that establish clear links between exposure to mold and numerous health problems.
You’re probably familiar with common symptoms that are similar to allergy reactions, but mold can be responsible for a much wider range of health issues.
People who suffer from asthma are often affected. Studies show that they deal with an increase in the number of episodes, and the severity of their attacks is intensified.
Children who are exposed to mold at an early age are more likely to develop asthma. If they’re genetically susceptible to the condition, their risk increases significantly.
Aspergillosis is an infection caused by exposure to Aspergillus, a common mold that lives indoors and outdoors. Individuals with compromised immune systems and chronic lung diseases are especially at risk.
Risky lung diseases
People who are susceptible to hypersensitivity pneumonitis can develop serious health problems due to the presence of mold in their homes. Experts indicate that even a couple hours of exposure can lead to this disease.
Or worse (read this!)
In rare occurrences, mold exposure has been linked to mental impairment, internal organ damage and even death. Some of these tragedies have resulted in major lawsuits over the years.
Home Defense Strategies
When health problems become worse or only occur at home, you have reason to be worried about an exposure to mold. Call your doctor right away, and let him know about your concerns.
Because the problem is usually hidden, consider contacting a professional cleaning and restoration service that handles certified mold testing in homes.
Your house often develops its own unhealthy symptoms, so become familiar with the signs that mold is establishing itself out of sight – inside walls and crawl spaces. Sometimes, you can tackle the black stuff with DIY techniques, but these methods work best on small areas that are easy to access and clean.
Most problems are easier to deal with when you have as much information as possible. It’s our goal to help you take good care of your property, but we understand that some jobs are just too big.
We know how much you care about your family’s health, and we’re always here to address your concerns.