Mold gives humanity some pleasant things, such as blue cheese and penicillin. However, exposure to mold can have negative long-term side effects on your health, causing serious infection and allergies.
Active mold growth needs moisture to thrive. Mold can develop within 24 hours when disasters strike and lead to water damage. That orange film on your kitchen drain is mold, and so is that fuzzy white stuff on your basement floor. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Mold can still irritate your eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin and affect your health in the long-term.
From Mild to Long-Term Side Effects
Sensitivity to molds can cause throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation and skin irritation. Those with a mold allergy and who experience prolonged exposure to mold can have more severe reactions. If you have a chronic lung illness or a compromised immune system, infection due to mold exposure may affect you more seriously.
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) linked indoor mold exposure with upper respiratory tract symptoms and illness in both adults and children. Otherwise healthy individuals coughed and wheezed. Those with asthma experienced excessive asthma symptoms. Susceptible individuals exposed to damp indoor environments had an increased risk of developing asthma.
Those with compromised immune systems were more likely to become susceptible to hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Some findings suggest that early interventions in improving housing conditions mitigate the morbidity from respiratory allergies and asthma.
Those with allergies can have more serious symptoms that make you feel like you have the flu or pneumonia with chest colds, headaches, persistent exhaustion, frequent coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. Toxic mold exposure is also connected to more serious, long-term effects like insomnia, memory loss, trouble concentrating and confusion. Mold exposure contributes to depression and anxiety. It can even lead to muscle cramps, numbness in extremities, weight gain, light sensitivity and hair loss.
Black Mold Is Toxigenic
Certain molds prove toxigenic, which means that they produce mycotoxins that cause ill health effects. A little mold is everywhere, but not all mold is “poisonous.” That doesn’t mean you should ignore mold.
Most are familiar with black mold, which is toxigenic and produces mold spores. These form colonies and grow with other spores. High concentrations of these mycotoxins can cause mold poisoning in healthy people, too.
Mold poisoning is also known as mycotoxicosis. This condition affects the upper respiratory system with harmful cold or flu-like symptoms. Additional symptoms due to mycotoxins can prove fatal. That’s especially true for those with severe allergies, asthma or other conditions.
Green-black mold is also harmful. It’s found on paper, dust, lint, fiberboard and other low-nitrogen content materials. It can develop and spread after water leaks, floods and condensation.
Until you know more, treat all molds the same due to the potential long-term side effects and health risks. Take mold growth seriously. You will usually see the mold colony and smell the signature “musty” smell.
Prevent Mold Growth With Routine Maintenance
To prevent mold growth, we suggest using a dehumidifier during the warm months and providing your home or business with the proper ventilation. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Clean surfaces with mold-killing products.
Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. Humidity levels shift throughout the day. Inspecting your structure for mold growth is an important part of routine building maintenance.
Seek treatment from a doctor soon as you notice any eye irritation, skin irritation or other common symptoms after exposure to mold, especially when symptoms persist. It’s better to be safe than sorry. ECOS Environmental is happy to step in and test your home or business for mold and assist with the cleanup and renovation.
Call us 24/7 at 888-375-3267