How Poisonous is Mold? Should You Be Afraid?

But do you know that mold can also be hazardous to your health?
How Poisonous is Mold

How Poisonous is Mold – What’s the Truth?

This may not be the first time that you’ve read about how poisonous is mold, but you really have to know the truth and keep yourself protected. Molds have been on the face of the Earth since time immemorial. They grow anywhere and can expand beyond control, especially if the environment promotes moisture and dampness.  

But do you know that mold can also be hazardous or poisonous is mold to your health? Mold spores are known to cause several health problems and allergies, especially to those who are sensitive to it. Some of the possible illnesses that you may experience are coughing, sneezing, throat irritation, eye itchiness, nasal stuffiness, skin allergies, and more.

Consider yourself lucky if these are the only reactions that you may have with mold exposure. Some people develop severe health conditions when they get in contact with it. For example, a person with obstructive lung disease may suffer from severe lung infections when exposed to molds. 

Those who have chronic respiratory illnesses should always keep away from places that are likely to be infested, like compost piles and wooded areas, or else they will suffer the consequences.

The Institute of Medicine’s research in 2004 shows that exposure to indoor mold can indeed result to respiratory conditions such as coughing and wheezing. And this is for healthy people, including children, without existing allergies or nasal issues. 

They also have the possibility to develop serious health issues when the exposure is prolonged. As for a person who has asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis, his or her symptoms will be triggered or even aggravated upon contact.  

The recent studies conducted on this issue, particularly by the World Health Organization, suggest that there is indeed a connection between upper respiratory conditions and mold exposure. If you were exposed to these fungi at an early age, you are more likely to develop asthma or other respiratory allergies. 

Although its link to illnesses such as idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage, memory loss, and lethargy has not been proven yet, molds have undeniably adverse effects to your health.

How Poisonous is Mold – Getting to Know Mold a Little Better

Mold can be indoors or outdoors. It can circulate in the air from your heating and air conditioning units, enter your open doorway, vents, and windows. It can enter your home in the most unsuspicious ways, leaving you unaware of the damage that it can cause. When you’re outdoors, mold can attach to your clothes, shoes, and bags. It can even be carried by your pets!

The most susceptible places to mold formation are those that have leaks, pipe problems, and prone to flooding. Basements, cellars, kitchens, and bathrooms are just some of the common areas in your house that mold can thrive. It can also exist in paper products, cardboard, and wood products. 

And where there are dust and dirt, you can also find it there. So make sure to check your wallpaper, drywall, carpets, and upholstery regularly. Keeping your surroundings clean is just one way to prevent the presence of mold. This fungi also loves humidity. Any area that has a lack of proper air circulation is a mold’s happy place.

In appearance, it looks like spots of brown, black, green, yellow, and even pink. It smells musty, the usual smell of a basement or cellar. Molds have many different species; those that are often found on meat and poultry include Alternaria, Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, and more. 

But whatever the type you have in your home or office, it should be removed right away. One good example is the black mold. This type can infest homes, buildings, or any damp structure. Long-term exposure to this type can potentially harm your health and cause a long list of symptoms.

Black mold is quite dark green or black in color and smells like mildew. It usually thrives on surfaces that contain cellulose, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, or wood. It loves areas that are damp and warm, and can tremendously spread if the conditions are right. The most common areas that this type of toxic mold can be seen are laundry rooms, shower cubicles, bathrooms, etc. 

For mold growth that appears on visible and hard surfaces, you can easily clean it with any commercial product. You may use soap and water or a bleach mixture. If you choose to use the latter, do not mix it with ammonia or any other household cleaners because it can produce toxic fumes.

But if the infestation exceeds 10 square feet, it is best to get the services of the professional. The effect of these fungi varies from one person to another. It also depends on the amount and type of mold. You can hire someone to conduct sampling and have it tested to know which type you are exposed to. The price for this service is usually around $200 to $600, depending on the procedures needed. Nevertheless, you must get rid of it and prevent further mold growth at all costs. 

Sometimes black mold is not visible to the eye because it grows between wall layers and underneath floorboards or carpets. Studies show that it is not dangerous in itself, but it releases harmful toxins into the air. Once you inhale the toxins, you can develop serious lung disease or your immune system will be weakened.

Molds can release mycotoxins that can cause upper respiratory tract infections such as flu or the common cold. It can also lead to severe conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If the situation gets worse, it is highly advised to see a doctor right away. Before taking any medication, you should undergo laboratory testing and checkup to avoid making things worse.

If your health issue is proven to be caused by exposure to mold, the most common over-the-counter medicine that you can take is an antihistamine. This can be in tablet, nasal spray, or eye drop form. Antihistamines can either treat or prevent allergic reactions. Another medication that you can take is decongestants. An example of over-the-counter decongestant is pseudoephedrine.

Your doctor may even prescribe steroids to help reduce inflammation of airways and relieve rashes. This can also be in different forms – creams, drops, sprays. For this one, you may not be allowed to purchase it without a prescription. 

The bottom line is, you must seek the help of a doctor before taking any medication. It is the only way that you’ll get the right treatment and prevent your health condition from getting worse.

How Poisonous is Mold – Preventive Measures to Observe

Since mold can exist anywhere, it is somewhat impossible to get rid of it completely. But you can always control mold growing to a minimum to also reduce its hazardous effect. With all the info that has been provided for you, the most obvious thing to do is clean. If you take the time to clean every part of your house, you can decrease the chance of mold formation.

Keep the humidity levels in your home as low as you possibly can. You can do this with the help of an air conditioning system or dehumidifier. But make sure to clean your appliances regularly because they can be good breeding grounds for mold too. 

Check the filter of your air conditioner and keep it dust-free by using a vacuum to clean it. You have to make it a point that there is proper ventilation in your house. Installing an exhaust fan that vents outside your home can lessen mold formation in areas like the bathroom and kitchen.

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