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Effects of Mold Exposure: Is Mold Dangerous?

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| 2011 Jun 15 |
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Effects of Mold Exposure: Is Mold Dangerous?

Is mold really as dangerous as people say it is? Is my health really at risk if I’m exposed to mold? Are my children at a greater risk?

If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, here are some immediate albeit brief answers: yes, yes and definitely yes!

Mold is not something to take lightly, and its effects are greater than you may think.

Leaky Window Mold
Unaddressed window leaks or condensation buildup lead to mold growth that can easily spread to surrounding walls.

 

For instance, constant or long-term exposure to mold can lead to damage to the respiratory, immune and neurological systems. Mold will also slowly destroy your home if it’s not removed as soon as possible.

Understanding mold and its effects on health

Before we discuss the effects that mold may have on your body and your property, let us explain exactly what mold is.

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors all year. Molds reproduce by producing tiny spores, and these spores continuously travel through the air.

When these spores land on damp indoor areas, they grow, digesting the material they’ve landed on. As long as they do this, they not only survive but they thrive.

Although it is possible for mold to grow when the weather is cold, it’s especially likely to grow when there’s warm, humid conditions.

Most mold that’s found indoors comes from an outside source unless there are other factors involved, such as water intrusion or increased humidity levels in the space at hand.

Moisture problems such as flooding, plumbing and roof leaks, and damp basements can be catalysts for mold. When excessive moisture accumulates indoors, it usually results in mold growth.

Most mold growth cannot be seen, as it grows from inside the walls toward the surface. Sometimes mold leaves an obvious scent but it will be visually undetectable.

Is mold dangerous?

The truth is that exposure to mold can lead to several side effects. Some of these side effects are minor, while some are very severe.

However, not everyone reacts the same way after being exposed to mold. Some people can be in a room that’s extremely contaminated with mold and have no reaction whatsoever, while others need only set foot into the room to feel the effects of mold exposure.

Symptoms of exposure to mold include

  • coughing,
  • sneezing,
  • runny nose,
  • eye irritation (itching or burning),
  • fatigue,
  • headaches,
  • nausea, and
  • flu-like symptoms.

Long-term exposure to mold can cause or worsen asthma and hay fever (rashes, fatigue and headaches). It can also cause dizziness, eczema, chronic fatigue, persistent headaches and memory loss (in some cases).

There are certain circumstances that tend to make some people more susceptible to the adverse health effects caused by mold exposure than others are.

The following groups, given their circumstances, tend to be more susceptible to mold-related health hazards:

  • people who have a weak immune system, such as those individuals who have undergone chemotherapy;
  • people who are either very old or very young;
  • women who are pregnant;
  • people with existing respiratory conditions.

Children, in particular, tend to experience adverse reactions to mold. A child’s developing immune system is not strong enough to fight off airborne mold spores and other contaminants, and this seriously threatens the health of newborns.

Mold can also endanger you indirectly, damaging the structural elements of a building. It can grow on support beams and other integral parts of a building until they break.

Not only does this compromise the safety of the building, but it also leads to major repair costs.

If you’re concerned about mold in your home and want to get it checked out by a professional, call Mold Busters today. Don’t waste another moment.