How to Reduce the Effects of Mold on Health

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| 2011 Mar 11 |
How to Reduce the Effects of Mold on Health

Even though you might not be able to see or smell it, mold is a natural part of the environment. However, it can become a huge problem for homeowners when it sets up shop indoors on our walls, ceilings, floors and furniture.

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in moisture-rich conditions, growing on wood, wallpaper and any organic material. Because of its high cellulose content and porous nature, wet drywall is like candy to mold.

Repair any moisture intrusion issues to prevent mold growth in your home.

Besides being an unsightly and unwelcome growth in bathrooms, kitchens and basements, mold can also gradually destroy whatever it grows on. It can even be hazardous to a person’s health.

Effects of mold on human health

According to Michael Harbut, a doctor at a Toronto hospital, everyone reacts to mold differently, and their reactions depend on the species and quantity of mold present.

Most medical professionals agree that molds can cause significant allergic reactions including itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, coughing and rashes. Molds can also cause asthma or aggravate existing asthma.

Harbut goes on to say that inhaling certain kinds of molds can allow them to enter deep into the lungs, causing what is referred to as a hypersensitivity response. Some molds, at high enough levels, can even cause a fungus ball to grow in your lungs. Although it’s uncommon, it does happen.

But he does provide a couple of tips for reducing the effects of mold on health, one of which is to avoid exposing yourself to it by leaving a contaminated space and not coming back until the mold has been completely removed.

Preventing mold

To prevent mold growth, homeowners need to control moisture in their homes. Watch for leaks, musty odours, water stains or any wet areas, while remembering that they may not always be visible or out in plain sight. You may not see anything because it could be happening behind a wall, in the attic or under a carpet.

If there is water intrusion of any kind, the best thing a homeowner can do is to clean it up and dry it as quickly as possible, ideally within 24 hours. The next step is to make sure that the leak is fixed, otherwise the water will keep feeding the mold growth.

A common sign that you are being exposed to mold is the sudden onset of unusual upper respiratory problems such as sinus congestion, heaviness in the chest, and persistent sneezing or coughing.

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as well as a certified mold expert for an immediate inspection.