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Health Effects of Mold

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Mold growing in your home can cost you a great deal of time, attention and money. In addition, exposure to mold can adversely affect your health.

There are three ways your body could react to mold exposure:

  1. Allergenic
  2. Pathogenic
  3. Toxigenic

How you react depends on several factors, namely the amount of mold you’re exposed to, the species of mold and your own state of health and sensitivity.

Everyone will have a different reaction. However, all reactions, minor or major, warrant immediate attention and action.

If you’re in Ottawa or Montreal and worried about the health effects of mold, contact a certified inspector to check your home. The sooner you do, the closer you will be to finding relief.

Health Effects of Mold Exposure

Allergenic reactions to mold

Allergenic reactions to mold

Most molds are allergenic. But while many people can handle a little bit of mold exposure, others are born sensitive and will experience allergic reactions. Allergic reactions, ranging from mild to severe, are the most common symptoms associated with mold exposure.

    1. Mild: congestion, rash, and itchy or watery eyes

 

    1. Moderate: itchiness and difficulty breathing

 

  1. Severe: swelling, difficulty breathing and swallowing, abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and mental confusion

Pathogenic reactions to mold

Pathogenic reactions to mold

Pathogenic reactions to mold exposure are divided into three categories:

    1. Superficial: Superficial reactions are the most common pathogenic reactions to mold and include skin infections, nail infections and athlete’s foot.

 

    1. Subcutaneous: When you experience a subcutaneous pathogenic reaction, more serious than superficial, an infection develops underneath the skin.

 

  1. Systemic: Systemic reactions are the most severe of the pathogenic reactions and can be life threatening. The mold attacks the kidneys, lungs, liver or other organs.

Toxigenic reactions to mold

Toxigenic reactions to mold

A toxigenic mold produces toxins. There are approximately 20 common toxins that mold is known to produce.

When you ingest or inhale these toxins, your chance of becoming ill increases. Upon exposure to toxigenic mold, you may experience the following effects:

  • Mucous membrane irritation
  • Skin rash
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Suppressed or weakened immune system
  • Acute/chronic liver damage
  • Acute/chronic central nervous system disorders
  • Hormone disorders
  • Cancer

Another serious condition associated with mold exposure is hypersensitive pneumonitis. This is an acute, or chronic, lung disease brought on by inhaling fungal antigens.

Who is most at risk of mold exposure?

We come into contact with mold in three primary ways: inhalation, physical contact or ingestion. But every reaction to mold is different, as no two immune systems are the same.

Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Both your genetic makeup and your current state of health are factors that will influence your reaction.

The following groups of people are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure, because their bodies may be weak to begin with:

  • Infants and small children
  • The elderly
  • Asthmatics
  • People with compromised immune systems

If you’ve been experiencing some of these symptoms and are concerned, call Mold Busters to schedule a mold inspection.

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