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FAQs About Mold and Your Health

Mid adult male patient describing a chest pain to his doctor.

Mold is a vital part of the decomposition process. It breaks down dead plant and animal matter and recycles it into the environment. However, mold growing in your house can be harmful to your health. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about mold and its effect on you and your family.

How and where am I exposed to mold?

Mold spores are everywhere, both in and outdoors. However, moisture and an organic food source are required for mold colonies to start growing. Mold can negatively affect your health no matter where it’s growing, including visible surfaces like the wall and ceiling, as well as hidden under the carpet or in the crawlspace. All you have to do for health problems to begin is inhale the spores given off by active colonies.

How does mold affect my health?

Spores have several ways of making you feel ill. Some people experience allergic reactions that cause hay fever-like symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and skin rash.

Others experience worsened asthma attacks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites evidence that children who are exposed to high concentrations of mold spores are more susceptible to developing asthma, especially if they are already genetically predisposed.

People living in a mold-filled environment are more likely to catch a cold or the flu. Some sensitive people may even develop fungal respiratory infections caused by mold exposure.

The dreaded toxic black mold can cause even more serious symptoms, including lung hemorrhaging, nausea, fatigue and mental impairment.

Even if you don’t notice the symptoms listed above, living in a moist, moldy environment is bad for your health. If you can see mold or smell a musty odor, you should find the source of moisture causing the growth, fix the problem as soon as possible and clean up the mold with a professional’s help.

Who is most susceptible to health problems from mold?

Some people are more prone to experiencing symptoms of mold exposure than others. Sensitive individuals include:

  • People with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, allergies or lung disease
  • People with weakened immune systems, including HIV-infected individuals and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy
  • Children and infants
  • Older adults

Are all types of mold equally dangerous?

There are countless types of mold out there. In fact, no one knows for sure how many species there are. The CDC offers a rough estimate of a few tens of thousands to 300,000 or more. Also, since people react differently to the same types of mold, you should assume that any mold growth could be dangerous, especially if you’re a susceptible individual.

Clearly, it’s not safe to ignore mold growing in your home. However, removing mold can be hazardous as well. Consider leaving mold remediation to the experts at DKI. Contact us today to learn more or to request our services.