This is a great article on mold and its effects on humans. If you are concerned about mold clean up in Philadelphia PA
please feel free to call us with any questions.Mold in the home: How big a health problem is it?How this works.
Whether it is a cold, damp winter or a warm, humid summer, activities at home can result in moisture indoors and the appearance of mold.
Mold can grow on walls, clothes, books, toys, and even CDs. It can turn prized possessions into musty relics that only look fit for the garbage.
But is it also a health hazard? What effects can mold have on a person’s body?
This article looks at what mold is, why it grows, its impact on a person’s health, and how to stop it.
What is mold?
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Indoor mold growth is most likely to occur during the fall and winter months.Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different types, and they can occur both indoors and outdoors.
Molds produce spores, which spread by floating around in the air. Mold spores are present in all indoor environments. There is no way to prevent spores, and they can persist in conditions where mold itself cannot grow.
Mold spores thrive in environments that are moist and warm, so when they land on a damp spot, they begin to grow.
Molds can grow on a variety of different surfaces, including fabric, paper, wood, glass, and plastic. As they grow, they may digest the material they are growing on.
Types of moldNobody knows how many kinds of mold there are, but experts estimate that there may be 300,000 or more different types. Some are more likely than others to appear in the home.
Common indoor molds include:
Alternaria: This occurs in damp places indoors, such as showers or under leaky sinks.
Aspergillus: This often grows indoors, on dust, powdery food items, and building materials, such as drywall.
Cladosporium: This can grow in either cool or warm areas. It tends to appear on fabrics and wood surfaces.
Penicillium: This tends to grow on materials with water damage. It often has a blue or green appearance.
Molds take a variety of forms and textures. They can be white, black, yellow, blue, or green and often look like discoloration or stain to a surface.
They can also have a velvety, fuzzy, or rough appearance, depending on the type of mold and where it is growing.
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How does mold get into a house?
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Mold can attach itself to pets.Mold spores are everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, but they are not visible to the naked eye.
Spores can enter the home:
Through the air: They can enter through open windows, doorways, and ventilation systems.
By attaching to objects or people: Vehicles include clothing, shoes, and pets.
Mold will only flourish if spores land somewhere that has the ideal conditions for growing, such as moisture and a supply of suitable nutrients. If the environment is unsuitable for the spores, they do not usually develop or cause a problem.
Places where mold often appears include:
Mold and healthMold can pose a health problem, especially for people with an allergy, an existing respiratory problem, or a weakened immune system.
Breathing problemsAs mold grows, spores, cells, fragments, and unstable organic compounds can enter the air. They can produce allergens, irritants, and mycotoxins. Some of these can be toxic, especially to individuals who have a sensitivity to them.
Also, dampness encourages materials to break down, increasing the volume of particles, or dust, in the air.
These particles can irritate the lungs, nose, and throat, especially in a person who already has a breathing problem, asthma, or a chronic lung condition.
AllergyA person with a sensitivity or allergy to any mold-related particles may react.
Mold allergies can produce similar symptoms to other allergies, such as hay fever, or seasonal allergy. In these, too, airborne substances can affect the upper respiratory tract.
A higher volume of dust can increase the risk of dust mites, which can also trigger an allergic reaction in some people.
AspergillosisSome types of mold, such as Aspergillus, can cause a serious health problem, known as aspergillosis, in some people.
Most people can breathe in the spores of this fungus without becoming sick, but people who have a weakened immune system or an existing lung disease can have a severe reaction.
There are different types of aspergillosis:
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA): This affects the lungs and can cause breathing problems.
Allergic aspergillus sinusitis: This affects the nose and can involve a headache.
Aspergilloma, or fungus ball: This can cause a cough, which may produce blood, as well as breathing problems.
Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis: Symptoms include breathing problems, a cough, and weight loss.
Other conditionsMold can also trigger the production of microbes and bacteria. Exposure to these bacteria may trigger an inflammatory response in some people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO also note that mold and the microbial agents it produces may increase the risk of bronchial and fungal infections.
There is some evidence that it might lead to:
Protection and preventionControlling moisture is the key to preventing mold from growing indoors. It is also important to keep the home clean and well ventilated.
Causes of humidity in the home include:
Reducing humidityPeople can reduce the risk of a buildup of moisture and mold by:
Removing moldShare on Pinterest
There are a number of commercial products available to help remove mold.To clean or remove mold:
Wipe hard surfaces with a suitable commercial product, soap and water, or a heavily diluted bleach solution. Always dry the surfaces after use to prevent mold from reappearing.
Wash or wipe porous surfaces and check regularly to see if mold has returned, as it can infiltrate these materials. If mold continues to reappear, consider disposing of these items.
Ask at the local hardware store about antifungal paints and other products that can help prevent mold from developing.
Call in a professional to tackle large areas of mold.
See a doctor if you believe mold is causing a health problem.
A range of items to help deal with mold are available for purchase online.
OutlookAll indoor environments have some mold spores in them, but this does not affect most people.
However, people with a compromised immune system may have a higher risk of illness, and especially lung problems, if there are mold spores and mold in the environment. Others may experience allergic reactions.
Keeping an indoor space clean, dry, and well ventilated is the best ways to prevent mold from developing.
Anyone who has concerns about mold in the home, the workplace, or an educational or other setting should ask their healthcare provider or state health department for advice.
There is black mold growing on the back of the drapes in my rented apartment. Will it make me sick?
In short, yes.
Exposure to black mold can be harmful in the long term, particularly in people with respiratory conditions and other risk factors. Black mold can be one of several different species of fungus, including Stachybotrys chartarum.
These molds are not dangerous in themselves, but they can release harmful toxins into the surrounding environment. Inhaling these toxins may lead to certain health effects and symptoms.
It generally takes long term and consistent exposure to black mold for symptoms to develop. Short term exposure to black mold is unlikely to cause harm in healthy people. For more information about black mold, check out this article.
Vincent J. Tavella, MPHAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
If your concerned about black mold in Philadelphia PA or mold testing in Philadelphia PA please call us.
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