DISCLAIMER: THE CONTENTS OF THIS ARTICLE ARE INTENDED TO BE INFORMATIVE ONLY AND ARE IN NO WAY INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE MEDICAL ADVICE. A QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN IS THE ONLY INDIVIDUAL THAT CAN RENDER MEDICAL ADVICE AND/OR TREATMENTS.
If you have a mold issue in your home it certainly has potential to cause health concerns although many mold species can simply be classified as allergens. Mold issues can lead to a wide range of health problems that resemble something as minor as allergic reactions or it can cause irritations in nasal or respiratory passages, upon the skin or reach toxicity levels that quickly elevate the seriousness any of the above symptoms. Although some molds have a propensity to cause issues with a vast array of individuals, the mold that bothers one individual may not bother another at all! The Following are some things to watch for that will help you decide if seeking more input from your physician may be a benefit in determining any links to illness and the mold in your home.
Allergic and Irritant Reactions
Breathing in mold spores has been known to cause one's immune system to create allergic reactions. This may include but is certainly not limited to: cold/flu symptoms, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, itchy/irritated throat, itchy nose, blocked nasal passage, runny nose, sinus headaches, sinus congestion, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, wheezing, itchy-irritated skin, hives/skin rash, watery eyes, red/bloodshot eyes, itchy eyes, itchy ears, hay fever symptoms, and/or even hair loss. Symptoms, if left unchecked, can become more severe with increased exposure.
Toxic Mold Symptoms
There are approximately 16 different mold species that are toxic to humans and animals (color is NOT always an indicator). Each of these mold species is known to put out highly toxic chemicals called mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins can cause symptoms that are much worse than the allergic symptoms seen with more common molds. Toxic mold symptoms can include bleeding, internal organ damage, mental impairment, cancer, and could even lead to death depending on the individuals reaction to the exposure.
Infection Symptoms from Mold
When mold spores are inhaled, they can begin to grow on a person's lungs. It has even been known to be found on one's sinuses and/or in the digestive system.
Although, these symptoms aren't as likely to occur in most healthy people, the elderly or individuals prone to sickness are the ones who are most at risk from mold infections. This is why HEPA filters are utilized to improve air quality in buildings, homes and the like.
Some mold types can attack weak or weakened immune systems much easier and lead to an infection and in some cases death. Some more well known mold species that have been known to lead to infections include: Trichoderma, Marneffei, Aspergillus gumigatus, and Trichoderma.
Test for Mold Symptoms
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms and want to find out if your illness is mold related, there are a number of tests that one can have performed to confirm what role mold is playing in your particular illness.
These should be conducted by a qualified medical professional that has experience in identifying mold related illnesses and symptoms. Keep in mind that a good portion of identified molds are simply allergens. Moreover, one will also notice that as mold counts in the environment rise during certain portions of the year symptoms may become more common and will vary from one individual to another.
The best option would be to eliminate completely any exposure to mold at elevated levels. BUT this is impossible! Humans cannot avoid the inhalation of molds as it is everywhere in the air we take in as part of normal life on a planet where organisms live and die every moment of every day.
Please note that not all molds are bad or toxic molds! AND black mold is not always toxic. Mold gets a bad wrap in many instances, but it has a role to play in our world.
Where 1st Call Disaster Services comes on the scene is when mold is in an undesirable location, at elevated levels and climbing and has introduced the potential for health risks that can otherwise be avoided. IF one has been diagnosed with mold-related illnesses by a qualified physician and that particular species has been identified as the culprit, there are measures that can be taken to limit the exposure to that particular type of mold.
1st Call Disaster Services specializes in eliminating mold issues and providing preventative measures to address areas of moisture intrusion.
A good restoration company can make sure a mold remediation is done right and that you're out of pocket damage liability is kept to a minimum. We've helped numerous home and business owners and they and their insurance company always appreciate our surgical approach to restoration!
All About Mold Series
- All About Mold Series - #7 When and Why to Test for Mold
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- All About Mold Series - #3 The Health Effects of Mold
- All About Mold Series - #2 Detecting and Removing Mold. Can Mold Make Me Sick?
- All About Mold Series - #1 Understanding How Mold Thrives Can Help Us Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home or Business