Mold and Allergies
Mold: it’s as old as the Earth and it’s everywhere- inside homes and out. And under the right set of conditions, it can actually start to grow inside your house. Molds are considered as extremely small elements that belong to the family of fungi they can thrive in almost any surface.
According to some recent studies, there are approximately 50 percent of homes which are inflicted with unknown moisture dilemmas. And as we all know molds thrive best in moist places. And to a large extent, all indoor mold growth is potentially harmful and should be removed promptly, no matter what types of mold is present or whether it can produce toxins.
Mold reproduces by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air.
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).
Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.
Molds excrete liquids or gases as defecatory matter; not all can be detected by smell. Some molds generate toxic liquid or gaseous compounds, called mycotoxins. Molds that produce mycotoxins are sometimes referred to as toxic molds. Of these molds, some only produce mycotoxins under specific growing conditions. Mycotoxins are harmful or lethal to humans and animals when exposure is high enough.
The following types of people may be affected more severely and sooner than others: infants and children, elderly people, individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies and asthma persons having weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, and organ transplant recipients).
The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor. If you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Sometimes, mold growth is hidden and difficult to locate. In such cases, a combination of air (outdoor and indoor air samples) and bulk (material) samples may help determine the extent of contamination and where cleaning is needed.
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