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How Mold Affects Your Health


How Mold Affects Your Health

If you are exposed to mold, it can be very hazardous to your health depending on the type of mold and the severity of it. People are mostly exposed to mold by breathing the spores or other fragments. You can also be exposed through skin contact with mold contaminants by touching a moldy surface or by swallowing some mold.

The type and severity of health effects that mold can produce are usually difficult to predict. The risks can vary greatly from one location to another and from person to person. Certain people are most susceptible to illnesses caused by exposure to mold.

About 5% of individuals are predicted to have some allergic airway symptoms from molds over their lifetime. For almost all allergic individuals, the reactions will be limited to rhinitis or asthma; sinusitis may occur secondarily due to obstruction. To reduce the risk of developing or exacerbating allergies, mold should not be allowed to grow unchecked indoors. When you discover mold colonization, it should be remediated after the source of the moisture that supports its growth is identified and eliminated.

Children living in damp or water-damaged homes are more susceptible to a variety of diagnosable respiratory illnesses such as asthma, wheezing, cough, phlegm, etc. Although dampness may indicate potential mold growth, it is also a likely indicator of dust mite infestation and bacterial growth. The relative contribution of each is unknown; but mold, bacteria, bacterial endotoxins, and dust mites can all play a role in the reported spectrum of illnesses and can all be minimized by control of relative humidity and water intrusion.