What are the Health Risks of Mold in My Home?

indoor-air-pollutionMold is unsightly (though often invisible) and creates an unpleasant odor. It spreads and grows rapidly, and can lead to significant property damages. But these aren’t the most important reasons to prevent mold from gaining a foothold in your home or business.

The greatest risks presented by unwanted mold are health-related. People and pets are simply not built to breath in mold spores, and when they do, a whole host of problems can result. Some of these conditions are serious and some are minor—but all of them can detract from living a healthy, happy life. Check out this list of common mold-related health risks.

Problems with the sinuses and respiratory systems

The most dangerous varieties of mold are a small number of species that produce mycotoxins. These are also known as toxic mold, and can produce a variety of significant problems in the sinuses and respiratory systems. These include: Respiratory infections, asthma and sinusitis.

The respiratory system is highly susceptible to toxic mold. A single exposure can produce symptoms, while continuous contact is almost sure to result in respiratory conditions.

Problems with the nervous and neurological systems

Toxic mold spores have unhealthy effects on the body’s sensitive nervous and neurological systems. Many people suffer mental haziness, inability to focus, hampered reflexes and even memory loss as a result of prolonged exposure to toxic mold. These symptoms are particularly dangerous because we don’t always recognize them as mold-related. All the more reason to be on the lookout for symptoms, and if there’s any doubt, consider a professional mold inspection for your home or business. Allergic reactions Even if you don’t end up with serious complications, exposure to mold will often result in a lingering allergic response. If you, your family or your employees have been suffering more allergic reactions than normal (coughing and sneezing, bloodshot eyes and other typical symptoms of allergy), it might be an indicator that you have unwanted mold spores.

Other health risks of mold

There are many other health problems associated with exposure to mold. When people of any age are exposed to toxic mold spores, they can suffer problems with circulation (e.g. internal bleeding or abnormal blood pressure), bloodshot eyes or blurry vision, skin problems such as redness, rash or dermatitis, and even problems within the body’s
immune system. All of the major health organizations (such as the FDA and CDC) warn us about the dangers of mold.

Putting a stop to mold problems

It’s obvious that mold presents a long list of potential problems, including physical ailments and financial losses. Homeowners are wise to treat mold like the serious problem it is, without waiting or cutting corners. Lingering physical symptoms that correspond to the list above may be indicative of a hidden mold infestation. The good news? Professional mold testing is fast and relatively cheap. Even if the problem doesn’t turn out to be mold-related, it’s worth knowing for sure.

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