Mold infections in the body may be difficult to eradicate. In addition, anti-mold medications can be highly toxic to the liver. Therefore, the best action is to eradicate and prevent further mold growth in the home in order to prevent the need for medical interventions.
When mold colony formation occurs, it becomes a health concern. Everyone in contact with mold is affected differently. Ways you can become exposed to mold:
Breathing in the spores from the air
Skin contact from handling a moldy item
Eating without properly washing your hands after handling moldy objects.
Some molds, including Stachybotrys, can be toxic. It is estimated that 50% of homes contain problem molds, like Stachybotrys. Some molds produce dangerous chemicals called mycotoxins that can cause damage to the human body. People who are sensitive and exposed to mycotoxins can become ill. Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, immune-compromised people, those with existing respiratory conditions, or those with chronic lung conditions, such as obstructive lung disease, may also be more at risk to develop mold infections or have reactions to mold. In regards to being exposed to the presence of mold, a person may have:
irritation or a sensitivity reaction
an allergic reaction (common, immediate or delayed)
Reactions to mold include a long list of signs (another person can see or measure it) and symptoms (only the person experiencing it can validate it).
Physical changes (fatigue, flu-like symptoms or frequent headaches and chronic aches and pains, itching or irritation of the nose, eyes, throat, or skin, mysterious skin rashes, digestive problems) respiratory problems (nasal stuffiness, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, upper or lower respiratory infections, sinus infections or congestion, sinusitis, runny nose), mental status changes (trouble concentrating, memory lapses, confusion), and emotional changes (mood swings, anxiety, depression). Asthma and sinus infections have been linked to mold. Sensitivity reactions may produce certain symptoms and may also trigger asthma. Severe responses to the presence of mold because of allergic reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
What Mold Needs to Grow
Mold reproduction requires that three conditions be present together. These can be remembered by the acronym TOM:
o Temperature, best between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit
o Organic Matter
TOM is important to remember in relationship to home ownership for two reasons: o because any room of a home can provide proper growing conditions for mold, but most frequently the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and basement. o however, if we eliminate any one of the conditions in the TOM triad, we can prevent mold growth and prevent mold hazards. Some molds have a more rapid growth rate than others. Some molds produce spores at a faster rate than others. Within 4 to 9 days of having proper growing conditions, a single mold spore can produce more than 100,000 spores. The significance of this is that, once mold growth begins, human health and property damage can occur within a short amount of time. Therefore, identifying and stopping mold growth must be done quickly to reduce losses and keep costs to a minimum. To prevent further growth by those molds that produce spores, all spores must either be entirely removed, which is impractical and essentially impossible since spores are present in the air and in house dust, or must be killed with a specialized chemical called a sporicide.