Mold poses health risks to every member of the household. Different people have different levels of sensitivity to molds. The US Centers for Disease Control says that if you can smell any mustiness at all, mold is present and needs to be removed to protect residents and visitors. To protect against future mold growth, the source of the dampness where the mold grows must also be removed. We offer expert mold remediation services guaranteed to remove any exposure risks. The following is a brief list of the types of mold and the health hazards they create.
Health Problems Related to Mold
Most common indoor molds are not toxic by themselves, but create health problems in people with allergies, suppressed immune systems or underlying lung diseases. Some of the symptoms they may experience include irritated eyes and skin, stuffy noses and wheezing, fever, difficulty breathing and in the worst cases, lung infections. Some toxic molds that grow in homes can cause infections in the lining of the heart or spinal cord.
Types of Mold That Grow in Homes
Household molds typically get in from outdoors, either through open windows and doors or on clothing. Their spores — microscopic mold “seeds” — float invisibly into the house and settle onto surfaces. They are equally invisibly brushed from surface to surface until they finally find a location damp enough to let them send out their equally microscopic mold “roots” and begin growing.
- Cladosporium – About 40 different species include the black pepper-like mold that grows in toilet tanks. Symptoms include runny nose, eye irritation, fatigue, cough, sore throat, nose bleeds, joint pain and ear inflammation.
- Penicillium – This blue, green or white fuzzy mold usually grows on decaying or stale food. People with allergies develop respiratory and gastric symptoms.
- Alternaria – An asthma-causing mold, Alternaria travels by air, entering homes through open windows and doors or on clothing. If family members are experiencing asthma symptoms, have an expert check for Alternaria spores in the home.
Severe Health Problems Caused by Molds
Some molds cause health problems so severe that it is easy to understand why mold issues in the home need to be taken care of quickly.
- Aspergillus – This mold produces mycotoxins that can cause serious symptoms, including exhaustion, fever, headaches, coughing, other respiratory problems and chest pain. People should always wear gloves and masks whenever they make contact this mold for testing or cleanup.
- Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra (“black mold”) – This greenish-black mold grows on surfaces such as drywall, particle board, wood and paper. Building owners have faced millions of dollars in lawsuits over the health damages experienced from this mold, including fever, fatigue, headache, rashes and other skin disorders, inflamed eyes and difficulty breathing.
- Memmoniella – This toxic mold looks like Stachybotrys but is smaller and has similar health hazards.
- Acremonium – This group of about 100 toxic molds grows in drywall, insulation and food. It smells terrible and creates serious health problems. People who swallow Acremonium mold may develop nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. The mold can also cause corneal ulcers, nail infections, infection of the heart lining (endocarditis) or infection of the spinal cord membranes (meningitis).
Keeping your family healthy requires more than good diet and exercise. If you smell a musty odor or see the tell-tale signs of mold, call us for immediate inspection and removal before anyone develops a mold-related health problem.