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What is Mold?
What are the Health Effects of Mold?
Where is Mold in the Home?
What to do with Mold in the Home?
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that grows on organic matter. It reproduces by means of spores which become airborne and therefore trigger allergies in some people. Mold is associated with decay or dampness and is usually located in damp areas such as the basement or bathroom of a home.
What are the Health Effects of Mold?
Mold can cause a wide assortment of health effects ranging from minor allergic reactions to possible death. Mold produces allergins, irritants and toxins. Mold mostly produces allergins and irritants but in some cases it produces toxins, called mycotoxins, that may lead to serious health effects when exposed to large quantities and for pro-longed periods of time. A reaction from allergins or irritants can consist of symptons including runny noses, irritated or watery eyes, throat irritation, coughing, sneezing, sinusitis, and asthma. Serious effects from toxic mold can include respiratory problems, cognitive probelms, nosebleeds, internal bleeding of the lungs, shock, and nervous disorders. When children are exposed the risk of asthma increases and they may show signs of learning impairment, fatigue, headaches, and stomachaches.
Where is Mold in the Home?
Mold grows in moisture on organic matter. Building materials used in the home such as wood, drywall, and carpeting are capable of contributing to mold growth. Outside the home mold can be found on fallen leaves, dead trees, mulch and yard waste but this type of mold is not considered dangerous. Mold is part of a natural process that aids in breaking down matter. Mold will grow inside the home on objects that can sustain it and where moisture is present. Mold spores may blow into our homes or we may carry them in on our clothes. Mold will grow on decaying food as well, this mold is considered harmless. Watch for mold growing on building materials used in your home like:
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Drywall
  • Carpeting
  • Cardboard
  • Ceiling Tiles
  • Upholstery
  • Wallpaper
What to do with Mold in the Home?
The best way to keep mold from growing is to control moisture in the home. This will help solve indoor mold problems. Common ways of removing mold are sunlight, continuous ventilation and household cleaners. Make sure to allow all substances to completely dry after cleaning. Another strategy is to remove any matter that has significant mold growth. Seeking professional help is always a good option.
For more information on mold visit the Environmental Protection Agency website at The EPA's section on mold is very extensive and helpful in understanding mold problems in the home.
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