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11 Signs of Mold Illness

0 2 years ago

Mold is a big problem in most homes, but many people are unaware of the problem. Of course, everyone looks at the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement when he or she think about mold issues, but mold can grow just about anywhere.

Mold can be found in drywall, in the roof (if leaks are present), and even in one’s Christmas tree. One study found that Christmas trees can breed mold, quietly releasing millions of spores into the room causing winter allergies and asthma attacks. Studies have found that indoor air quality dropped six-fold over the 14 days a Christmas tree typically decorates a room.

There are 1,000 types of mold that can be found growing in the modern American home. Scientists classify these molds based on the effect they have on humans and other living things.

Different Types of Mold

Allergenic Molds. Allergenic molds are on the low end of the danger scale. They only cause problems for those with asthma and a predisposed allergy to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have mold allergies than adults.

Pathogenic Molds. Pathogenic molds will cause some infection. This is a big problem for those with a suppressed immune system. An acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia is commonly found with those exposed to these types of mold.

Toxigenic Molds. As the name implies, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health effects. They have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. The toxic chemicals found in these types of molds can be absorbed into the body when one inhales them, eats them, or even touches them.

Five of the Most Common Indoor Molds

  1. Alternaria: Commonly found in your nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract; can cause allergic responses.
  2. Aspergillus: Usually found in warm, extremely damp climates, and a common occupant of house dust; produces mycotoxins; can cause lung infections.
  3. Cladosporium: This very common outdoor fungus can find its way indoors to grow on textiles, wood, and other damp, porous materials; triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.
  4. Penicillium: Very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation; known for causing allergies and asthma; some species produce mycotoxins, one being the common antibiotic penicillin.
  5. Stachybotrys: Extremely toxic “black mold” that produces mycotoxins that can cause serious breathing difficulties and bleeding of the lungs, among other health problems. Thankfully, less common in homes than the other four, but not rare; found on wood or paper (cellulose products), but NOT on concrete, linoleum or tile.

Mold illness is the variety of health problems that can occur from any type of mold exposure. Although a mold allergy is the most common problem caused by exposure to mold, mold can cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause infections or irritants and toxic reactions. Infections caused by mold can lead to a variety of problems from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and even pneumonia. (Mayo Clinic).

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