Mold and Air Quality – Part III

How can I be exposed to mold?

Mold is virtually everywhere, floating in the air and on all surfaces. People are exposed to molds 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Exposures increase when indoor moldy materials becomes dried, damaged or disturbed, causing spores and other mold cells to be released into the air and then inhaled. Elevated exposure can also occur if people directly handle moldy materials or accidentally eat mold.

How much mold does it take to make me sick?

It depends on the situation and the person. This question is difficult to answer in the same way it’s hard to say how much sun causes a sunburn: the amount varies from person to person. What one person can tolerate with little or no effect may cause symptoms in another individual.

The long-term presence of indoor mold may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. Those with special health concerns should consult a medical doctor if they feel their health is affected by indoor mold. The following types of people may be affected sooner and more severely than others:

  • Babies and children
  • Elderly persons
  • Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions or allergies or asthma
  • Persons having weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV or AIDS, chemotherapy patients, or organ transplant recipients)

Are some molds more hazardous than others?

Some types of molds can produce chemicals called “mycotoxins”. These molds are common, and are sometimes referred to as “toxic mold”. There are very few reports that “toxic molds” inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions. If you think you have a mold problem in your home, you do not need to find out what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same when it comes to health risks and removal. All indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, no matter what type(s) of mold is present, or whether or not it can produce mycotoxins.

Where can I obtain additional information on the Internet?

American College of Occupational and Occupational Medicine (ACOEM)
http://www.acoem.org/AdverseHumanHealthEffects_Molds.aspx

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
http://www.aiha.org/news-pubs/bg/Pages/MoldDetectionRemediation.aspx?highlighting=mold

Building Science Corporation
http://www.buildingscience.com/resources/mold/default.htm

FEMA- Removing Mold From Your Home

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Posted on June 5, 2012, in Inspections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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