Household mold: What are the health effects?

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Mold grows on moist, porous surfaces such as plaster, wood, flooring, wall board and behind ceiling tiles. Humans can be exposed via inhalation, consuming moldy food or via contact with the skin.

The presence of mold in houses is common especially those with water damage. The mild forms of household mold are the culprit for various health issues including upper respiratory infections, sinus infections and an increase in the cases of asthma.

Inhaling the spores of household mold can trigger an immediate sneezing or a delayed allergic reaction up to 6 hours later.

The amount of mold that can trigger symptoms varies for every individual and usually based on the respiratory or immune system. Even if not all types of household mold are detrimental to humans, there are some strains that might be linked with serious ailments and medical risks.

Allergic reaction to household mold

Inhaling the spores of household mold can trigger an immediate sneezing or a delayed allergic reaction up to 6 hours later. The respiratory reactions might include sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion, wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Other typical symptoms that might arise include watery or burning eyes, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, intestinal bleeding, tiredness and skin rashes.

Exposure to toxic black mold

A mold is considered toxic once it multiplies and transmits dangerous mycotoxins into the air. The toxic and dangerous types of molds in humans include black mold or stachybotrys, aspergillus and penicillium.

These toxic household molds are associated to memory issues, brain damage, leukemia and cancer of the esophagus, kidneys and liver. The mold can weaken the immune system as well as disrupt with the cellular and DNA assembly, leading to recurrent ailments, miscarriage, infertility and birth defects.

Preventive measures

The formation of mold in the house can be lessened by cleaning and sanitizing the refrigerator drip trays, humidifiers, garbage pails and air conditioners regularly.

The bathroom should be properly ventilated with an open window or functional fan. Crawl spaces, attics, foam pillows, furniture cushions, mattresses, basement walls, closets and air conditioning ducts for the formation of moisture.

Any water leaks and moisture should be dealt with right away and clean any mold if visible. Utilize a bubbly detergent and water-based solution particularly chlorine bleach. The cleaned areas should be allowed to dry thoroughly.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on the health effects of black mold is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about the health effects, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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