Molds are microscopic organisms that live on plant or animal matter.
They aid in the break down of dead material and recycle nutrients
in the environment. Present virtually everywhere, they can be found
growing on organic material such as soil, foods, and plant matter.
In order to reproduce, molds produce spores, which spread through
air, water, or by insects. These spores act like seeds and can form
new mold growth if the conditions are right.
do molds grow?
Mold will grow and multiply under the right conditions, needing only
sufficient moisture (e.g., in the form of very high humidity, condensation,
or water from a leaking pipe, etc.), and organic material (e.g., ceiling
tile, drywall, paper, or natural fiber carpet padding).
mold become a problem in my home?
Mold growth may occur
in your home if there is sufficient moisture because mold spores are
everywhere. Be on the lookout for these common sources of moisture:
leaks, drainage problems
and crawl spaces
from the bathroom or kitchen
resulting from poor or improper insulation or ventilatio
drying inside the home or a clothes dryer venting indoors
improper ventilation of combustion appliances
of a moisture problem may include discoloration of the ceiling or
walls, warping of the floor, or condensation on the walls or windows.
The key to preventing mold growth is to control all moisture problems
mold make my family sick?
Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some people. The most
common effects are allergic responses from breathing mold spores.
These allergic responses include hay fever or asthma and irritation
of the eyes, nose, throat or lungs. We usually cannot say how much
mold is too much as our reactions to allergens can vary greatly depending
on individual sensitivity. Allergic responses can come from exposure
to dead as well as to living mold spores. Therefore, killing mold
with bleach and or other disinfectants may not prevent allergic responses.
Less common effects of mold exposure include infections and toxic
effects. Serious infections from living molds are relatively rare
and occur mainly in people with severely suppressed immune systems.
Many types of molds may produce toxins but only under certain growth
conditions. Toxic effects have been reported from eating moldy grain,
but evidence is weak that breathing mold spores in buildings causes
are common symptoms of mold exposure?
Allergy and irritation are the most common symptoms of mold exposure.
Although symptoms will vary, the most common symptoms seen in people
exposed to mold indoors include:
and sinus congestion
such as itchy, red, watery eyes
problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing
such as a rash
is most at risk for health problems from mold exposure?
Exposure to high amounts of mold is not healthy for anyone, so obvious
mold growth in the home should be cleaned up. However, some individuals
may be more susceptible to health problems from mold exposure. These
include: Individuals with current respiratory sensitivities (e.g.,
allergies, asthma, or emphysema) Individuals with a compromised immune
system (e.g., HIV/AIDS infection, organ transplant patients, or chemotherapy
some molds more harmful than others?
Any extensive indoor mold growth should be treated as a potential
health concern and removed as soon as practical no matter what species
of mold is present. Identify and correct the source of moisture so
that mold will not grow back.