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How Toxic Is Your Mold Problem?

by Neil Craig

Mold is no stranger to humid climates or spaces with poor ventilation. If you live somewhere where mold is common, you may be wondering how toxic your mold problem is. Unfortunately, identifying the level of toxicity of mold is not as easy as just looking at the color of the mold you have. In fact, mold itself is not toxic. The mycotoxins the mold produces is what is actually toxic to your health. It is especially harmful to infants, the elderly, and the infirm. If you have mold in your home, you can assess the level of danger you are in by following this helpful guide.

Health Problems

The biggest indicator of toxic mold is unexplained health problems. If you or the people who live in your home are generally healthy, but have suddenly been battling a slew of random symptoms, you may be dealing with aspergillis, fusarium, paecilomyces, penicillium, or stachybotrys. These are the most common types of mold found in residential homes.

The health problems you may be experiencing can range from minor to major depending on your immune system, age and level of exposure. People who are suffering from toxic mold exposure can show the following signs or symptoms:

  • Hair loss
  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Rashes
  • Irritated mucous membranes in the mouth
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Bleeding in the lungs
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Relentless coughing
  • Nausea and vomiting

When left untreated, prolonged toxic mold exposure can even lead to death. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above for prolonged amounts of time, contact a medical professional immediately. They will be able to determine if your symptoms are due to mold exposure and measure your level of exposure.

What if you can't see any mold?

Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there. Mold spores are airborne and it doesn't take much for a spore to blow in from outside or get tracked in on someone's shoe. Once the spore is in your home, all it needs is a little water to start an infestation. So, just because you can't see any mold, if you are experiencing any of the health problems listed above, you may have mold hiding in your walls. A thorough mold inspection by professionals can reveal where mold might be hiding.

Professional Removal

If you have found or suspect mold, call a professional for help in diagnosing the mold problem and proper removal. They will have the tools necessary to remove the mold without spreading the spores to other places in the home.

You're not experiencing health problems, what's next?

If you have mold in your home and your health has not been impacted in any way, you are probably just dealing with regular, run-of-the-mill mold. This mold can be treated by you with bleach, specialty mold remover or a vinegar and water solution. Clean any signs of mold as soon as possible and wipe down the area afterward with a dry cloth to catch any spores that may have gotten away from you.

Mold is a fact of life for most of the United States. It doesn't take much moisture for a mold spore to spring to life. If you are experiencing any of the health related issues listed above, take the necessary precautions to diagnose your level of exposure and to eradicate the mold problem completely.