Mold and Its Effects on Your Health
When mold is discovered in your home, a common first thought is “is it harmful?” After all, many media publications, blogs, and internet discussions have labeled mold as “toxic,” “deadly” and “poisonous.” So, it’s not far-fetched to believe that encountering or touching mold could be dangerous. However, the connection between mold and your health is more ambiguous than you might think. And answering the question “how does mold effect your health” requires more than a one-sentence response.
RestoPros would like to provide Dallas/Ft. Worth homeowners insight about mold and its impact on their health. We recommend following this article to help acquire a better understanding of mold, preparing homeowners for a plan if it appears.
What is Mold?
Before we attempt to explain the health effects of mold, we must first understand what mold is. Mold is a type of fungus that grows in environments with warm, dark and humid conditions. It spawns and feeds off organic matter. Mold’s appearance varies on the species, but you’ll generally see it as stain-like with different shades of black, brown, yellow, green or blue. It can also appear fuzzy or as a slime.
With the abundance of trees, grass, and vegetation, mold is ubiquitous in nature. You can find mold on rotting trees, dead plants, and animal carcasses. There are over 100,000 species of mold that can work in tandem, meaning one instance of mold growth could contain several different species.
How Does Mold Effect Your Health?
Mold reproduces via spores. Essentially, these are the “seeds” of mold, which travel through the air to find a suitable location to plant themselves and initiate new mold growth. These spores hold the allergens and other contaminants that can make you sick. Symptoms could be runny nose, irritated eyes, chronic cough, headaches, and other allergenic responses.
Along with spores, certain species of mold can also produce mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are small, toxic substances that can also cause symptoms of sickness and allergies if contacted.
We come in contact with mold spores and mycotoxins almost every day when going outside. So, if all the claims and rumors about mold’s health effects were true, we’d probably all be sick right now. However, considering the openness of the outdoors, mold spores and mycotoxins are so spread out that you’ll usually be safe being outdoors, provided you’re not constantly near mold.
But as the space becomes more confined, the more of a health impact mold can have. Mold spores and mycotoxins in tight spaces are now closer together and larger in quantity, meaning you have a higher chance of inhaling more of them. Therefore, having mold grow somewhere such as your home could possibly lead to negative health effects. And the adversity of these effects depends on factors such as the size of the mold infestation and the status of your own health.
Mold growth has been proven to cause worse symptoms for those with asthma or other respiratory conditions. For example, if you have a lung infection, mold can exacerbate the issue, increasing the severity of your systems. Additionally, those with weaker immune systems such as children or the elderly can also experience more severe symptoms from mold spores.
Mold can have an effect on your health, but only under certain conditions. Although we recommend following safety precautions when mold has been identified in your home (contacting RestoPros for mold remediation services), you shouldn’t cower in fear upon the sight of a mold-infested plant or tree.
RestoPros is happy to inform Dallas/Ft. Worth homeowners about the possible effects mold can have on your health. And be sure to contact RestoPros for affordable mold remediation services if a mold infestation has appeared in your home. Give us a call at 855-587-3786 to get started.