August 2017

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Mold and Your Respiratory Health

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Mold and Your Respiratory Health | Orange County Hazardous Material Abatement

There are many species of mold, and they have been on earth since the beginning of life. Some molds are beneficial, such as the mold species from which the drug penicillin is derived. Other mold is an integral part of cheese making, but there are some species of mold which can cause serious ailments, including a variety of respiratory diseases, when the mold is growing inside a building.

Mold in Buildings Linked to Respiratory Disease

Molds found inside buildings develop where there is moisture. This means bathrooms, laundry areas, areas under the kitchen sink, hot tubs, and spa areas are the most likely places for developing a mold problem. Basements, crawl spaces, and garages are also common places for finding mold growth. Molds can also develop inside air conditioning systems and vents.

Molds produce spores for reproduction, and these dust-like spores become airborne as a means for the mold spreading itself to new locations. When these spores are inhaled or ingested, they can lead to respiratory ailments such as asthma and allergies, especially for some individuals.

Not everyone is affected in the same way when a mold is present in a home or other building, and the presence of mold is not always obvious or detectable by odor. Molds growing inside walls or under floors can still spread spores, even though the mold itself is not visible.

Some people do not experience any reaction to mold, but for other people, exposure to certain species of mold can cause wheezing, coughing, allergic reactions, fatigue, watery eyes, skin disorders, and bring on asthma attacks.

For children, early exposure to mold may make them more susceptible to asthma later in life. Elderly people and people with compromised immune systems are also especially vulnerable to the negative effects of mold growing in a building.

The best ways for preventing mold is by:

  • Having adequate ventilation in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, and spa areas.
  • Quickly repairing leaks in water inlet pipes, drains, roofs, and around windows.
  • Making sure downspouts funnel rainwater away from the building and not allowing it to enter crawl spaces or basements.
  • Keeping indoor humidity at the correct level.

If you suspect mold inside a building is having an effect on your health, contact Tri Span Environmental for a consultation, and find out how you can eliminate mold and its health risks from your environment.