Listening to the weather each day, we often hear reports of the pollen and mold counts. High humidity causes an increase in mold spores. Mold can be airborne inside as well as outside. It grows in our homes where moisture lurks. Bathrooms are one place where we often find a black mold, especially in showers. Air conditioners often have mold. Mold grows in damp basements, on wood, sheetrock and concrete. Many of us start sneezing, our eyes may water, itch or turn red, we may wheeze, and cough. These are symptoms of an allergy to mold, but people can also become toxic with mold.
There are about 50,000 species of mold. About 200 of these present risks to our health. It is these 200 which are referred to as toxic mold because they produce mycotoxins. It is these mycotoxins that are a risk to one’s health, as they can harm the DNA and RNA in our cells.
Symptoms of toxicity from mold are much more debilitating. Some of these symptoms include:
- anxiety and depresssion
- memory loss
- muscle and joint pain
- GI problems
- shortness of breath
- vision problems
- many more
Symptoms range from sinus issues, to memory loss and even cancer. Mold toxicity has been linked to such things as GERD, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases to name a few. Patients often go from doctor to doctor because they are not getting better and perhaps have not been diagnosed properly.
When dealing with mold, the first thing that needs to be done is to identify the source. Usually mold is found where there is or has been water. Areas that have been flooded or areas where there are water leaks are probable locations, and as previously mentioned, bathrooms and air conditioners. Air conditioners, if they are a source of mold, can send mold spores throughout the building. Things like sheetrock, wallpaper, and carpet may need to be replaced. Once identified, the areas need to be cleaned. Because mold spores can be airborne, caution should be taken; Masks worn; HEPA vacuums used. If the area is large, using a professional to do the job as probably a good option.
Once the area is free of mold, prevention is important. Some steps to take are
- Using a dehumidifier, especially in the basement, is important.
- Ventilating your house—open your windows
- Repair leaks quickly.
- Dust regularly as mold spores like dust.
- Vent your bathroom to the outside, not the attic. Venting to the attic could cause mold to grow there.
If you are feeling sick and wonder if you might have a mold condition, you should call our office today. In our office, we use a lab that tests for 15 different mycotoxins, so please make an appointment so you can be as healthy as possible.
For further information, give us a call at 203-264-2200