The Health Risks of Mold

Learn about the health risks associated with mold in home.

Health Risks Associated with Mold in the Home

Most types of household mold are nontoxic, but they can still cause health problems. Being exposed to mold can cause a range of health effects ranging from minor allergy symptoms to life-threatening disease — or no health problems at all. This is because some people are much more sensitive to molds than others. Certain people are also at a higher risk of harm from mold exposure, including small children, the elderly, and those with immune disorders and other health problems. Here are some of the health risks associated with mold exposure at home.

Allergies

Many people experience allergy symptoms when exposed to damp, moldy environments. These symptoms can include runny nose, itchiness, watery eyes, wheezing, chest tightness, cough, throat irritation, and sneezing. An allergic reaction is the most common type of health effect from mold exposure.

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There are four types of allergy that can be caused by inhaling mold spores, including a form of sinusitis and asthma. Research has also found that the rate of new-onset asthma in adults increases when working in an area that has suffered water damage. People who are sensitive, already have allergies, and those with a compromised immune system are at a higher risk of suffering an inflammatory or toxic response to mold and may develop more a serious allergic reaction.

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a rare condition that can result from mold exposure. This happens when airborne mold spores cause serious lung inflammation. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis may be subacute, acute, or chronic and it usually requires prolonged mold exposure or high-dose exposure. Many cases are occupational, although it is possible to develop this condition due to high levels of mold in the home.

Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis

Aspergillus is a type of mold usually found outdoors, but it’s also a common household more. best place to buy viagra online This disease is related to the person’s lung anatomy, but it can be triggered by exposure to Aspergillus and some other types of mold. Most people who develop this condition have asthma, immune deficiency, or cystic fibrosis.

Risk Factors for Mold Allergies and Illness

Anyone can suffer health consequences if mold exposure is very high or chronic, but there are several factors that increase the likelihood of developing a mold allergy or more serious symptoms.

  • Living or working in a building that has had excess moisture. A building that has had leaking pipes, flood damage, or other types of water damage can allow mold to grow out of control.
  • Family history of allergies. People who have asthma or allergies are more likely to have a mold allergy.
  • Living in a home with excess humidity. Indoor humidity should be below 40-50%. When humidity is too high, it’s easier for mold to grow.
  • Living in a home with bad ventilation. Poor ventilation can trap moisture in the home and leave some areas damp.
  • Certain health conditions. People who have a compromised immune system are at a higher risk of serious health risks from mold exposure. At-risk groups include people with respiratory problems, COPD, cystic fibrosis, and HIV/AIDS.
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