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Mold can cause adverse reactions in humans. There are various entry routes that may allow mold egress into the body.
How Mold Can Affect the Respiratory System
The human respiratory system is comprised of your nose, mouth, lungs, trachea, and esophagus. The human nose contains cilia (tiny hairs) and mucous membranes which are designed to catch foreign objects and prevent them from entering further into the respiratory system. The trachea works in a similar manner to catch foreign objects. The lungs contain bronchioles which then lead to many small air sacks. These air sacks distribute air into your blood stream.
Mold can cause sneezing, excess mucous production, stuffy sinusitis, and other unpleasant affects. Some mycotoxins (toxins produced by some molds) can cause bleeding lungs and nose. Mold can also be ingested through the mouth down the esophagus into the stomach.
How Mold Can Affect the Human Nervous System
The brain, spinal cord, and nerves comprise the human nervous system. Your brain interprets the feedback from the nerves via our senses and processes this information. Humans then react to this information and behavior in a particular manner. The spinal cord is the information relay center.
The medulla also controls breathing and heartbeat. Some nerves communicate sensory information while others help your muscles move a certain direction. Mold can cause memory loss, tremors, numbness, and profound mood or personality changes.
The Vascular Affects of Mold
The heart, blood, and blood vessels comprise the human vascular system. The heart pumps blood throughout the body via arteries, vessels, and capillaries. Arteries take blood away from the heart and veins bring the blood back to the heart. Infection caused by sufficient mold exposure can also adversely change white cells counts while a person is ill.
Mold's Effects on Skin
Skin is the largest organ in the human body and prevents the entry of germs into open tissue. The skins is comprised of 3 layers: the dermis (middle layer), epidermis (top layer), and subcutaneous fat (protective layer). Mold can cause skin rashes, swelling, welts, itching, and pain.
People react differently to the same/similar exposure level and time. In addition, repeat exposure to mold can cause some people's bodies to become even more reactive with each additional exposure.
Toxic Reactions Health Problems That May Be Caused By Mold Exposure Stachybotyrs, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium can cause memory loss, joint paint, headaches, fatigue, and depression. Aflavatoxin B from Aspergillus Flavus mold is one of the most potent cancer causing agents and can adversely affect pulmonary macrophage production.
Mold toxins are dangerous and can cause cancer, and suppress the immune system, damage the liver, lungs, and other organs. Some toxins are mutagenic and can actually change the genetic code resulting in birth defects Sensitization to Mold Individuals react differently to mold exposure.
There is no set dose/time formula or relationship. In addition, in some individuals repeat exposure can cause an increasingly adverse reaction. It is best to avoid mold exposure or to use the proper PPE (such as the proper fit tested mold rated cartridged respirator) and to get a mold problem correctly promptly.
Never let water stand without without cleanup within 24-48 hours or to let high humidity levels go unchecked. Remember, the cause of the moisture intrusion must be fixed or the problem will recur.
Did you know a simple indoor air quality inspection and microbiology testing could find the cause of sneezing, headaches, coughing, or just that sense of not quite feeling right. Many of our clients mention that when they are at home they feel bad but once they leave the home they feel better and returning home they feel bad again.
This also holds true for people going to work once they get to work they feel bad then leave the office and feel better. We will do a full assessment of the home or office looking for any signs of indoor air contaminents or mold spores. Next we do air sampling by using an air pump that literally pulls in the air and traps these contaminants. We take these spore trap samples to a microbiologist for testing and checking for over twenty different forms of mold and allergens. We will then forward the test results to you via email and review the findings with you and a course of remediation or clean up.
If found early enough cleaning and disinfecting is easy with most homeowners able to do this themselves. The tricky thing about indoor air quality testing is the things we do not see in the air that can hurt us. Stachybotrys toxic mold or as it is called black mold of course will leave signs of it's presence but many more molds just stay in the air.
Petri dishes are available at Lowes and Home Depot but they will not tell you what type mold is present nor will they tell you how much is in the air. We are in the business of trying to make our clients feel better when they don't know which way to turn after trying numerous medications and many doctor visits.
Complete inspection, indoor air quality sampling, microbiology testing, and full report including remediation specification. Mold testing and indoor air quality testing should be a part of any real estate transaction. Normally we can have your inspection done and the test results available within 24 hours or earlier upon request.