Health Risks of Toxic Mold
Mold is a general name for several types of fungi: patches of growths which are fuzzy and smelly. These growths can develop in many different colours, including black, brown, yellow, pink, green, and more. An enormous variety of species of mold are found both in both indoors and outdoors locations. Mold spores are a common component of dust found in workplaces and households. As such, it is prudent to inspect and secure occupied spaces from health risks of toxic mold. Mold in home or workplace buildings is a serious concern for the health of those who inhabit or work there. Up to 40 percent of American schools and 25 percent of homes are reported to have mold infestations of some kind.
Aside from ingestion of food with mold growths, the main sources of toxic mold exposure comes from the indoor air in buildings with substantial mold growth. Allergic reactions are among the most common types of reactions people have to toxic mold exposure. Some indoor mold types are capable of producing extremely potent toxins. These toxins can be easily absorbed by the lining in our intestines, our skin, and our airways. These agents, usually found in fungal spores, can have toxic effects manifesting in symptoms from short-term irritation to development of immunosuppression and cancer.
The type and severity of health effects resulting from toxic mold exposure can be extremely variable in different areas, with a wide range of symptoms from person to person and over varying lengths of time. Studies have shown people who are atopic (people with sensitive skin), already suffer from asthma, allergies, or compromised immune systems are at a significantly increased risk of health problems from toxic mold exposure. People occupying damp or moldy buildings are particularly susceptible to these risks. These health problems can include symptoms such as toxic and inflammatory reactions to toxic mold spores, metabolites and other elements.
The most common health problem to come from toxic mold exposure is an allergic reaction. Other health risks of toxic mold exposure include respiratory/immune system responses (respiratory infections, asthma, exacerbation and, more rarely, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic alveolitis, chronic rhinosinusitis and allergic fungal sinusitis) as well as other types of reactions. Severe reactions can be rare but are still very much possible; a person's reaction to toxic mold depends on their sensitivity to the spores in relation to other health conditions, the amount of toxic mold present, length of exposure and the type of toxic mold or mold products.
Other symptoms of toxic mold exposure can include:
- Nasal/sinus congestion
- Respiratory problems (difficulty breathing, chest tightness, wheezing)
- Throat irritation
More severe symptoms that could result from continuous human exposure to indoor toxic mold include:
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis/pulmonary fibrosis
- Hepatic, endocrine and/or renal toxicities
- Pulmonary injury (internal bleeding)
- Hematologic/immunologic disorders
- Pregnancy, gastrointestinal and/or cardiac conditions
For more information on how to deal with the health risks of toxic mold, call Matrix Remediation at 1-888-885-8683 or visit www.matrixremediation.com.