If you’ve observed colored, clustered, and cotton-like growths in specific parts of your home, you might wonder whether these new developing organisms deserve attention. More importantly, you want to know whether they pose any threat to your health in order to take timely action toward eliminating them.
These microscopic organisms are called molds and usually thrive in areas with moisture, poor ventilation, and high humidity. No wonder we often find them in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, flooded areas, and around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes.
Molds can grow on cardboard, paints, carpet, upholstery, and any paper or wood product.
The Big Question
Will mold make you sick? Actually, the impact of mold exposure on the human body depends on the type of mold and the individual’s health status. Common molds occur in three major groups, each posing a varying degree of health risk. Thus, we can classify all the thousands of mold species commonly found in homes into any of these three groups, which are:
- Allergenic – molds under this category are naturally harmless and unlikely to cause any severe sickness. They can be eliminated with common home disinfecting products, especially when in small quantities. However, if someone with allergenic mold allergies gets exposed to these organisms, they can aggravate the allergies.
As a result, they may start to experience a runny nose, itching, watery eyes, postnasal drip, cough, congestion, dry and scaly skin, and sneezing. Examples of allergenic molds are Cladosporium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Penicillium, etc. Also, if someone has asthma in the building, they may experience shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness.
- Pathogenic – this category of molds can cause infection in people with or without any medical condition, as they’re more dangerous than the Allergenic types. If you’re dealing with Pathogenic molds, it’s essential to call mold removal professionals as soon as possible before they bring any severe sickness.
You shouldn’t rely on your healthy immune system since these molds can attack a healthy immune system and bring about sickness. They become more dangerous when they come in contact with an already compromised or weak immune system.
Pathogenic molds can even grow inside the human body and infect certain organs too. Examples include A. fumigatus and A. flavus, Histoplasma capsulatum, Cryptococcus neoformans, etc.
- Toxigenic – as the name suggests, Toxigenic molds are the deadliest and most toxic types that can grow in homes. They are toxic to both humans and animals because they release a chemical called mycotoxins into the air.
The released mycotoxins can make you fall seriously sick and cause respiratory health issues. The chemical can also affect individuals with a strong or weak immune system, so you don’t need to have a previous medical issue to be infected by Toxigenic molds.
Some of the diseases that are linked to mycotoxins include nephropathy, cancer, hepatic diseases, alimentary toxic aleukia, various hemorrhagic syndromes, neurological disorders, etc. Examples of Toxigenic molds include Penicillium species, Aspergillus species, Stachybotrys chartarum, Fusarium species – also known as “black mold.”
Additionally, the toxic molds can cause all the sicknesses listed in the Pathogenic and Allergenic types, such as coughing, wheezing, nose stuffiness, red or itchy eyes, skin rash, sore throat, etc.
What To Do
It’s important to note that several species of molds can grow together in the same spot, so you may never know if you’re dealing with a toxic specie. Calling for mold remediation can help you identify the type of mold you’re dealing with, understand its source, and provide effective extermination protocols to keep your home free from the organism.
If you suspect mold growth in your apartment, calling for a mold inspection might be wiser than waiting until you or your loved ones begin to fall sick. Mold remediation professionals will detect all the areas where these organisms are growing and eliminate them so that you are your loved ones can remain healthy and happy.