Is mold making you sick?
Is mold making you sick?
Many people don’t realize it, but indoor air can often be more polluted than the air outside your home. Mold, poor air circulation, insufficient filtration, and indoor contaminants are the biggest contributors to the indoor air pollution problem.
Mold is a particularly common issue because homes are largely made of wood and drywall, which is covered in paper. When these materials become wet or damp due to humidity or flooding, they provide the perfect breeding ground for mold. This problem is more common than you might think. Over 60% of the homes in U.S. and Canada are estimated to have mold growth. Mold exposure in homes is a major contributor to asthma, allergies, and sinus conditions that cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year in healthcare. Though reports continue to be released on mold by the World Health Organization, Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other health organizations, awareness and action against mold growth in your home lies entirely in your hands.
Many people are unaware they have mold in their home until someone in the family becomes ill. A quarter of the population has a gene called HLA, which essentially makes them a “canary in the coal mine,” meaning their symptoms can sound the alarm for mold in the home. Symptoms of mold exposure sometime seem like allergies, and they may wax and wane with the weather as humidity changes. Often, people with mold exposure are at a loss as to what’s causing their symptoms and may end up going from doctor to doctor looking for answers.
The most common symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Chronic cough
- Sore throat
- Recurring headaches
- Runny nose
- Sinus issues
- Shortness of breath
- Itchy eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty concentrating (aka “brain fog”)
- Muscle or joint aches
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Skin dryness and itching
As you can see, these symptoms are diverse, affecting different systems of the body. If you or anyone in your family are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s possible they are being caused by the gene that makes people extra sensitive to mold exposure.
Even the those who don’t have this gene are impacted by mold, it just can take longer for it to notice the effects on their health because there is no early warning system. The health effects of mold exposure aren’t just due to living, growing mold. Many of the harmful effects of mold exposure are actually due to byproducts created by the mold, called mycotoxins. These toxins can remain even after mold is killed and can continue to cause lingering health effects if not also removed.
With or without these symptoms, it’s important to take mold growth in your home seriously because over time the toxins released by mold can and will wear down on your health.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Mold cleanup & removal can be very costly and disruptive to your home and life. You can help avoid it altogether and take steps to prevent mold growth in the first place, by ensuring that the growth conditions for mold are eliminated as much as possible.
Do you have mold in your home? Download our Home Mold Checklist!
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