Is Mold in Your House or Office Making You Sick?

Indoor mold growth is a fact of life for almost all indoor environments. While it is almost impossible to eliminate mold completely from your home or office, you can control it by manipulating conditions that support mold growth.

How to control Indoor mold Growth

By providing adequate ventilation and maintaining indoor humidity levels at between 30-60%, mold growth can controlled. Usually, mold becomes a problem if materials that are subject to mold attack remain wet or damp for more than 48 hours.

Is Mold In Your House Making You Sick?

Is mold making you sick?Indoor mold growth poses health risks. As mold grows, it produces and releases spores and/or chemical compounds into the air. The health effects associated with inhalation of these spores and chemicals may include runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, aggravation of asthma, headaches, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and other allergic reactions. Individuals with severely weakened immune systems may also get infected by molds such as Aspergillus fumigatus as a result of exposure.

One of the difficulties of diagnosing a mold related sickness is that reactions are so variable from one person to another. Whether one reacts to mold exposure or not may also depend on their health status and the type and amount of mold present. Another problem is that symptoms usually attributed to mold exposure can also be caused by other indoor pollutants.

If you suffer from allergic reactions or respiratory problems that seem to disappear when you are out of your home or office for a prolonged length of time, the cause could be in the air that you breathe in these places. As mentioned earlier other indoor pollutants could cause symptoms similar to those caused by mold. The only way to determine if mold is a possible cause of your sickness is to perform a mold test.

While not all molds are harmful, to be safe it is better to treat all molds as potentially harmful and get rid of them from your home or office. The color of the mold does not determine whether it is harmful or not. Therefore black mold is not necessarily the cause of your illness. Monitor mold growth by looking for water stains or discoloration on the ceiling, walls, floors, and window sills.

Other Reasons To Be Concerned About Mold

  • Legal Issues. Those responsible for building maintenance or health and safety of the building occupants may be legally liable for mold related sickness of the building occupants.
  • Material damage and impairment of processes. Mold, if allowed to grow, can impair the functioning of many processes from air conditioning units to electrical circuits. Surfaces of materials on which mold is growing get stained or discolored and may disintegrate over time. Wood-rotting molds are capable of weakening wooden structures.
  • Indoor mold contamination can affect businesses. Mold growth in the work place can affect the productivity of employees either directly or indirectly. A business affected by microbial contamination problems can soon see its market share fall and incur huge costs in liabilities. For example in food processing plants such as bakeries, bread can develop mold even before it leaves for the market.
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Dr. Jackson Kung’u is a Microbiologist who has specialized in the field of mycology (the study of moulds and yeasts). He is a member of the Mycological Society of America. He graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, with a Masters degree in Fungal Technology and a PhD in Microbiology. He has published several research papers in international scientific journals. Jackson has analyzed thousands of mould samples from across Canada. He also regularly teaches a course on how to recognize mould, perform effective sampling and interpret laboratory results. Jackson provides how-to advice on mould and bacteria issues.
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About Jackson Kung'U

Dr. Jackson Kung’u is a Microbiologist who has specialized in the field of mycology (the study of moulds and yeasts). He is a member of the Mycological Society of America. He graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, with a Masters degree in Fungal Technology and a PhD in Microbiology. He has published several research papers in international scientific journals. Jackson has analyzed thousands of mould samples from across Canada. He also regularly teaches a course on how to recognize mould, perform effective sampling and interpret laboratory results. Jackson provides how-to advice on mould and bacteria issues.

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