Further Research Linking Mold With Asthma

Further Research Linking Mold With Asthma
Yet another study has been published that links the presence of mold with asthma.
The study by Dr. Richard Sharpe of the University of Exeter Medical School in the UK, found that increased levels of the fungal species Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium can pose a significant health risk to people with asthma. The study further concludes that these fungi will worsen symptoms in children and adults.
Cladosporium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Penicillium species were found to be present in higher concentrations in homes of asthmatic participants. Exposure to Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium species were found to be associated with increased risk of reporting asthma symptoms by a limited number of studies. The presence of Cladosporium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Penicillium species increased the exacerbation of current asthma symptoms by 36% to 48% compared with those exposed to lower concentrations of these fungi, as shown by using random-effect estimates. Studies were of medium quality and showed medium-high heterogeneity, but evidence concerning the specific role of fungal species was limited. (Indoor fungal diversity and asthma: A meta-analysis and systematic review of risk factors)
These conclusions were based on findings gathered by systematically reviewing 17 studies that were done in 8 different countries.
During an interview by Dr. Marie Benz of www.medicalresearch.com, Dr. Sharpe emphasizes the following:
1. Dampness and fungal contamination in the home has been consistently shown to increase the risk of asthma and the severity of its symptoms.
2. Majority of the evidence reviewed focuses on the exacerbation of asthma symptoms, and few assess their role in the development of asthma.
3. So far Aspergillus and Penicillium species have already been linked to an increase in the risk of asthma development in children, but we know little about the effects of the other species we considered.
4. Dampness is one of the major factors affecting the growth of mold inside homes – a problem which has been on the rise as aging houses are sealed and retrofitted with new energy efficient technology. We currently know very little about how people’s living habits can contribute to indoor air quality, and ultimately affect their health. This study highlights the need for homes to have adequate heating, ventilation and home maintenance – all factors that will help to reduce the presence of mold and its effects on asthma symptoms.
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

Asthma In School Children Caused By Mold!

Asthma In School Children Caused By Mold!
In about 30 days, summer holidays will be over and our children will be back in school. One of the questions we have been researching is the impact that poor air quality has on the health of children. In fact, February, 2012, Got Mold? posed the question: Should Canadian School Boards be Concerned About Mold?. This question stemmed from the fact that earlier that year, CNN reported that one-third of American schools had poor air quality.
One of the most common health concerns for children is asthma. What causes asthma?
One study based on a survey of more than 10,000 university students, cited that there was a strong correlation between mold and asthma.
Another study of 300 children found a strong correlation that three species of mold–Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus unguis and Penicillium variabile–caused asthma in children. The studies author went on to conclude that: “It’s proof of common sense that you want to take care of mold in the home. It’s just proving that if you don’t do that, your kids are more likely to develop asthma.
December, 2013 the New York City Housing Authority was forced to recognize mold as a health threat and specifically that one of the core causes of asthma was moisture and mold.
It would appear that more research is pointing to the fact that the prevalent and core cause of asthma in children is, indeed, mold.
Research out of Taiwan, provides even more proof that mold causes asthma.
The researchers studied school children aged 6 to 15 years old in 44 schools and concluded that:
Classroom Aspergillus/Penicillium and basidiospores are significantly associated with childhood asthma and asthma with symptoms reduced on holidays or weekends (ASROH). Government health policy should explore environmental interventions for the elimination of fungal spores in classrooms to reduce the prevalence of childhood asthma.
Based on this conclusion, it is fairly clear that parents, teachers, school trustees, and the government needs to take the issue of mold in schools seriously. It is no longer a theory that poor air quality affects the health of school children, it is fairly clear that it does. It is also fair to conclude that the prevalent cause of childhood asthma is mold.
If we want to reduce the number of children with asthma, then the obvious solution is to address the issue of poor air quality in schools. Will this happen? I am hopeful, but in an age of constant government cutbacks and tight budgets, the likelihood of this happening is not very high. The driving force for change in schools will ultimately have to be the parents whose children are impacted by poor air quality.
As a parent, the only way you can determine if your child’s school is causing sickness is to monitor their health during the summer when they are away from school and monitor their health when they are in school.
Here are some questions you may want to consider when your child is back in school.
How do I know if my child is getting sick at school from mold?
Some children are more sensitive than others. But watch out for symptoms that seem to appear only at school – for example, wheezing, hoarseness, cough, runny nose, acid reflux, digestive issues, headache and irritated eyes.
What should I do if I suspect my child is getting sick because of school?
Visit your children’s classrooms and other parts of their schools. Do you see or smell mold or mildew? Are there signs of water leaks on walls, around windows or on the ceiling?
Musty and earthy odors are always an indication that a mold problem is present. Dirty carpet and water damage might also mean mold and bad air quality. Mold grows where there’s moisture.
How do I know if it’s mold?
If you see fuzzy, slimy, or discolored surfaces — especially in damp or wet areas — it’s probably mold. Molds can be green, black, gray, purple or even orange.
What if I see a problem?
Alert your principal or a School Board member. A lot of times, it will take more than one call or e-mail to get a response. Although calls might be quicker, your letters will provide a paper trail. Also, be sure to log all your calls, letters and observations. Inform other parents of the problem.
How can I protect my child?
Educate yourself. Talk to school officials about what they’re doing to control humidity and how quickly they’re fixing leaky roofs and windows. Ask to see copies of investigative reports and work orders for repairs and mold removal. Finally, ensure that your child is maintaining a healthy diet so their immune system is strong.
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

Calgary Indoor Air Quality Testing

Calgary Indoor Air Quality Testing
Managing Partner of Got Mold? Calgary, James Zolkavich, invites all residents of Calgary and surrounding areas to schedule their air quality tests. According to Zolkavich:
Any resident impacted by the summer floods or any type of water damage, should consider an air quality test because the air you breath will have a direct impact on your health. Air quality testing is very important if you have small children who have respiratory issues or suffer from asthma, which is now proven to be caused by bad air and in particular, mold. Poor air quality can also cause sinus issues and allergic reactions. Constant exposure to bad air will also lead to Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, known as Sick Building Syndrome, which the World Health Organization states is directly caused by water damage.
Founder and President of Got Mold?, James C. Watson, based in Saskatoon, also recommends the following:
You should consider an air quality test If you smell an earthy, musty, mildew and even urine like odour. This smell is usually an indicator of Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds. MVOC’S are an indicator of active and past fungal (mold) growth and should not be treated lightly because this will have a negative impact on air quality as well.
For a limited time, Got Mold? Calgary is offering a 20% discount to customers that mention this article. To book your appointment and take advantage of this offer, contact us.

School Mold Awareness Worth The Effort!

School Mold Awareness Worth The Effort!
I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy. (Og Mandino)
Since January, one of the missions of Got Mold? has been to raise awareness of mold and the consequences of poor air quality in our schools.
We created awareness by implementing the following actions:
First and foremost, we began tracking all reported incidences of mold in the news that pertained to schools. This initial idea led to the launch of our “Mold in the News” postings we began in February.
Second, we began compiling stats on what percentage of stories actually pertained to schools by inputting the information on a spread sheet. Our data shows that 30% of all stories were about mold in the schools.
Finally, and most importantly, we used social media to share our findings. Since February, we have aggressively been using twitter to broadcast all stories we find, updating our website daily with information we think is relevant, and posting to our facebook fan pages.
The results are very encouraging. We are creating awareness both in the community we serve and with our followers around the world, who hopefully will use the information and education we provide. Ultimately, we hope our followers that encounter mold will at least know what to do and what not to do and when to consult with a professional.
Using the intelligence we have been gathering and his expertise in mold remediation, asbestos abatement, and air quality, our founder and President, James C. Watson, has been actively engaging our local community through radio, face-to-face visits, and presentations. His efforts, we are happy to report, have been received well by real estate professionals, local military personnel, and school board officials.
Got Mold? is very pleased to report that because of these efforts, we have been invited to provide a mold education seminar to 80 custodians in a Saskatchewan school division. This is an enormous success because we now have an opportunity to provide knowledge to front of the line workers who are in charge of maintaining schools in our community. Our goal is to provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions about air quality and mold issues so that our schools are safe and healthy environments for our children to learn.
Got Mold? is grateful to all of our followers and so thankful that our awareness campaign is working. Together we can make a difference…mold is a growing concern!

How Safe Is Your School’s Air Quality?

How Safe Is Your School’s Air Quality?
At the beginning of this year, Got Mold? began asking the question: “Are Schools Making Kids Sick?” This question was prompted by a news article published by CNN which concluded that public schools are literally making children sick.
Beginning with this initial investigation, we decided to attempt to document the ocurrence of mold in schools through our “Mold In the News” feature that we publish weekly. What we have found is that nearly 30% of the news stories published are about mold in schools.
It is fairly clear that mold is an issue. It is therefore not surprising that this past week, there were three stories about mold in schools. Schools in Massachusetts, Texas, and New Jersey are currently dealing with mold issues.
What is troublesome, however, is that our efforts to document issues are based exclusively on what becomes public knowledge and therefore available to the news to report.
How many more schools have mold and air quality issues?
What are our school boards doing to measure the air quality?
As a parent and perhaps because of my awareness of the health consequences of mold, this issue is particularly troublesome. My hope is that our School Board Trustees, Principals, and others that manage our schools take the issue of air quality seriously.
Since we started our investigation into this matter, Got Mold? has been proactively creating awareness by engaging with school board officials. Knowledge, we believe, is the key to ensuring that the managers of our school system understand why this is an issue.
To explore the issue of mold in schools further, please visit these links:
Mold in Schools
Mold in Schools: Statistical Analysis
Mould in Classroom Made Her Sick!
Should Canadian School Boards be Concerned About Mold?
Are Schools Making Kids Sick?
School Board Makes $800,000 Mistake!
Got Mold? Actively Engaging School Boards and the Military
What is the True Economic Cost of Mold?