What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that is present in our natural environment. Mold spores, which are
tiny microscopic ‘seeds’, can be found virtually everywhere, including in homes, and are
a part of the general dust found in homes. These spores can grow on building materials
and furnishings if conditions are correct. Excess moisture is the critical factor in any
indoor mold problem. Mold growth should not be tolerated in our homes.
Eventually, the moisture and mold will damage what it is growing on, which
may include both the building materials and personal belongings.
The key to preventing mold growth is to prevent moisture problems.
What does mold need to grow?
Mold only needs a few simple things to grow and multiply: Moisture,
Nutrients (food.) Of these, controlling excess moisture is the key to preventing
and stopping indoor mold growth.
What are the health concerns?
Health effects from exposure to mold can vary greatly depending on the person and the amount of mold in their home. The type of health symptoms that may occur include coughing, wheezing, nasal and throat conditions. People with asthma or allergies who are sensitive to mold may notice their asthma or allergy symptoms worsen. Individuals with severely weakened immune system who are exposed to moldy environments are at risk of developing serious fungal respiratory infections.
Are the risks greater for some people?
There is wide variability in how different people are affected by mold exposures. However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. Infants, children, elderly people, individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies or asthma may be affected more severely and sooner than others.
Are some molds more hazardous than others?
Some types of mold can produce chemical compounds called mycotoxins. In some circumstances, the toxins produced by indoor mold may cause health problems. Many, if not most, molds can produce potentially harmful substances, whether it’s allergens, mycotoxins, or other compounds. Hence, all indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, no matter what type(s) of mold is present or whether it can produce toxins.