Molds are a problem indoors when mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens, substances that can cause allergic reactions, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances called mycotoxins. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions. Allergic responses include hayfever-like symptoms:sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold can be immediate or delayed and they are common. In people with asthma who are allergic to mold, molds can cause asthma attacks. Mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of people who are not even allergic
Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. For more detailed information, read more about mold at https://www.epa.gov/mold
Potentially mold can cause health problems. Many of these health problems are due to the fact that mold can be an allergen as well as a toxin and carcinogen. Allergens are the core of allergic reactions. Toxins are actual poisons. Touching or inhaling mold can invoke either complication, depending on if the person is vulnerable and/or the mold is an allergin, or contains a toxicant. Once mold has gained a foothold in your house, the contamination can be difficult to control. Hidden in your basement, walls, attic, or crawlspace, corners of your moistest rooms like bathrooms or laundry rooms, or kitchens, mold can quickly develop to dangerous levels.
Vigilance is essential if your household contains someone sick, or chronically ill, elderly, or very young because these individuals are the most vulnerable. Cold or asthmatic symptoms can be caused by mold exposure, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin rash, and dermatitis.
Mold test kits are available, but if mold could be the result of negligence on behalf of a landlord or contractor, it makes sense to have professionals check your air quality. Professional mold inspectors can not only provide reliable test results, they can also provide documents which can be used in court if a lawyer determines if a party might be liable based on carelessness or negligence, or some other factor.
Mycotoxins are toxins produced by mold and fungi. Mycotoxicoses are actual diseases caused by mycotoxins, i.e. secondary metabolites of molds. Hundreds of mycotoxins have been identified, and many are pathogenic. But all illnesses from mold are not related to mold-poisons.
The most common reaction to mold is allergic in nature. It can be from exposure that is either dermal or by inhalation, and includes symptoms like wheezing, rash, watery eyes, runny nose,itchy eyes, coughing, and redness of the eyes.
Testing your home or work environment for mold is a healthy move. That cold you have that’s been going on for months may be a mold allergy coming from mold in your walls or crawlspace.
Black mold fungi Aspergillus which produce aflatoxins and cause pulmonary infection aspergillosis. 3D illustration
Cladosporium is a genus of mold that rarely produces lethal disease in humans except for causing skin and nail, sinus and lung infections. There are about forty individual species of Cladosporium, most of which are plant pathogens. When Cladosporium species spores are airborne, they can be allergens, and in large amounts might affect asthmatics, children, the elderly and individuals with respiratory disease or sensitivity. Cladosporium does not produce major mycotoxins, but the odor can be tied to volatile organic compounds, i.e. VOC. Species feed on dead herbaceous and woody plants, textiles, rubber, paper, food, floor, carpet and mattress dust, damp acrylic painted walls, wallpaper, drywall, HVAC insulation, filters and fans and wet insulation in mechanical cooling units. (Not a complete list.) This is a very common species of mold, found outdoors all year, with lesser concentrations in the winter. If the indoor concentration is not lower than the outdoor concentration, you probably need to do something about it.
Sunflower seeds contain a toxin produced by mold that could increase health risk. Michigan State University researchers found that sunflower seeds, corn, peanuts, pistachios, and almonds contaminated with aflatoxin can contribute to liver cancer. Aflatoxin is considered as a potent liver carcinogen. The carcinogen makes its way into the food systems of low income countries after it is processed.
Several classrooms at Central High School in Providence, Rhode Island, have been closed due to mold problem.
Authorities said 19 classrooms have been closed after mold was discovered in the East Wing of the school.
The school district said in a letter, “The city has also hired an environmental company to conduct certified cleanings of the classrooms that require any mold remediation… The repairs have been timed over vacation to minimize disruption to students and teachers. Please note that any water-damaged rooms will not house classes until necessary interior repairs have been completed and rooms are cleared by contracted experts.”
If you have a mold-related problem, please contact us.
A woman in Springfield, Missouri, reported mold in a fruit pouch purchased at the local ALDI store.
According to Ashley Lamb, she found a large clump of mold inside her 2-year-old son’s favorite Little Journey Apple Mango pouch. “He came running back in, ‘It’s yucky. It’s yucky!’ and spitting, and he normally doesn’t spit, and he was just spitting and drool running everywhere,” she said.
The grocery chain ALDI issued the following statement on March 30th, “ALDI takes the safety and integrity of the products we sell very seriously and our Little Journey baby line is no exception…. Our Little Journey Organic Food Puree pouches are USDA certified organic and contain no artificial preservatives. While extremely rare, if a pouch is punctured and exposed to air, mold can grow. It was brought to our attention that this occurred with pouches that were available for purchase at our Springfield store located at 421 E. Battlefield. Out of an abundance of caution, we have removed all Little Journey Organic Food Puree pouches from our store shelves in the Springfield area… We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this situation may have caused. If a customer has any concerns about this product, we encourage them to visit their local Springfield ALDI store and we’ll gladly refund the purchase price of the Little Journey Organic Food Puree pouches.”
If you have a mold-related problem, please contact us!