Mold: How Worried Should You Be?
Most people have seen mold inside a shower curtain, under a sink, or in a basement. But few people realize the extent of the mold problem in our environment. Mold can grow anywhere, and it is often invisible. In fact, mold is a problem to some significant degree in most homes.
Mold can be in the roof if there have been leaks. Mold is found in drywall and flooring and cabinets. One study proved that live Christmas tress breed mold, releasing millions of spores into a room and triggering winter allergies and asthma attacks. According to that study, indoor air quality fell 600 percent over the two weeks a Christmas tree typically decorates a room.
Types of Mold
The modern American home may be host to any of a thousand types of mold. Scientists classify molds into types based on their effect on human beings and other living things.
Allergenic molds are among the least dangerous, as they are a threat only to people with asthma and a predisposed allergy to a specific mold. Mold allergies are more common among children than adults.
Pathogenic molds can cause infections. They post a significant threat to people with a suppressed immune system. An acute response that resembles bacterial pneumonia is often found among people exposed to these types of mold.
As the name signifies, toxigenic molds produce mycotoxins, and they can trigger serious health effects. They have been implicated in immunosuppression and cancer. These molds contain toxic that can be absorbed into the body when they are inhaled, ingested, or even touched.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, the five most common indoor molds are:
Alternaria: Generally found in your nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract; it can cause allergic responses.
Aspergillus: Generally found in warm, extremely damp climates, and a common occupant of house dust; it produces mycotoxins and can cause lung infections.
Cladosporium: Very common outdoor fungus which finds its way indoors to grow on textiles, wood, and other damp, porous materials; triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.
Penicillium: Very common species frequently found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation; it is known for causing allergies and asthma. Some species, such as the common antibiotic penicillin, produce mycotoxins.
Stachybotrys: This is the highly toxic “black mold” that produces mycotoxins which cause serious breathing difficulties and bleeding of the lungs, among other health issues. It is founds less often in homes than the other four, but it is not rare. It is found on wood or paper (cellulose products), but not on concrete, linoleum or tile.
What is Mold Illness?
Beyond a simple allergic reaction, mold can cause infections from skin problems all the way to pneumonia. Some people experience Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, an acute, chronic inflammatory response.
Here are eleven signs of mold illness:
11 Signs of Mold Illness:
Brain Fog, Memory Problems, Trouble Focusing, Headaches
Fatigue and Weakness
Unexplained Muscle Cramping, Aches, and Pains or the Joints, Persistent Nerve Pain
Numbness and Tingling
Eye Problems like Red Eyes or Light Sensitivity
Asthma and Sinus Problems like Cough or Shortness of Breath
Tremors and Vertigo
Digestive Issues like Change in Appetite, Diarrhea, Nausea, Abdominal Pain
Metallic Taste in the Mouth
Temperature Regulation or Night Sweats
Excessive Thirst and Increased Urination