Many persons from childhood have been exposed to bathroom mold in the indoor environment.
Exposure to common indoor mold sources typically do not cause an adverse reaction in most people unless they are
known to have a confirmed mold allergy. However, many people can have adverse health effects when exposed to high
concentrations of mold in the indoor environment. There are certain toxic mold species which can be found in
bathrooms and other areas of a home which are known to cause heath issues in humans.
Ongoing mold growth problems can adversely affect many homeowners, and those who act quickly and
appropriately can prevent or correct conditions that may encourage mold growth.
What causes mold growth?
Mold can grow and multiply when two conditions are present; sufficient
moisture (e.g., very high humidity, condensation or water from a leaking pipe, etc.) and organic
material (e.g., drywall, paper, certain carpets or household dust). A primary key in preventing mold
growth is to control all moisture problems. Water leaks are the number one cause of excessive moisture in the home
which can lead to "carpet mold" which is the most common "hidden" mold source found indoors.
Is mold in my home?
Exposure to toxic mold may
cause harmful health effects and should be cleaned up as soon as possible. The most common health effects from
exposure to mold are allergic responses from breathing mold spores. Mold sickness can come from exposure to dormant
(non-viable) as well as from living (viable) mold spores. It is difficult to say how much mold is too much as
reactions to allergens can vary greatly depending on individual sensitivity. Allergy-related symptoms of exposure
to moldy or damp environments are upper respiratory in nature and may include nasal congestion, post-nasal drip,
throat clearing and itchy, watery eyes. Exposure to mold may also trigger or exacerbate asthma symptoms.
People who may be more susceptible to health problems from exposure to moldy or damp environments include:
- Individuals with current respiratory sensitivities, such as allergies, asthma, emphysema or other lung
and/or heart diseases.
- Individuals with a compromised immune system, such as HIV/AIDS infection, organ transplant patients or
Home mold removal can be attempted by the homeowner
once the moisture source has been identified and corrected. If the mold cleanup project is large, then it is highly
recommended to hire a qualified professional in your area.
It is important to keep in mind that even once the mold problem has been cleaned up, mold
symptoms may still persist. If mold allergy symptoms are still being experienced by any occupants following a mold
cleanup then it is probable that small sub-micron mold particles are still present in the indoor environment.
The entire indoor environment should be thoroughly vacuumed with a High Efficient Particle Air
(HEPA) device to remove pollutant particles.
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