Like it or not, we share our world with mold. It may appear on the leftovers buried in the back of your refrigerator, or creep between your shower tiles. It may make its home on the back of an outbuilding subjected to frequent rains, or lurk behind walls and beneath carpeting, silently causing allergic reactions. There are many types of mold and many scary stories about them on the internet. Warnings about black mold and “toxic mold” syndrome abound, with threatening symptoms of brain infection and lung hemorrhage. While many internet claims about black mold are exaggerated, long-term mold exposure is harmful to health, especially for individuals with compromised immune systems. Here is the scoop on mold and how to prevent exposure to it.
8. What Is Mold?
There are several types of fungi that are known as mold. To reproduce, mold forms spores that are spread through the air. These hardy spores are able to withstand harsh, dry environments, but when they land in humid areas they are able to grow and thrive. Mold comes in many different colors, such as green, black, or brown, and may give off a musty odor. It can flourish either indoors or outdoors. One common place to find household mold and mildew is in the bathroom shower stall. It may also be hidden behind drywall, under the floorboards, or beneath carpeting.
7. Mold Allergy
While it is never healthy to breathe in air laden with mold spores, some people experience an immune system overreaction to mold known as mold allergy. If you have a mold allergy, exposure to mold causes allergic symptoms of coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose. A mold allergy can also result in an asthma attack. Certain types of mold may cause coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and tightness in the chest. If you notice symptoms of mold allergy and live or work in a building that has high humidity levels, you may be allergic to mold. Excess moisture from leaking pipes, flooding, or water damage can also introduce mold to a building.