Mold removal is a serious issue for homeowners. However, your response to mold toxicity varies depending upon the duration and amount of exposure, genetic makeup and medical history. The amount of exposure has its basis in the “dose makes the poison” theory from the Swiss-German alchemist Paracelsus. According to his theory, the concentration and the potency of exposure determine whether someone shows the symptoms of a disease or not.
Household mold exposure in above-average concentrations, and for shorter periods doesn’t result in illnesses in most people who don’t have mold allergies. However, it’s a different story in the case of sensitive people. At-risk individuals, with underlying medical conditions like asthma, can exacerbate their symptoms after inhaling even small concentrations of airborne spores.
If you worry about mold in your home and how it affects your family, we invite you to continue reading to learn what you need to know about the importance of mold removal from your home.
Your Family’s Health and the Importance of Mold Removal
What You Need to Know About Mold
Most of the time, mold illness resulting from indoor mold growth isn’t even evident, making it difficult to identify and diagnose. This is why people sometimes dismiss the presence of mold in their homes, even if the air is full of mustiness.
Long-term exposure to low concentrations of mold particulates (mVOCs), on the other hand, often lead to life-threatening conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, miscarriages, stillbirths, and immunosuppressive and respiratory diseases.
Sometimes, when mold is trapped inside walls, it has no water source to sustain itself. In this situation, mold is generally inactive and harmless. However, the situation becomes alarming when mold populations release airborne spores.
Usually, mold colonies prefer to camp in the contaminated ducting of air conditioners. Moreover, they remain there even after the AC is goes through several cleaning sessions. Therefore, you need a professional water damage restoration company like Summit Cleaning & Restoration to perform a thorough inspection of your home. For more information on how bio-hazard lean-up and other services helps solve your mold problem, visit https://www.summitclean.com.
It’s also not advisable to clean the mold yourself as it exposes you to a slew of health problems. Therefore, calling a professional mold removal company is the best course of action.
For your further education, here are more crucial reasons to keep mold away and waterproof your basement and home.
⎆ Protection from Asthma
Asthma is prevalent in children in the US. In fact, according to the CDC Asthma Fast Stats, 19.2 million children under the age of 8 suffer from this medical condition.
Although Asthma has a genetic basis, the environment also plays an important role. This comes into play when the mold release microscopic spores into the air. Interestingly, there’s a higher chance of exposure to mold in homes with a moisture problem. This leads to susceptibility to asthma and other similar respiratory illnesses.
Dr. Tiina Reponen of the University of Cincinnati carried out several experiments funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Urban Housing and Development to study the connection between indoor mold and asthma. This involved samples that were collected from children with an average age of 8 months.
In August 2012, the first results of the study were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Out of the 289 children studied, 69 developed asthma. Furthermore, in the presence of mold species — Penicillium variabile and Aspergillus ocharaceus — the risk of contracting asthma in the subjects increased by 80%.
The team also conducted home inspections and looked for indicators of mold presence, such as an earthy smell. Many homes were found to have these markers growing unrestrained right under the homeowner’s nose. Thankfully, when the team removed the mold, it had a positive effect on the children with asthma.
However, this research isn’t conclusive to prove that asthma and molds have a definite link. But, it does provide evidence that indoor mold encourages the development of asthma in children.
Consequently, Reponen urges that there’s a compelling need to take care of water damage, especially in low-income communities.
⎆ Decrease The Likelihood Of Autism
As scientific evidence mounts, it becomes more evident that toxic mold exposure is a strong environmental indicator that contributes to the development of autism spectrum disorder.
In 2015, Harvard School of Public Health published a study that shows that children with exposure to dangerous levels of mold doubles their susceptibility to autism, especially in the third trimester.
However, there was a silver lining in this revelation. Mold toxicity is the one trigger of autism that is easily removable. As a responsible homeowner, you can hire a professional mold removal service and restrict the exposure from mold colonies. Furthermore, you can also use several medications to remove mycotoxins from an autistic child to lessen the effects.
⎆ Prevent Carcinogenic Mycotoxin Contamination
Many molds produce harmful carcinogenic substances. In fact, Aspergillus Flavus, which thrives on corn and in damp environments, releases Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a powerful cancer-causing agent that attacks the host’s liver. Therefore, foods and drugs regulating authorities like the FDA have strict laws to regulate the concentration of Aflatoxins in foods.
Another mold that grows on corn — Fusarium — releases Fumonisin B1, which can cause esophageal cancer. This carcinogen is only regulated in the EU and linked to a high risk of liver cancer in sub-Saharan Africa. What happens is that in drought-stricken areas in Africa, the immune system of corn grains gets compromised, which increases their susceptibility to Aflatoxin releasing molds.
Esophageal cancer resulting from Fumonisin B1 is also commonplace in the United States, Italy, Kenya, and Iran.
⎆ Shield Against Immune-System Related Conditions
Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a mold-related life-threatening disease that affects immunocompromised individuals. People who have a weak immune system provide an easy passage for mold to contaminate their lungs and other vital areas. This especially pertains to people who have a low white blood cell count which leaves them with a poor defense against mold.
The prevalence of IA has increased in recent times, mainly because the number of immunosuppressed patients is increasing due to chemotherapy or organ transplants. Although there have been advances in anti-fungal therapies, IA continues to wreak havoc on human health, with mortality rates reaching as high as 100% in individuals where it remains unrecognized for extended periods.
Aspergillus fumigatus is another mold, which produces an immune-suppressing agent called Gliotoxin. Gliotoxin is a wildly studied mycotoxin and has been held responsible for the incidence of A. fumigatus in many scientific studies.
⎆ Prevent Neurological Disorders
Molds also cause neurological problems other than autism. For example, those problem might include the following:
- Attention deficit issues
- Short term memory loss
Many studies have suggested that Stachybotrys and Trichoderma molds in damp households also cause neurological impairment to different degrees. Unfortunately, there are no reliable tests to identify their presence in your bloodstream, urine, or tissue.
So, the only viable solution in most cases is to clear your home of mold. You might also take medications, such as toxin binders, to recover from their effects, but they’ll only benefit if the mold-infested environment in question is properly decontaminated.
⎆ Safeguard Gut Health
A healthy gut plays a defining role in your overall health. Gut flora contributes to many critical physiological functions, such as food digestion, detoxification, production of essential vitamins, and regulation of moods. Mold exposure seriously affects their balance in the gut and causes other poor health effects, including inflammatory bowel disease and obesity.
Gliotoxin, the immunosuppressive agent that Aspergillus species release, is also produced by Candida. Furthermore, Candida also produces proteins that bind and cause permanent damage to your intestinal lining.
Once candida gets a hold of your gut, it’s very hard to get rid of it. Antifungals, probiotics, drastic changes in diet, and other home remedies won’t have any effect unless you turn to proper medical assistance. Moreover, the doctor’s advice and prescriptions won’t help if you continue to expose yourself to a mold-infested environment.
⎆ Stop Development and Exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder that results in a wide range of health problems. Some of those problems might include the following:
- Mood swings
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Weakened vision
In MS, the extensive network of myelin sheaths, which shields our brain from electrical impulses and shortens the traveling time for nerves, is compromised. People experiencing MS undergo varying experiences and exhibit different symptoms. If you have MS, it can take two tracks; either it can exacerbate or relapse, or progress unnoticed. Silent progression means that MS is having adverse effects on your brain even if you’re asymptomatic.
Molds worsen the symptoms of MS. For instance, Stachybotrys and Chaetomium are often linked to permanent myelin sheath damage in the central nervous system. Their activity also has spillover effects, which leads to the initiation and development of other neurological diseases like lupus.
Moreover, you can also develop flu-like symptoms after acute mold exposure. This condition is often mistreated and misdiagnosed as an ordinary cold and can lead to skin rashes, itchy eyes, and nausea.
If you have chronic exposure to mold, life-threatening medical issues like lung damage and stillbirths are also possible. Specifically, black mold is a predominant component of water-affected households and a strong marker of MS-related symptoms. Other elements like a mold-contaminated diet can also exacerbate your symptoms.
Mold Illness also arises if you have genetic markers for its susceptibility. In this case, you’ll require medical help and proper medication to detoxify your body from harmful levels of mycotoxins. Tecfidera, an FDA approved drug to treat mold illness, shares many similarities with Dimethyl Fumarate which is used to de-pollute mold-infested wood.
If you take reasonable steps to remove mold from your home, MS symptoms will subside, and chances of their recurrence will decrease.
⎆ Decrease The Incidence Of CIRS
The primary cause of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) is from biotoxins and affects several human systems. In fact, the inflammation from this disease attacks almost any human organ system.
According to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker’s Research on CIRS, almost 25% of the human population is susceptible to the condition if the following two criteria are met:
- There’s sufficient bio-toxin exposure
- There’s an inflammatory event that primes or triggers the immune system (as observed in Lyme disease and other respiratory illnesses)
Dr. Shoemaker added that 2% of people also have a specific genetic makeup which puts them at a higher risk of developing multi-system and multisymptomatic medical conditions like CIRS resulting from chronic mold biotoxin exposure. These numbers are alarming and suggest that every 1 in 4 individuals suffers from CIRS if exposed to biotoxins. Moreover, what makes things even worse is that biotoxins are extremely common.
According to a report — Implementing Health-Protective Features and Practices in Buildings — published by Federal Facilities Council, 83% of buildings showed signs of past water damage and 43% had an existing water dater damage problem. When water damage occurs, mold moves rapidly to build colonies within 48 hours.
Furthermore, mold and other biotoxins don’t only plant their feet in damp structures. They also infest any environment with a humidity level of above 60%. This is the main reason why many mold experts recommend regulating humidity levels to make sure they’re between 30-50%.
Final Thoughts About Mold Removal
Water-damage in buildings and damp environments pave the way for massive growth of mold populations, exposing you and your family to a slew of medical conditions. People who have a longstanding history of medical conditions like asthma, multiple sclerosis, and autism are at a greater risk of mold-related illnesses. Even if you don’t have an underlying medical condition, mycotoxin exposure can potentially cause CIRS, a medical condition to which 25% of the human population is susceptible.
Additionally, harmful species of molds easily find their way into foods like corn and peanuts, releasing cancer-causing substances. Therefore, you must pay extra attention to mold removal. Hire the services of a professional mold removal company to make sure that your mold problem is gone for good.
If you have any questions or further suggestions, please leave them in the comments below. We’ve also included other enlightening and interesting links below about all things design for your home.
Images Courtesy of Canva.