Health Risks from
According to a 1999 Mayo
Clinic Study, nearly all chronic sinus infections
(afflicting 37 million Americans) are a result of molds.
A 300% increase in the
asthma rate over the past 20 years has been linked
to molds. (according to 1999 USA Today Cover Story)
Molds (sometimes referred to as black molds,
even though mold can come in a variety of colors) can cause a wide array of adverse
responses in humans depending on the type and quantity that is present. However,
these are not the lone factors when considering the health
affects to mold exposure. Since dose and human response can be highly
individualistic, the sensitivity of the person exposed is also
an important consideration. For
example, infants and young children, the immune-compromised,
and the elderly are at an increased risk of experiencing
adverse health effects related to mold exposure.
There are many routes of exposure to molds
including dermal contact, ingestion, and inhalation.
The health risks associated with mold exposure include,
but are not limited to: allergic
reactions, irritation associated with volatile organic
compounds (VOCs), invasive disease, mycotoxicosis.
Allergic reactions are elicited when a
substance such as mold that is not harmful in itself causes an
immune response in susceptible individuals. The most common symptoms of an allergic response to
increased levels of mold range from runny noses, itchy-watery
eyes, coughing, sneezing, and throat irritation to more severe
symptoms caused by chronic conditions such as sinusitis and
Fungi produce Volatile Organic Compounds
during the process of degrading substances to obtain
nutrition. The VOCs are
the cause of the typical “moldy/musty” commonly associated
with fungal contamination indoors.
Exposure to high levels of VOCs may irritate the mucous
membranes and the central nervous system leading to symptoms
of headaches, decreased attention span, difficulty in
concentration, and dizziness.
This type of disease is uncommon.
It is an opportunistic infection caused by exposure to
microorganisms that don’t normally produce disease in
healthy individuals, but affects those persons with abnormally
functioning immune systems.
For example, those with HIV/AIDS or those receiving
immunosuppressive drugs such as transplant or chemotherapy
common fungi that have been associated with invasive disease
are Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Mucor, and Rhizopus.
Air Purification to Reduce Amount of
may want to use an air
to minimize the airborne particulate, which allows mold spores
to disperse to other areas of the home/house or building.
HEPA air filters are the most
effective type of filter at capturing allergens such as mold
Surround Air Multi-Tech air purifier uses a HEPA, in
addition to a germicidal UV to destroy harmful mycotoxins
created by mold.