How am I exposed to indoor mold?
Mold is found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. It is common to find mold spores in the air of homes and growing on damp surfaces. Much of the mold found indoors comes from outdoor sources. Therefore, everyone is exposed to some mold on a daily basis without evident harm. Mold spores primarily cause health problems when they enter the air and are inhaled in large number. People can also be exposed to mold through skin contact and eating.
How much mold can make me sick?
Each individual is different. For some people, even a little bit of mold spores can cause health problems. For others, it may take many more. It all depends on your personal sensitivity to mold.
Who is at great risk when exposed to mold?
The following individuals appear to be at higher risk for adverse health effects of molds:
- Infants and children
- Anyone with reduced immune defense (people with HIV infection, cancer chemotherapy, liver disease, etc.)
- Pregnant women individuals with existing respiratory conditions, such as allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity, and asthma.
People with these special concerns should consult a physician if they are having health problems.
What symptoms are common?
Allergic reactions may be the most common health problem of mold exposure. Typical symptoms reported (alone or in combination) include:
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty in breathing
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Eyes-burning, watery, reddened, blurry vision, light sensitivity
- Dry, hacking cough sore throat nose and throat irritation shortness of breath
- Skin irritation
- Central nervous system problems (constant headaches, memory problems, and mood changes)
- Aches and pains possible fever