Toxic Household Mold

"Health Effects and Solutions"

Health Effects of Mold (particularly on respiratory system)

Most types of fungi mold that are commonly found in indoor environments can result in the aggravation of respiratory conditions, such as asthma, allergies, sinus infections, etc. It thrives in dark and damp conditions, regardless of how warm or cold the temperature. Mold is a common trigger of asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems, but it is not normally lethal (at least in the short term), with the exception of "Stachybotrys" mold.

Children in homes with high mold show persistent, cold-like symptoms - 300% more than average. Also, according to the Mayo Clinic, most cases of sinusitis is a result of indoor molds.

How Mold causes Respiratory Problems (such as asthma and allergies)

Most household molds are made of microscopic yeasts and mold species. They cause health problems (respiratory problems in particular) by releasing microscopic spores into the air, which carry mycotoxins, which cause the spore to be allergenic (allergy-causing) and toxic. These airborne spores stay alive by consuming nutrients from organic material, which is readily found in the home. These include wood, paper, dust, food, etc.

Mold spores are small enough to remain airborne, and enter the respiratory through inhalation. The mycotoxin carried by the spore then causes toxic and allergic reactions when inside the air ways and respiratory system. This results in illness and breathing problems for those who suffer from any type of respiratory-related condition, such as asthma, allergies, nasal infections, COPD, emphysema, etc.

Stachybotrys Mold (the "deadly" mold)

Stachybotrys causes bleeding in the lungs. This can be fatal for infants and pregnant women. The Stachybotrys mold spores are inhaled into the lungs, where they weaken the blood vessels, which causes the lungs to bleed. Coughing up blood and frequent nosebleeds are symptoms of stachybotrys poisening. Stachybotrys is found in wet areas, such as places affected by leaky pipes, or within or on walls exposed to excessive moisture. Stachybotrys mold is wet, black, and slimy, and it smears when touched.

Signs of a Mold Problem

9 ways to reduce mold in your home:

1. Clean surfaces where there is mold with bleach.

2. Fix all sources of leaks. Remember, mold thrives in damp conditions.

3. Install air conditioning in your home (dries the air out, making it more difficult for mold to survive).

4. Check houseplant soil, make sure it is not always very damp. Mold loves moist soil.

5. Have your air duct's cleaned

6. Pay special attention to the basement, which is the part of your home mold is most likely to be a problem. Keep it as dry as possible. You may want to keep an air purifier in your basement. An air filter will not destroy mold, but an ion & ozone generator will.

7. Clean the shower floor frequently to ensure that mold does not accumulate.

8. Clean the bottom of your fridge, and underneath it.

Note: The first 8 suggestions listed above can help to prevent the growth of mold in your home. However, if a significant amount of mold already exists in your home, then it will be difficult to remove the airborne mold spores with the methods listed above. These airborne mold spores can continue to reproduce and multiply without, unless you have an air purifier capable of effectively neutralizing and removing mold spores from the air, which leads us to the ninth recommendation:

9. Place an air purifier in your home that emits negative ions and ozone.

Negative ions and ozone are both capable of reducing the effects of mold. Negative ions are able to remove the spores from the air, to reduce the allergic reactions that you may suffer as a result of mold. It is the mold spores released by the mold, when inhaled, that cause these allergic reactions. Negative ions are much more effective than air filters (even HEPA air filters) at removing allergens, such as mold spores . Ozone has also been found to be lethal for mold.

Study shows that ozone inactivates mold.

A 1999 study conducted at the University of Minnesota found that both ozonated air and water inactivate mold, rendering the mold cells harmless.

ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning):

quotes.gif (1001 bytes)Ozone controls surface mold on packages and walls, and reduces scale development and decay. The presence of ozone . . . significantly reduces the occurrence of mold.quotes2.GIF (976 bytes)

quotes.gif (1001 bytes) Noticeable improvement in air quality in our living room. Overall the unit works great! Also used it in our basement to get rid of some moldy smell.quotes2.GIF (976 bytes) - M. Mai, Nebraska

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