Is your home making you sick? Many people will feel the onset of a respiratory infection come upon them, puzzled by the reason for this sudden health ailment, and it could be what lies within the walls of your home that is contributing to your poor health. Mold is a silent invader, that creeps into your home, tainting the air you breathe in and leading to an array of health issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, all molds have the potential to cause ill health and lead to a variety of mold symptoms. As mold has become a more prevalent topic when discussing health-related issues, links to mold-related illnesses have come to light such as Toxic Mold Syndrome. Toxic Mold Syndrome is a reaction to a mold species that affect a person’s health tremendously. These types of molds are referred to as “toxic mold”.
What is Toxic Mold?
Toxic mold can be a misleading term used when talking about the impact of different forms of mold. Any mold can be potentially dangerous to your health, depending on the amount of mold present in the environment. However, there are forms of mold called “toxigenic” that under specific situations can produce small molecular toxins, known as mycotoxins. These mycotoxins can spread into your air by way of mold spores and these toxins are the culprits of lasting health problems if exposed to and ingested for a long period of time. Two forms of mold that have been classified as “toxic mold” in homes and that should be cautiously monitored for are Stachybotrys Chartarum and Aspergillis.
Black Mold, also known as Stachybotrys Chartarum is a highly potent and toxic form of mold that can grow in your home. This toxigenic mold has a greenish-black appearance that typically grows in moist environments that the mold feeds on. The truly dangerous aspect of black mold is the mycotoxins that are released from this mold. Mycotoxins can become a key component in the development of health-related issues, once you breathe in these toxins it can lead to mold-related symptoms. The mycotoxins produced by Stachybotrys chartarum are powerful and can especially cause severe irritation.
Another form of potentially “toxic mold” is Aspergillis. This form of mold, although less “toxic” than the dreaded black mold, can also be a source of major health issues when breathed in for a long period of time. Aspergillis is a far more common form of mold in home’s, making it a serious mold to be on the lookout for in your personal environment. The mycotoxins that are released from Aspergillis have a tendency to invade people’s lungs and other parts of your body including your sinuses. When Aspergillis mold starts releasing spores into the environment it than can create a condition called Aspergillosis to people exposed to the mycotoxins and spores released. Aspergillosis is an infection developed from Aspergillis mold that lives inside your home, and for those that suffer from weakened immune systems and lung disease are at a higher risk of developing health problems caused by this form of mold.
Tell-Tale Signs of Toxic Mold in Your Home
Identifying mold in your home can be one of the biggest challenges when dealing with mold in your personal environment. Mold can be found almost anywhere with its ability to grow on virtually anything, provided there ias moisture and oxygen in the environment. The tell-tale signs of mold can be the smell the mold elicits, to discoloration of an area, to even signs of water damage in an area of your environment. The smell associated with mold is a musty odor that you are familiar with as the smell of mildew. If you happen to get a whiff of that smell you may want to examine the area closely for signs of mold. Another tell-tale sign of mold is a discolored area on the surface. Depending on the type of mold in your home, the color can appear different from greenish-yellow color to a blackish color. Mold can form from a potential water leak or moisture issue in the surface of the infected area so look out for areas of your home that are prone to moisture issues.
Are You Suffering From Allergies or an Allergy to Mold?
Sneezing, coughing and the dreaded stuffy nose has hit you full force. It must be that time of year again, the time of year where allergies commence and you start feeling the effects instantly. Except, you have been dealing with these symptoms for quite a while, could it be something other than your allergies wreaking havoc? Mold in your home is a possible culprit of unwarranted allergy symptoms that are plaguing your health. When mold is present in your home some people may start to develop an allergic reaction to the released spores in the air eliciting a reaction similar to those of allergies. If your supposed “allergies” have progressed over several seasons you may consider an allergy to mold is happening to you. Many people consider seasonal allergies as there diagnoses because of the strong correlation between seasonal allergies and mold allergy, with symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion, and dry, scaling skin. However, when you are suffering from a specific mold allergy you will have symptoms that can be a tad bit more severe due to the release of mold spores into the air that can then enter the air passageway. Mold spores that enter into the lungs can then trigger asthma-related symptoms. Sometimes, even, a mold allergy will have delayed symptoms leading to nasal congestion or worsening asthma over time.
Checking Off Potential Toxic Mold Symptoms
The symptoms of toxic mold illness can be hard to identify. The most common symptoms associated with mold exposure include:
-Fatigue and weakness
-Headache, light sensitivity
-Red eyes, blurred vision, sweats, and mood swings
-Increased urinary frequency and increased thirst
-Morning stiffness, joint pain
-Shortness of breath, sinus congestion, or a chronic cough
-Unusual skin sensations, tingling, and numbness
If you are experiencing any or multiple of these symptoms you may want to examine your home for potential mold outbreak that could be the cause of this allergic reaction.
Mold Exposure Treatment- Start By Treating Your Air
The most impactful health issue when dealing with mold in your home is the dangerous spores in your indoor air. When you breathe in these spores that are in your air it can lead to severe health issues such as asthma and respiratory issues. Treating your home’s air will help to reduce the levels of toxins and spores in your environment. The first step to do when dealing with any kind of mold issue in your home is to have a mold remediation specialist come to remove the mold from the environment. When you have the mold remediated from your home, however, the remaining spores get released into your home’s air and will contribute to health ailments.
So how do you remove the mold spores from your air? By utilizing an effective and high-quality UV air purifier in your home you can help to mitigate and destroy the mold spores circulating in your indoor air. The EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Model is a high-efficiency air purifier that utilizes ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVC) lights to remove airborne particulates and allergens and hinder the growth of captured microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, and viruses. This UV air purifier provides a two-stage filtration process. First, with a patented earth mineral technology that is effective against noxious and toxic odors and chemicals through an “adsorptive neutralization” process. Then, with a hospital grade HEPA filter, that captures harmful dust, dander, particulates, and allergens from the air. The HEPA filter also collects the small mold spores from the air onto its filter, then the power of the UVC lights above the HEPA shine to kill the mold spores from the HEPA filter with a high efficiency of kill. This process is effective at eliminating trapped mold spores in your air and minimize your risk of toxic mold syndrome.
After you treat your air for released mold spores, the next step is to do a deep cleaning of potential toxins and chemicals stuck on the surfaces of your home. Check out this article on How to Prevent Mold Growth in a Poorly Ventilated Home to help you learn how to effectively clear your home of mold spores and toxins.
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