Mold Remediation >> What Are The Mold Health Concerns?

What is Mold? Mold is a type of fungus that is present in our natural environment. Mold spores, which are tiny microscopic 'seeds', can be found virtually everywhere, including in homes, and are a part of the general dust found in homes. These spores can grow on building materials What Are The Mold Health Concerns? and furnishings if conditions are correct. 

Excess moisture is the critical factor in any indoor mold problem. Mold growth should not be tolerated in our homes. Eventually, the moisture and mold will damage what it is growing on, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? which may include both the building materials and personal belongings. The key to preventing mold growth is to prevent moisture problems. 

What does mold need to grow? Mold only needs a few simple things to grow and multiply: Moisture Nutrients (food) Of these, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? controlling excess moisture is the key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth. Go to > top What are the health concerns? Health effects from exposure to mold can vary greatly depending on the person and the amount of mold in their home. 

The type of health symptoms that may occur include coughing, wheezing, nasal What Are The Mold Health Concerns? and throat conditions. People with asthma or allergies who are sensitive to mold may notice their asthma or allergy symptoms worsen. Individuals with severely weakened immune system who are exposed to moldy environments are at risk of developing serious fungal respiratory infections. 

MDH recommends that people consult a medical professional if they are concerned about the effects of a moldy environment on their health. Are the risks greater for some people? There is wide variability in how different people are affected by mold exposures. However, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. 

The following types of people may be affected more severely and sooner than others: infants and children elderly people individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies What Are The Mold Health Concerns? or asthma persons having severely weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients) 

Those with special health concerns should consult a medical professional if they feel their health is affected by indoor mold. Are some molds more hazardous than others? Some types of mold can produce chemical compounds called mycotoxins although they do not always do so. In some circumstances, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? the toxins produced by indoor mold may cause health problems. 

Many, if not most, molds can produce potentially harmful substances, whether it's allergens, mycotoxins, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? or other compounds. Hence, all indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, no matter what type(s) of mold is present or whether it can produce toxins. Home Investigation How do I tell if I have a mold problem? Investigate don't test. 

The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth What Are The Mold Health Concerns? and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor. If you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Other clues are signs of excess moisture or the worsening of allergy-like symptoms.  

Look for visible mold growth (may appear cottony, velvety, granular, or leathery and have varied colors of white, gray, brown, black, yellow, green). Mold often appears as discoloration, staining, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? or fuzzy growth on the surface of building materials or furnishings. When mold is visible, testing is not recommended.  

Search areas with noticeable mold odors. Look for signs of excess moisture or water damage. Look for water leaks, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? standing water, water stains, condensation problems. For example, do you see any watermarks or discoloration on walls, ceilings, carpet, woodwork or other building materials?  

Search behind and underneath materials carpet and pad, wallpaper, vinyl flooring, sink cabinets, furniture, or stored items (especially things placed near outside walls or on cold floors). Sometimes destructive techniques may be needed to inspect What Are The Mold Health Concerns? and clean enclosed spaces where mold and moisture are hidden; for example, opening up a wall cavity.  

Should I test for mold? The Minnesota Department of Health does not recommend testing for mold. Instead, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? you should simply assume there is a problem whenever you see mold or smell mold odors. Testing should never take the place of visual inspection and it should never use up resources that are needed to correct moisture problems and remove visible growth. 

Sometimes, mold growth is hidden and difficult to locate. In such cases, carefully conducted sampling may help determine the location of contamination. However, What Are The Mold Health Concerns? mold testing is rarely useful for trying to answer questions about health concerns. For more information, see MDH's "Testing for Mold" Fact Sheet

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