Mold is a common fungus that can be found almost anywhere. Children’s playhouses, sheds, bathtubs, sinks, basements and more; mold has the ability to grow in many different areas. Mold occurs where there are water leaks, and can also appear because of humidity or from flooding problems. Mold has to get its “food” from feeding off of dead organic matter. Mold is actually beneficial when outside because it decomposes organic materials. Growth can occur inside as well on materials like paper, cardboard, wood, drywall, paints and fabric. Although there are a lot of different types of molds, not one of them will grow where there isn’t any water or moisture.
· CDC: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
· Georgia: Mold information
· EPA: A guide to Mold
· Inspection: Mold Inspectors:Health effects of mold
· EPI: Mold and Human Health
The Health Effects of mold can range from mild to more severe problems. Those who already have allergies or asthma may be bothered more by mold than others. They may experience a skin rash along with itching, running nose, a cough and congestion, irritation to the mucus membrane or additional asthma symptoms. Those with a weak immune system might be at a higher risk of infections from surrounding molds. People with chronic lung diseases are also at a higher risk for serious infections from mold. More severe effects may include Trigeminal Nerve Irritation, Toxicity and an adverse reaction to odors. Mold can irritate a person just from breathing it in, or by touching it.
· Acoem: Molds in an indoor environment
· Allergy Consumer Review: Mold and Allergies
· Azdhs: What to do if there is mold in the home
· OIACQ: Mold and health Effects
Mold needs a moist or wet damp place to breed and grow. The best prevention is to keep the home and workplace as clean and dry as possible. Most people clean up mold before it grows to a size that can pose a threat to ones health. If there are water problems in the house, such as from a leaky pipe or a flood, then it must be cleaned up completely to keep mold from returning.