Is mold a health issue inside the home?

Floods, Home Energy October 16, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Mold in home

Mold in the home can be a health hazard if it's allowed to grow and isn't handled properly.

The type and severity of health effects depend upon:

  • the level and duration of exposure
  • sensitivity of the person
  • the type of mold and toxin it may produce
  • and other factors that can increase the health hazard (such as smoking).

People most likely to experience health problems from mold include:

  • children
  • elderly
  • people with suppressed immune systems
  • people with asthma or allergies

Most molds are allergenic and can trigger asthma attacks in susceptible people. Some molds can emit mycotoxins in certain conditions.  The Centers for Disease Control indicate that for "people sensitive to molds, exposure can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. People with serious allergies to molds may have more severe reactions such as fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs."

For more information about mold and moisture, its health effects and ways to eliminate, clean and remove mold, you can also visit The Environmental Protection Agency's site on mold. 

 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.