It’s common knowledge that mold isn’t good for the health of our homes, and for ourselves. But, how dangerous is it, really? Mold by definition, wants to destroy and decay wherever it takes hold, which could include your lungs, and any damp structure in your home. Mold needs to be eliminated quickly, and thoroughly or you risk multiple problems.
Determine if it’s Mold
Before you determine what kind of damage the mold could do to your home, you have to determine if it’s mold, and not dirt. You could do a bleach test (1 part bleach, 12 parts water) and swab the area. If the patch turns white, it’s likely mold. A mold kit is also exceptional, but if you’re still not sure, it’s best to call a mold inspector.
Rapidly Destroying Structure
Common household mold likes to decay items or structures that are damp, and normally untouched. Mold can lay dormant for many years on a surface, but once that surface becomes wet it could sprout. If you see mold in your home, get rid of it immediately or it will spread outward from the initial spores.
Correlation Between Mold and Human Health
Even though we associate mold with bad health, the jury is still out as to whether or not it actually does. Some studies on mold indicate no detrimental health effects, which others have linked mold exposure to allergies, infections, and hemorrhage. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health, so remove it quickly regardless.
Mold and its Link to Allergies and Asthma
The most likely link to poor health is from asthma or allergies. Although, the major issue with this conclusion is that most respiratory illnesses come from places or environments that are cold, or damp. An allergy to mushrooms also indicated an allergy to mold, or vise versa. So, just because you get an allergic reaction, it doesn’t mean there’s mold in your house.
Another issue is that mold is everywhere, it just appears on a surface if the conditions are right. Depending on where you live (tropical area, or a rainforest area) you will always breath mold particles. The hard and fast rule is: if you already have an allergy to mold/fungus/mushrooms or you have asthma, your condition will be worse if you come in contact with mold. For others, you’ll likely be fine.
Higher Risk of Infection or Pulmonary Hemorrhages
Although both of these illnesses sound scary, they occur in very rare instances. It’s more likely that someone who gets an infection is getting it because they live in a place with chemical emissions, or other bacteria. Having a weak immune system while you’re already next to mold could worsen your condition, but it’s unlikely.
Pulmonary hemorrhage is bleeding in the lungs. In the 1990’s, several children died in Cleveland, OH, and it was originally thought it was from mold exposure. This ended up being incorrect, although the cause is currently unknown.
If you’re worried about mold being detrimental to your health, it’s likely not the case. Mold is going to do more damage to your home, than to your lungs.