The Effects of Breathing in Mold or Mildew - Vancouver Island | Pacific Decon

The Effects of Breathing in Mold or Mildew


Mold in homes, crawlspaces, basements, attics are extremely common and may lead to allergies, infections, toxin-medicated conditions for homeowners in Victoria, Cowichan, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, and Port Alberni.

In most cases, symptoms are temporary. However, everyone may not be adversely affected by molds. Those who have allergies or an impaired immune system are more vulnerable to mold exposure. As molds survive in humid conditions, controlling moisture in your house is an important step in preventing them.

The quality of the air you breathe is vital for your well-being. There are thousands of microbial contaminants in the air that may pose health hazards. Fungi, which are ever-present in distribution are one such grave threat to your health in indoor environments. Molds are the most common forms of fungi found on earth. And mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus. They reproduce through the formation of spores, which are tiny microscopic cells that float through the air. These mild spores are not always dangerous. We are exposed to them daily, both indoors and outdoors.

Outdoors, molds take part in the decomposition of organic matter such as dead trees, compost, and leaves. But, when they land on a moist surface indoors, they may grow, posing dangers. Molds survive and grow in warm, humid, and damp conditions. They are usually they are found in places such as basements or showers where there is high humidity. They also grow on cardboard, wood products, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, paint, and paper products.

According to Health Canada, “Common household materials mold can live on include drywall, wood, such as window sills, wall framing, and firewood, paper products such as cardboard boxes, damp materials such as carpeting or furniture.”

Read our report on how mold makes you sick.

Is Everyone Vulnerable To Mold Exposure?

Sometimes inhaling or touching mold or mildew may have hazardous health effects. But, everyone may not be adversely affected by molds. People who have other allergies or existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or other lung diseases are more susceptible to the effects of mold exposure. Also, those with an impaired or weakened immune system will have severe reactions to molds. Pregnancy, autoimmune disease, AIDS, or diabetes are medical conditions that can weaken your immune system. Infants, small children, and the elderly are also vulnerable to mold contamination.

Effects Of Breathing Mold Or Mildew

So, what happens when they get exposed to mold or mildew? Mold exposure may lead to allergies, infections, and toxin-mediated conditions. In most cases, symptoms are temporary.Allergy

Mold exposure may sometimes cause allergic reactions. You may have itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, or a sore throat. You may also suffer from a headache or fatigue. Even other airborne allergens like pollen or dust mites may trigger these symptoms. Thus, sometimes it is difficult to identify the specific cause of the allergic reactions. You may also have skin irritations such as red itchy skin or rash.Allergic Asthma

Allergic Asthma

In sensitized people, fungal allergen exposure through molds may cause asthma. Researchers have identified a relationship between severity of asthma and total dampness and mold growth. The role of home dampness and molds as the cause of respiratory symptoms have also been studied. In asthma patients, thus, molds may aggravate the disease. However, there is inadequate evidence to determine the association between fungal exposure and the development of asthma.Infections

Those people who are immune compromised are the victims of fungal infections. Pulmonary aspergillosis is an infection that happens in lung cavities. And its symptoms are pneumonia, headache, bone pain, and weight loss. Aspergilloma is another infection that can happen with symptoms such as a cough and weight loss. It is a growth that develops in an area of past lung disease or lung scarring such as tuberculosis.  Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) happens when the immune system overreacts to the fungus. It happens very rarely in people with a normal immune system. The condition may worsen underlying health conditions like asthma or cystic fibrosis. It may also result in weight loss.Toxin-Mediated Conditions

Mycotoxins are chemicals produced by molds. The ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact with mycotoxins can be toxic under some circumstances.  At high doses, they may affect a variety of metabolic processes. But, there is no compelling evidence that exposure at levels expected in most mold-contaminated indoor environments is likely to result in measurable health effects. Hence, more research is needed to explain the health implications of mycotoxin exposure in indoor environments.

Read our report on mold exposure and health hazards.

Black Mold And Toxicity

When you read about molds, you will want to know about black mold, as it is frequently singled out as the greatest risk. Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold is a greenish-black mold. It was thought to be the reason behind a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis among infants. However, there is not much research to prove the association between acute pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis in infants and exposure to molds, specifically Stachybotrys chartarum.

Bad Mold vs. Good Mold

Wondering whether some molds can be of any good like good bacteria? Yes. They are not bad always. Because of their pharmacological activity, some of the mycotoxins are useful as antibiotics.  Under correct conditions, some molds are also used in the production of cheese. But, you cannot eat the fungi that grow on the cheese at home. They may result in allergic reactions. Outdoors, molds are considered to be a good thing. However, inside your home, if they find a sustainable food source to grow they become dangerous.

How To Prevent Mold Exposure

Contacting Pacific Decontamination Services should be your first call.

Denying mildew and mold a place to grow is a first important step in the prevention process. And for that, you need to control the moisture inside your home. You should make sure that your home and the workplace is free of visible mold growth or strong moldy odor. Here are a few tips for that.

Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep the humidity level low.

Make sure that your floor and wall are dry after flooding.

Fix water problems such as roof leaks and plumbing leaks.

Provide enough ventilation for your house.

Use mold-killing products while cleaning bathrooms.

If absorbent materials like carpet become moldy, they should be removed.

Cleaning frequently keeps mold to a minimum.

Do not paint moldy surfaces without cleaning up the mold and drying the surface.

Neutralizing the mold in your home is a critical step you should take.

How Can You Neutralize Mold?

We neutralize your mold by applying our eco-friendly, safe chemical into your home, attic, crawlspace, or basement. Depending on the job, we apply our formula by spray, mist, foam, or fog. We do not use a tent. The average time of our on-site service is approximately one hour. An additional four hours is required to achieve maximum effectiveness. We ask that you stay out of the premise for approximately 5 hours in total. Read more about how we work.

Pacific Decontamination Services uses the world’s strongest, most effective and safe antimicrobial disinfectant, deodorization and chemical decontaminate. Our professional application will eliminate up to 99.99999% of any allergen, germ, bacteria or fungus that it touches. AND as powerful as it is, it is also completely safe.

What do you do next? How do you solve the challenge of mold and associated health hazards?

Call Pacific Decontamination Services at 778-269-0208 or email us!

Serving All of Vancouver Island: Victoria, Cowichan, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, and Port Alberni.