A Short Guide on Mold

Black Mold

The unappealing and unwanted patches of green, yellow, pink, and brown that you see are called mold. In scientific terms, it’s known as fungi, identified by its fuzzy and smelly growth. 

There are countless indoor molds, mostly located in damp places such as the basement, carpet, and soggy drywall. Where there’s water, you are bound to see mold. 

Mold is plain nasty, but that’s one way to look at it. It’s also responsible for blue cheese, penicillin, yeast for wine, beer, and edible mushrooms. Without fungi, our world would be a big ball of grass, trees, leaves, and garbage. So, there’s that. 

Although mild is everywhere, it requires moisture to grow. If not cleaned properly, it can contribute to bacteria growth, infestation such as dust mites, and airborne gasses and chemicals; this leads to mold illness. Before we discuss the side effects of mold on health, let’s take a look at mold in general.

Mold in House

You can spot mold in different colors, including white and black. It appears velvety, fuzzy, cottony, or powdery. If you see such a spot in your house and aren’t sure if its mold or just a stain, here’s how to be sure:

It smells musty and earthy

You can see a little bit of moisture surrounding it but no light

You see peeling, cracking, and warping where it’s growing

A little splash of bleach lightens its color

If you ticked all the boxes, you are dealing with mold.

We have already told you mold is present everywhere. It floats in the air and can easily enter your home through:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Pets
  • Shoes and clothing
  • Air conditioning and heating vents

When it finds the right spot, it is more likely to grow:

  • In showers, bathtubs, and sinks
  • Around windows
  • Near leaky pipes
  • In attics, basements, and crawl spaces

They latch onto:

  • Fabrics
  • Paper
  • Carpet
  • Wood
  • Dust
  • Ceiling Tiles
  • Paint
  • Insulation
  • Wallpaper

Types of Mold

All molds look the same, except for color. However, there are hundreds of species out there, some of which should be of concern to homeowners. They are explained below:

Aspergillus

This type is the most common household mold. With 185 different sub-species, there’s no knowing how aspergillus will grow in certain conditions. Out of 185, 22 can cause mold illness.

Penicillium Mold

If you are familiar with the mold’s name but don’t know what it does, let us tell you that Penicillium is an antibiotic that fights infections. This mold has a good and bad side. If it grows in the house, it can lead to medical issues.

Stachybotrys

This mold grows on cardboard, paper, hay, and wood. It’s a common mold known as “black mold.” Stachybotrys requires an extremely wet condition to grow fully. They often turn into toxic molds found in places with poor ventilation.

Cladosporium

This mold has quite an ugly reputation. It can cause skin lesions, lung infections, nail fungus, and asthma.

Acremonium

As a creator of potent toxins, this mold can be very troublesome. It can damage your bone marrow, organs, and immune systems. If you stay long in its presence, it can cause psychological problems.

Fusarium

This mold also produces harmful toxins that can damage your nervous and circulatory system. Fusarium usually finds its way into food, which is why the most common sign of this mold’s poisoning is stomach problems. 

Mucor

While this mold is mostly found in soils, it can make its way into your home by attaching itself to your shoes. It is also found in an air conditioning system’s duct. Mucor has grey or white color, and it grows fast and thick.

Mold and Health Problems

For people with allergies, mold can be very dangerous. Due to this reason, patients with a weak immune system and respiratory problems should stay away from it.

Following are the health problems that mold causes:

Difficulty in Breathing

When mold grows, unstable organic compounds, cells, and spores enter the air. They produce allergens, mycotoxins, and irritants that can be toxic to people. When it receives moisture, mold breaks down and spreads its volume through air and dust.

The particles circulating in the air can irritate your nose, throat, and lungs, especially in people with asthma, chronic lung conditions, and breathing problems.

Allergy

Mold causes allergies and exacerbates the symptoms of allergies. It affects your upper respiratory tract too. Its symptoms include:

  • Watery eyes
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy throat and nose

If you already have an allergy, mold can also lead to an asthma attack

Aspergillosis

Aspergillosis is a health problem caused by the aspergillus mold. You might be breathing in its pores and not get sick for a while. However, its long-term effects compromise your lungs and immune system.

So, now you know how harmful mold can be. The good news is that its side effects are not fatal. There are plenty of wellness centers out there that not only test you for mold poising but also help you heal from it through alternative medicine. 

The Miami Beach Comprehensive Wellness Center offers patient care through traditional Chinese medicine, functional medicine, ozonation therapy, detoxification, vitamin infusions and injections, and more. To book an appointment, call on (305) 397-8229 or text at (305) 902-4974.