Mold and Your Health
Because molds produce allergens and irritants, it is common for exposed individuals to experience:
· hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, a runny nose and red eyes
· a skin rash
· irritated eyes, nose, throat and lungs
However, numerous molds --commonly called "toxic mold"-- also produce poisonous substances, primarily associated with their spores, called mycotoxins (mycology is the branch of botany dealing with fungi). Disruptive to our cell structures and cell processes, these toxins have the potential to cause serious harm. Their effects to the human body have been documented using controlled, laboratory conditions. In our everyday indoor environment there is less certainty of symptoms causality, but it is important to note that mycotoxins were proven to be present indoors with victims suffering from:
· pulmonary hemorrhage or pulmonary hemosiderosis (primarily in infants, though it can occur in adults)
· nose bleeds
· immune system suppression (resulting in increasing numbers of infections)
· hair loss
· chronic fatigue
· psychological depression
· sore throats
· headaches and other flu-like symptoms
Other symptoms associated with mold include:
· cognitive disorder
· "burning" eyes
· blurred vision
· respiratory illness
· chest pains
· chest tightness
· breathing problems
· shortness of breath
· dry cough
· nasal congestion
· aggravated asthma
For further information, please see our sections, " The Doctor Says.. " , and " Mold Glossary " ;
comments from Certified Property Mold Specialist, George Hatcher, on Stachybotrys sp.;
" Is Indoor Mold Contamination a Threat to Health? " (by Harriet M. Ammann, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.).
Recent evidence suggests mold's involvement in history that may surprise you:
" New Suspects in Cold Cases " .
Interestingly, the health of the ancient Israelites was protected by the application of laws concerning mold, as explained at " The First Mold Inspector " .
For information on relevant legislation at the federal and state level please see our " Mold Legislation " page.
Additional mold information can be found at our " Mold Links " section.