What Is Toxic Mold?
Mold is natural part of our world and is commonly found in both nature, and at home in the form of household/workplace dust. Small amounts of mold are normal and harmless, however large amounts, such as those present in building materials after a flood, can produce toxic compounds called mycotoxins, which be extremely harmful to your health.
Symptoms From Toxic Exposure
The Institute of Medicine has identified several symptoms, which may indicate indoor exposure to mold toxins. Upper respiratory issues, similar to allergies symptoms, such as a chronic cough or wheezing in normally healthy people is common. People suffering from Asthma may experience increased asthma symptoms. Some studies even suggest that exposure to mold early in children can contribute to the development of asthma. Those with compromised immune symptoms are also at risk.
How Does Mold Get Indoors?
Mold spores occur naturally both in and outdoors, however indoor places with excessive moisture and humidity allow spores to drop and grow. Water from leaking roofs, pipes, plants, walls, especially after flooding can all contribute to mold growth. Wet cellulose materials such as paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood, are especially conducive to growing mold. Other household items that can grow mold when wet include carpets, drywall, insulation, fabrics, upholstery, wallpaper, and even paint. In the event of mold growth all contaminated materials must be removed from the home.
Mold Clean Up
If the contaminated surfaces are hard like tile, then commercial cleaning products, soap and water, or a bleach solution can clean up moldy areas. However, more porous material such as ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpet will need to be thrown away. If the contaminated area is too large you may need to contract a professional cleaning service with experience cleaning mold. If you’re doing the cleaning yourself remember to always open windows and doors to provide fresh air, wear non-porous gloves, and protective eyewear. Be sure to follow the recommended cleaning procedures outlined by the environmental protection agency.