It is not uncommon to find small outbreaks of mold in most people’s houses. Showers and other areas that are constantly damp are commonly invaded, but out of sight areas in your basement can also be at high risk. In most instances outbreaks are small and have little impact, but certain conditions can have negative health impacts. Black mold in specific is a cause for concern, especially around children and the elderly.
Black mold is a toxic fungus. To reproduce it produces spores, and these airborne spores may be breathed in causing several health problems. While adults and children are both susceptible, children are at a higher risk. The mold acts like an allergen, which means different people will have different reactions to its presence. Below are three health problems black mold might cause.
Skin or Eye Irritation
Because of the airborne nature of mold spores, they are likely to come into contact with skin and eyes. If this occurs it may result in irritating the skin, causing itching and rashes, and other related problems. When coming into contact with eyes, the eyes might become red and bloodshot as well as being itchy and watery, similar to other eye irritants.
Breathing problems are one of the biggest risks for children. Numerous studies have shown the negative impact that children undergo when living in the presence of mold. Symptoms of mold inhalation may be similar to dust or pollen allergies and include: coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and a runny nose.
For children with asthma, the presence of mold spores may result in more frequent asthma attacks, and may make the condition worse in the long term.
While many of the previous symptoms are common across a broad range of household molds, a specific strain of black mold can be specifically dangerous. In the extreme it can cause severe breathing problems, bleeding in the lungs and increase the risk of pneumonia.
If black mold spores are ingested, the mycotoxins can make their way into the bloodstream. If this occurs it can lead to a number of circulatory problems including an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure and clotting and hemorrhaging topics.
The best way to avoid a mold outbreak is to keep areas like your bathroom well ventilated, and dry down wet surfaces. Also ensure that you get any leaks fixed immediately. If you’re worried about mold, or need help dealing with an outbreak, you should consult with a professional mold removal company. They also do assessments and can take air samples in your house to determine if you have any mold growing. Mold can be easily controlled, cutting down the risk of such health problems.
While most mold infestations will have little effect, it’s always best to be safe. If you notice any changes in your child, and you feel they might be related to mold, you should contact your doctor immediately, and mention the presence of mold as a potential factor.