WHAT IS MOLD?
Molds are microscopic organisms found virtually everywhere, indoors, and outdoors. Mold spores are tiny, lightweight, and easily detached by airflow, vacuuming, walking on a carpet or sitting on a couch. In indoor environments, they grow in air-conditioning ducts, carpets, pots of houseplants, etc. They produce and release millions of spores, which are small enough to stay airborne threatening to invade the human respiratory system. Mold growths can often be seen in the form of discoloration, ranging from white to orange and from green to brown and black. In large quantities, molds can cause allergic symptoms similar to those caused by plant pollen. In order for mold to grow, it needs food sources (such as leaves, wood, paper, or dirt), a source of moisture, and a place to grow.
HOW DO YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH MOLD?
Mold spores are found in all homes and offices, and grow rapidly from excess humidity. The following are some sources of indoor moisture that may cause mold problems in a home or office: flooding, leaky roofs, humidifiers, damp basements or crawl spaces, constant plumbing leaks, house plants, steam from cooking, shower/bath steam and leaks, wet clothes, bathroom towels, sweaty sneakers indoors, dirty HVAC systems, spilled liquids on carpeted surfaces and clothes dryers vented indoors.
WHAT CAN MOLD DO TO YOU?
Exposure to mold is not healthy for anyone but the following individuals are at a higher risk for adverse heath effects: infants, children, elderly, immune compromised patients, pregnant women, and individuals with existing respiratory conditions. When inhaled, even in small amounts, mold can cause a wide range of health problems including respiratory problems (wheezing), nasal and sinus congestion, watery and red eyes, nose and throat irritation, skin irritation, aches and pains, fevers, and in some cases even death.
More on Spores
Spores and microscopic fragments of mold growth are a natural component of both outdoor and indoor air. However, when molds germinate and grow, they can produce large amounts of spores. Recently, concern has arisen that elevated levels of mold spores in indoor living or working environments may increase the risk of adverse health effects, particularly respiratory problems. Reliable Construction Services has searched the web and found documents summarizing currently available knowledge regarding the occurrence of molds and possible human health effects. View these links to other sites with helpful information regarding molds and other indoor air contaminants.