Hidden Dangers of Mold that Can Affect Your Health

When you are devoted to a wellness approach, preventing illness is the primary focus rather than treating symptoms as they arise.  However, many harmful agents are lurking beneath the veil of what we see every day that can be harmful to our bodies. This next series of articles will explore the dangers of mold and how this microscopic spore can affect the body.  

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus.  There are many different species that grow wherever this is moisture.  Thus, it can be found in any region across the globe. Molds are very prevalent in the south-eastern United States.  Check here for specific maps about where molds grow across the country.  Not all molds are harmful. In fact, penicillin is derived from a specific type of fungus; however, some molds colonize quickly and have a negative impact on otherwise healthy individuals.  

Common Types of Mold

Fungus is an opportunistic organism that grows well in moist, wet environments.  It can be found readily in piles of leaves, in gardens and other outdoor spaces that are rich with other plant life.  Mostly, these types of mold are not harmful to the average person. Problems erupt when mold begins to colonize indoors.  The most common types of mold are:

  • Cladosporium

  • Penicillium

  • Alternaria

  • Aspergillus

Can Mold Make Me Sick?

Some molds are perfectly harmless.  However, people react differently to various species of molds.  Prolonged exposure to mold can also lead to a reaction that develops.  The following symptoms may be present for those sensitive to mold:

  • Wheezing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Coughing

  • Runny nose

  • Sneezing

How to Test for Mold

It is important to remember that mold spores are all around us, as are other bacteria and viruses.  Avoid being an alarmist. Certain levels of mold are expected in the environment. However, if mold can be seen or smelled, this may indicate colonization of mold.  Companies are available to test the environment for types and levels of molds. There are also at-home test kits that can be purchased at home improvement stores.

How to Clean Mold

The best way to keep mold from making you sick is to clean the environment.  There are many commercial products to kill mold.  If you see mold growing on a hard surface, you may choose to clean the area.  Wear rubber gloves and a respirator mask to avoid inhaling mold spores. Use household cleaner and water first to remove any visible moldy residue.  Rinse the surface well. Then mix a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water. Spray or wipe the surface well with the solution to kill spores.   

Closing Thoughts from Dr. Tali

If you are struggling with allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, cough or breathing difficulties, you may be having a reaction to mold in the environment.  Removing the mold to see if your symptoms subside is the first step to combating this irritant. Our next few blogs will explore specific illnesses that may be related to undetected mold exposure.  No one can prevent mold exposure 100% of the time. At Radiant Health Chiropractic, we are happy to evaluate any symptoms you may be experiencing and offer help and support to your immune care.