How To Avoid Mold And Stay Healthy
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. In unusually humid climates, it is best to leave your air conditioner running to avoid mold.
Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed.
Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
Ten Things You Should Know about Mold
- Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning.
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
One thing is certain: If you already have a mold problem – ACT QUICKLY. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause. (source)
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