How Much Mold Exposure is Harmful?

Mold exists virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, and has a large variety of species. While mold has many beneficial functions, such as breaking down waste products and organic matter that includes garbage, dead trees, and leaves, exposure to mold also has a big downside in residences and buildings that have moisture. This can create a perfect breeding ground for mold in unwanted environments. 

Exposure to mold can be problematic for people, although it affects everyone differently. While many people may not even be aware that mold is around them, others can easily get sick by breathing it in. Understanding the dangers, identifying who is the most vulnerable, and offering solutions can help keep you protected from mold exposure. 

Exposure to Mold

Mold needs both a food and moisture source to start growing. Under the proper conditions, mold can grow rapidly, releasing spores along with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that may cause some people to feel ill. While mold spores are mostly inhaled, they can also be absorbed through the skin or consumed if present on food. 

  • Outdoors: Mold is virtually everywhere outdoors however, concentrations of mold are quite limited. The mold growing outdoors does not produce enough sports to be extremely dangerous for those who are vulnerable.
  • Indoors: Mold growing indoors is far more problematic due to a lack of airflow within the confined space. There are also more opportunities for it to locate moist areas within food sources, leading to them multiplying. This is especially true after a flooding event. 

There are different varieties of mold, including black mold which may or may not cause serious health issues. Regardless, exposure to mold of any type can be problematic, especially for those who have underlying health issues and are more susceptible to illness.

Symptoms Associated with Mold Exposure

For those with a mold allergy, this can represent a significant respiratory issue. Those with underlying health issues such as respiratory illness, asthma, lung disease, COPD, and immune suppression are particularly vulnerable to mold exposure. 

Exposure to mold may cause a variety of conditions ranging from coughing and sneezing to itchy skin, headaches, and even dizziness. While such symptoms may be the sign of other illnesses or types of infection, those who experience such symptoms should inform their doctor and request getting checked for mold infection. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are concerned that mold may be present in your home or workplace, contact the experts at Brickley Environmental for assistance today. The trained technicians at Brickley Environmental have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to remove the mold from your property. 

For more information on mold exposure, click here to visit the CDC website.

The Effects of Black Mold Exposure

Just like standard mold, black mold can infest residences, commercial buildings, and facilities. This is especially true in damp areas where the mold can attach and grow. Black mold is especially dangerous and identifying it in the early stages may mean the difference in affecting the health of those who live or work inside.

What is Black Mold?

Black mold is a type of mold that appears quite dark, if not fully black in appearance. It gives off a musty, damp odor and spreads quickly once it finds an organic surface, such as wood, to take hold of. You’ll most often find black mold in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas, or any place in the home or building where moisture is in the air.

Black mold is dangerous because it releases spores into the air that can cause allergic reactions. It contains toxins that when breathed in may cause negative effects on your health and wellbeing. Those who have respiratory issues, lung disease, or weak immune systems are most vulnerable to the effects of black mold.

In some cases, too much exposure may lead to black mold poisoning, which results in a further weakening of the immune system. The symptoms of the poisoning are similar to an allergic reaction, such as a runny nose, coughing, red eyes, and itchy throat. When in the latter stages, the symptoms may progress to the following:

  • Headaches
  • Persistent Coughing
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • General Fatigue

Although rare, severe black mold poisoning may lead to mental issues that include loss of memory, an inability to concentrate, unexplained weight gain, nerve issues in the extremities, anxiety, and more.

Identifying Black Mold Poisoning

If you have persistent symptoms of an allergic reaction, it is possible that you are exposed to black mold. It takes a blood test to confirm if the poison has entered the bloodstream. In addition, there are tests to determine if you are allergic to mold, which helps narrow down the cause.

Treatment is a combination of two efforts: the first to rid the symptoms from the body, and the second to remove the black mold from the residence or commercial building. Nasal decongestants, antihistamines, immunotherapy, and steroids are common treatments for black mold exposure.

Unless you find and get rid of the black mold itself, the symptoms will persist. Small patches of black mold on walls or floors can be removed using commercially available products, but an extensive invasion will need a professional company to remove.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are concerned about black mold forming in your residence or business, the experts at Brickley Environmental offers the best in inspection, treatment, and advice. Please call the professionals at Brickley Environmental if you suspect your residence or commercial building may be infected with black mold.

Black Mold vs. Asbestos

Black mold and asbestos are two of the biggest dangers that may be present in your residence, building, or facility. If left unchecked, they may cause considerable damage to the health of those who live or work inside. However, despite the fact that both substances may be deadly, there are considerable differences between black mold and asbestos.

What is Black Mold?

Mold is a common fungus that is found in practically every structure. However, it does not present a threat until it attaches to a surface and starts growing. While most types of mold produce spores that are mildly irritating, black mold has toxic properties that can affect the brain. Exposure to black mold impairs judgment and causes symptoms similar to depression or bipolar disorder.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural substance that was once commonly used in the construction of homes, businesses, and facilities. Its fireproof qualities were so highly prized that blankets made of the material were placed in many buildings as fire protection.

It was discovered, however, that asbestos exposure led to the development of mesothelioma, a highly aggressive form of lung cancer. Thus, asbestos was banned from use in construction. By 2002, it was banned in all products across the US.

Key Differences

Arguably the main difference between black mold and asbestos is how they both impact the body and mind. Understanding how your health is affected is one way to tell the difference between the two substances.

The effects of black mold are similar to heavy metal poisoning. It affects the brain by making cognitive thought more difficult, including a lack of concentration, inability to focus, and feelings of being depressed. Without treatment and removal of black mold from the area, the symptoms will persist.

The fibers from asbestos are inhaled into the lungs where they attach themselves. Over time, the fibers break down and the damage caused creates an aggressive form of cancer, known as mesothelioma. Until the cancer develops, there may be few, if any, symptoms that the fibers are present.

Another important difference is that asbestos is placed into the structure, while mold is present nearly everywhere. It takes the right conditions for the mold to attach itself to a surface and start growing, while asbestos can affect you if the fibers are free to float in the air.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you believe that your property is infested with black mold or has asbestos present, call the experienced professionals at Brickley Environmental. Once identified, Brickley Environmental has the knowledge, experience, and tools to safely remove the black mold or asbestos.