Is Mold Dangerous?

The short answer is, yes it can be.

While there is much mis-information around the subject, and the term Toxic Black Mold is exaggerated in many cases… mold is still something to take seriously.

Mold growing in your house can cause adverse health effects and lead to chronic illnesses including intense cold and allergy symptoms, headache, serious pulmonary issues and worse.

Some people are more sensitive to the effects of mold than others, but everyone should avoid breathing or touching mold. People who are not necessarily sensitive to mold can become sensitive as a result of prolonged exposure. You don’t have to be allergic to mold to suffer from irritation to the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs.

In some cases, mold exposure symptoms go away as soon as mold is removed from the environment. In other cases, mold continues to effect the body long after the source is removed.

The bottom line is that there are hundreds of different varieties of mold and each variety effects each person a little differently. Some effects are minor annoyances, some have serious long-term ramifications.

Where mold crosses the line from annoying to dangerous is going to be a matter of perspective for each person, but it’s safe to say that mold in your home is never a good thing.

Why Is Mold Dangerous?

Molds are dangerous because, depending upon variety, they produce allergens, irritants and potentially toxic substances known as mycotoxins, some of the most dangerous toxic substances in existence.  Exposure to mycotoxins can occur from inhalation, ingestion and skin contact.

Mycotoxins are often associated with Black Mold, a variety that tends to grow on surfaces in homes and buildings that have suffered water damage or elevated humidity and moisture.

However, there are more than 200 mycotoxins from common molds that have been identified, with perhaps hundreds more in existence. The mycotoxins produced by a particular mold depends on a number of environmental factors. In severe cases, exposure to toxic molds can lead to suppression of the immune system, permanent lung damage, memory loss, and more.

How Do I Know If I Have Mold?

Mold is naturally occurring in the air and is virtually everywhere. It cannot survive without moisture, so mold becomes an issue when it is able to attach to moist surfaces, reproduce and thrive.

Areas inside your home that can serve as a hospitable environment include: basements, crawlspaces and cellars; underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks; underneath or behind refrigerators; behind walls (particularly where there is plumbing); around air conditioning units; wallboard or around windows that leak; under carpeting that may have become wet.

Signs of mold range from a musty smell to discoloration of surfaces to impacts upon your health and quality of life. Hidden mold may be harder to identify. Aside from visible clues, you may suspect you have a mold problem because of unexplained health symptoms.

You should be concerned about mold in your home and act to remediate it whether or not the mold is toxic.