Mold Information Mold is a hot topic in the news today, but the problem that America is facing is of great proportion. Many people are suffering from major health effects and the medical community is not on the same page. Research Many people do not fully understand the effects of health hazards related to mold exposure. Toxic mold is a term misused in the industry.
If you suspect that the air quality in your home is being compromised by mold spores you can have the air tested, but it can be quite confusing dealing with an industry with no government regulations or set standards. Mold Remediation Companies offer testing at discounted rates, but I have personally caught numerous companies cheating on tests. When a Mold Contractor enters into your property, they are at a conflict of interest to run mold testing because they are at financial gain to find mold. Almost every house will have some levels of mold, and there are certain ways to test so that it looks like it is a major problem when in fact it is not. These Mold Remediation and Mold Removal Companies will save you some money up front, but you may end up paying for unneeded work. Another scam is that these same Mold Remediation and Mold Removal Companies will run their own clearance testing. These companies are saying that the Mold Lab is the third-party, but this is a manipulative tactic and unethical. The mold lab is processing center that reads and identifies the levels of mold spores on a particular sample taken. If the sample is taken by the same mold remediation and mold removal company, it is possible that the sample being processed may not be the same sample taken from your house. This is the value of a third party mold inspector
The government has failed to establish industry guidelines that determine unhealthful amounts of poor indoor air quality standards, however some states are taking action such as Texas and Florida. Mold is a national health crisis, but many people are either uneducated or in denial about this major problem America is facing. Molds can cause allergic reactions but many molds contain toxins. At times one individual may be having adverse health affects in a home while another member of the family may not. The toxins which mold produce can and will affect everyone based on the type and the length of exposure. Many Americans suffer from allergic reactions to mold exposure yet most do not realize the symptoms are from molds in the indoor air quality.
Common allergies toxigenic mold can usually be treated and reduced after people leave the contaminated indoor air environment. At times, medication, diet, and other treatment protocols are necessary but it is possible for health problems to remain permanently such as brain damage and weakened immune systems. Vision, memory, coordination/balance, and hearing are generally the most common residual effects that often do not improve after treatment in most cases.
Molds can grow when there is moisture source, oxygen, and a food source. Mold is found naturally in the environment as it is an essential part of the nature. Without mold, we would not have decomposition lumber, leaves, foods, garbage and the world would not be able to maintain itself. Molds grow in our homes in moist/humid warm areas like damp basements, closets, attics, and bathrooms and even kitchens. Even if water and the moisture has dried up, molds will still be present if proper mold remediation and mold removal has not been performed. The worst place that molds can grow is inside wall cavities and flooring of our homes because mold likes to hide in certain places dark places. Wood, ceiling tiles, drywall, paper, dust are all susceptible as a possible food source for mold. Any type of water damage can cause a mold problem. Mold and cellulose eating insects such as termites and carpenter ants are often found water damaged portions of your home.
Many people are uneducated or in denial about the problems associated with indoor air quality. The threat that household molds can posess is at a high level, and the problem is escalating in America. Homes are being built air tight as government regulations are mandating. In the current energy crisis, mold is becoming more rampant. With the use of cheaper building materials, new houses pose a great risk for mold growth.
Certain types of molds produce secondary metabolites that produce toxins called mycotoxins. Airborne mycotoxins can definitely destroy one's health. The majority of the time people are do not know that they are breathing mold spores and mycotoxins until they become very sick. Certain people have minor allergic reactions to some molds but after leaving a problem area, they usually recover. However, if they have been exposed to the dangerous molds such as Stachybotrys or Chaetomium, they could suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs, asthma, hay fever, parkinsons disease, hair loss and among other side effects caused by mold.
Aspergillus,Penicillium, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Basidiospores and Ascospores are also common molds found in Pittsburgh, Pa. One of the mycotoxins, aflatoxin, is produced by the fungi Penicillium, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Four different aflatoxins, B1, B2, G1 and G2, have been identified with B1 being the most toxic, carcinogenic and prevalent. Another very dangerous family of toxin producers is Fusarium. The toxins zearalenone, trichothecenes or moniliformin can be formed by various types of Fusarium including F. moniliforme, F. oxysporum, F. culmorum, F. avenaceum, F. equiseti, F. roseum, and F. nivale.
The most dangerous mold strains are: Chaetomium and Stachybotris as they have been proven to produce mycotoxins, leading to autoimmune diseases. Under certain growth and environmental conditions, both of these fungi release toxic, microscopic spores and mycotoxins that can cause the worst symptoms which are usually irreversible such as neurological and immunological damage. Some of these natural mycotoxins include Trichothecenes which are produced by several common molds including species in the genera Acremonium, Cylindrocarpon and Trichoderma. The trichothecenes are potent inhibitors of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis, and have been well studied in animal models. Molds have the ability to cause major concerns in biological warfare, as they can destroy human health both mentally and physically and never appear in an autopsy. It is impossible to know how much damage airborne mycotoxins have caused to one's health until it is too late.
Mold also needs an organic source of food. Mold can be found growing on glass, tile, stainless steel, and even plastic. Although these are inorganic food sources, the molds are typically feeding off of some organic source deposited on this material (oils, film, dirt, skin cells, etc.). Fiberglass insulation can pose problems as mold grows on the organic debris that become trapped in these building materials. All molds require some form of moisture to grow however, like temperature, the amount of moisture varies for different species..
Mycotoxins are chemical substances that molds create and used as a defense system for molds to protect their food source against other molds trying to recolonize. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites, thought to possibly play a role in either helping to prepare the substrate on which they exist for digestion, as defense mechanisms, or possibly when the organisms are under stress, such as competition/defense. The mycotoxins, which are also neurotoxins most commonly reach people from the air, via spores from the molds in question.
Sick buildings are one of the major causes of fungal illness, primarily in industrialized nations today. The United States is the least developed in fungal illness research and assistament to the community due to the high costs and fear of the amount of money it will take to fix such a widescale problem. American physicians have little or no education in treating this health crisis and many diseases and disorders are going undetected or misdiagnosed. Doctors do not know what is going on in your indoor Air Quality because they do not visit you at your home anymore- you go to their office.
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