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Why Is Mold So Dangerous?
Mold is a fungus; molds are plants that make spores instead of seeds that float in the air like pollen. They are a common trigger for allergies. Molds are found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as in the outdoor environment in grass, leaf piles, hay, and mulch.
Black Mold Associated With Health Problems
Although there are many varieties of mold that are benign or even beneficial (think of bleu cheese and penicillin), some are very toxic to humans and pets. Many common health problems, including some that are very severe, have been related to living or working in an environment that is contaminated with toxic mold. One of the worst is the black mold known as stachybotrys atra, a member of a family of molds that produce airborne mycotoxins which can cause serious breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu like symptoms, and bleeding in the lungs.
How Severe Is The Problem?
A USA WEEKEND report ("MOLD: A Health Alert", Dec. 5, 1999) describes how, "people with prolonged exposure to mycotoxins from Stachybotrys and other fungi experienced chronic fatigue, loss of balance, irritability, memory loss and difficulty speaking." The article also mentions several other studies that describe the extent of the problem. In one Harvard study of 10,000 homes, mold was associated with a 50 to 100% increase in respiratory symptoms. A Mayo Clinic Study indicated that nearly all of the 37 million sufferers of chronic sinus infection may be able to attribute it to mold. Other studies mentioned in the article link mold to the 300% increase in asthma over the past 20 years.
Mold and/or Mildew
Fungus that grows in damp, dark areas. Causes discoloration, musty smells and odors.
This is the result of the decay process from mold, mildew, and dry rot.
Damp Spots on Walls
Sign that water has absorbed through wall block will have dark gray splotches in various places.
White Chalky Substance on Walls
Known as efflorescence, this is a chemical breakdown of the bonding agent that holds your walls together.
Sign that foundation has moved/shifted Should be inspected to determine the exact cause.
Sign that the wall has taken moisture inside, as Paint will not stick to a wet surface.
Rust on Appliances or Furniture
Look for rust on bottoms of furnaces, Water heaters, and other metal appliances for signs of dampness and water evaporation.
Dark brown/black fungus. Grows on walls And other surfaces. Grows mostly on wooden surfaces, causing wood to decay.
Moisture will cause paneling to bow and discolor, commonly at the bottom portion of the paneling.
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