Mold growth can cause allergic reactions

THE Washington Post posted today on its Health & Science blog a report on the potential health risks of mold.

For anyone who has dealt with a flooded basement pumping the water out is just the beginning, the paper said.

According to Cristina Schulingkamp, director of the indoor air quality program at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Philadelphia office, drywall, carpeting, almost anything indoors can have mold growing on it.

“Even with one inch of water, there’s enough humidity inside that mold spores can attach to surfaces and begin to grow,” she told the Post.

Ever since Hurricane Sandy devastated thousands of homes along the East Coast of the United States in October, billions of damages have been racked up in water damage.

Mold can harm health, most commonly by affecting people who are allergic to it. Mold spores can irritate eyes, nose, skin and airways.

The way it happens is this: Mold starts to grow in a damp corner and eventually releases loads of spores tiny enough to float in the air. A person with mold allergies inhales the spores and is soon rubbing itchy eyes and sneezing.

If that person is predisposed to asthma, he may start wheezing or have a full-blown asthma attack.

In people with compromised respiratory function — such as those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cystic fibrosis — or immune systems that have been compromised by chemotherapy or AIDS, mold may cause more-severe symptoms, such as a pneumonia-like inflammation of the lungs.

If you have mold at home, don’t wait to get rid of it. We also test for mold if you’re unsure.

Talk to us about your problem by visiting our website, or as usual, leave a message in our comment box and we’ll get in touch.

Stay dry people!

 

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