Why Is Mold Bad?
Mold is often talked about in two ways; preventing it from infesting, or getting rid of it once a colony has infested a building. Those two topics alone make it pretty clear that mold is probably a bad thing that you don’t want in your home, but why? What is it about mold that makes it so harmful that you need to take drastic action once you find it is colonizing a structure? After all, it’s a fungus, like yeast or mushrooms, and those are very useful to people, so what makes mold so bad?
Degrees Of Sensitivity
The first thing people need to keep in mind is that there’s no reason for panic if you find mold in your home. The majority of mold infestations are not lethal, and will not immediately result in painful disease or death just because you found some mold in your basement.
Having said that, it does not mean all molds are harmless. As with any medical condition, much of the severity of a mold’s effects is dependent on how sensitive an individual is to spores and respiratory conditions. One type of mold in a house may have no effect on the inhabitants at all, whereas a more sensitive visitor arriving at the same location will experience difficulty breathing or headaches. Different people will have different reactions, but there are common symptoms that you can keep an eye out for that can help determine whether there’s mold in your home, or whether your or other residents are sensitive to mold infestations.
On the less severe side of the spectrum a reaction to spores in the air can be quite similar to the pollen reaction people normally get during the hay fever/allergy season of spring. Nasal congestion, wheezy breathing, runny eyes and skin irritation are all common reactions to mold that are similar to seasonal allergies. If you, or anyone in a building is experiencing these symptoms even though allergy season has already passed, there’s a chance it may be due to mold spores in the air that you are breathing.
On the more severe end, fever, headaches, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing can all be indicators of a serious reaction to mold. Given enough time, conditions such as obstructive lung disease can occur, in which a mold infection actually makes its way into the warm, humid environment of the lungs. Those with asthma may also find the incidence of asthmatic symptoms is much higher in a moldy environment. In fact, some studies point to a possible link between children living in a mold infested environment running a higher risk of actually developing asthma.
So clearly, while mold doesn’t present an immediate, life-threatening situation when encountered, there are very real health risks to living with it, and it should be quickly treated.