The Effects of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can be annoying, unattractive and foul-smelling, but these fungi are more than just a wet household nuisance. Common molds can be extremely dangerous if left untreated, and can take a serious toll on your health and the health of your family. If you have mold growing in your home, and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, call the mold experts at Vital Restoration at 650-262-4545.

Respiratory Dangers

Mold spores are ubiquitous. In other words, they exist all around you at all times, usually unnoticed. But when mold spores collect in large quantities and begin to germinate, they can become a household hazard. Respiratory illness is one of the most common problems associated with mold exposure. Airborne mold spores enter the airways, and can cause coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing and even lung infection.

Allergic Reactions

While not all molds are toxigenic (possessing toxic qualities), all molds have the potential of provoking allergic reactions in mold-sensitive individuals. Mold allergic reactions are comparable to other allergic reactions, and include wheezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, rash and severe hives. Even mild cases of mildew can provoke severe allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Neurological Issues

Molds produce organisms known as microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). These airborne compounds are responsible for the musty mold odor and familiar mildew smell, and mVOC exposure has been linked to symptoms that include headaches, nasal irritation, nausea, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue. MVOCs can even contribute to severe, long-term neurotoxicity in certain cases.

Cancer

The link between mold and various cancers is still being researched, but toxins found in certain molds are known to be carcinogenic. The terms "toxic mold" and "toxigenic mold" refer specifically to molds that produce dangerous toxins known as mycotoxins. Researchers have discovered carcinogens in specific mycotoxins-such as Aflatoxin B1, found in the Aspergillus flavus mold-which are linked to cancers like liver cancer and lung cancer. For more information, refer to the EPA's guide on Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings.

Unfortunately, it's impossible to know if a mold is toxigenic simply by looking at it. Not all black-colored molds constitute the dreaded "black mold," and some of the most harmless-looking mildews may in fact contain mycotoxins. Only a professional assessment can determine the exact spore. That's why it's so important to hire a qualified mold remediator if you have mold growing in your home.

Call Us Today

Do you have a mold problem? While you can usually remove mildew in small amounts with heat and household disinfectants like white vinegar, larger areas of mold will require a professional hand. Whether it's basement mold, household mold or any other mold, we can help. The Bay Area mold removal experts at Vital Restoration use the most cutting edge tools and techniques for removing mold, cleaning black mold and restoring your home to its former glory. Call us today at 650-262-4545.

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