Mold is a type of microscopic organisms living on plant and animal matter and break down dead and decaying matter recycling environmental nutrients.  Molds are prevalent just about everywhere and reproduce by releasing spores to the air, water, and with animals and insects.  Favorable mold conditions are high humidity, condensation, and organic materials such as paper, fibers, wood, etc.  Molds are certainly a concern for homeowners because the spores are carried so easily by air and in water.  Homeowners should inspect their homes for symptoms of mold growth due to flooding, leaky piping or roofing, damp basements, and steam in bathrooms and kitchens.  Symptoms of mold growth are also prevalent in places with poor ventilation ad insulation around clothes dryers and combustion appliances.

Mold can make people sick, especially children, the elderly, and those with respiratory and continual and preexisting health problems.  Mold most commonly affects the body by triggering responses to allergens due to inhaling mold spores.  These triggers are most commonly felt in the manner of hay fever, asthma, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and lungs.  Even less commonly, mold can very seriously detriment a person’s health with exposure leading to infections and toxicity, especially in those with weak immune systems or autoimmune diseases such as HIV/AIDS. 

The symptoms of mold exposure are nasal and sinus congestion, eye irritation and respiratory problems, cough, throat and skin irritation, and headache.  Anyone experiencing symptoms of mold exposure should see a doctor if irritation and symptoms persist and find the source of the mold and clean it thoroughly and immediately.  Cleaning the mold can be tricky so the first step in removal is to control the moisture problem that is allowing the mold to thrive in the area.  Porous or materials that cannot be dried should be thrown away and the area cleaned with a 10% bleach solution to kill the mold.

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