Allergies and Asthma
As suggested above, there are hundreds of studies reaching a variety of conclusions. It can be difficult or impossible to assess all types of molds, spores, fungal fragments, chemicals from destruction of mold-colonized materials and second-hand smoke, and other airborne matter indoors at any given time. Though numerous studies associate the presence of dampness and mold with respiratory allergies and asthma, it can be equally difficult or impossible to establish the presence of these substances as the definitive cause of illness in particular patients.
Even so, it is possible to assess and treat individuals who have symptoms of respiratory allergies and asthma. Khalili and colleagues emphasize that determining whether respiratory symptoms are related to mold exposure involves a process of elimination. Before mold is considered the likely cause of respiratory symptoms and infections, patients must be evaluated for the possible presence of pre-existing illness or the recent onset of an illness that happens to coincide with mold exposure. Once other possible causes of respiratory symptoms have been ruled out, patients can be assessed for the possibility of mold-induced illness.
In a lengthy document, Storey and colleagues identify three groups of patients to be assessed for mold exposure: those who present with symptoms often associated with wet spaces and mold; those whose symptoms occurred at the time of a presumed exposure to mold or damp spaces; and patients concerned about exposures to mold even though they have no symptoms.
In any case, a medical diagnosis is needed. For example, does the person have an allergy, asthma, or an infection? There are established methods for diagnosing these and many other conditions. Diagnosis is related to the disease process, not a specific trigger. For example, it is possible to test people for allergies to molds, but positive results do not necessarily correlate with symptoms. A sizeable percentage of the U.S. population will test positive for mold allergens but have no symptoms; estimates range from 3 percent to more than 90 percent.9 And, generally speaking, treatments will not differ if the cause is mold exposure versus other triggering conditions.
One issue is whether to undertake environmental assessments for the presence of mold or other airborne substances found in damp homes, schools, and workplaces. If someone does develop respiratory conditions in a given location only, an environmental assessment may be indicated if there are no other known triggers. These conditions include asthma (either newly diagnosed or worsening of existing asthma), the lung conditions called interstitial lung disease and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, sarcoidosis, and recurring cold-like symptoms, sinus infections, and hoarseness.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a lung disease sometimes called "farmer's lung" as it is associated with overwhelming exposure to fungi found in feed and grain. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis also has been associated with bird droppings in pigeon breeders and exposure to molds in homes and hot tubs.
If mold and related substances seem to be causing adverse health effects, removal from the damp place is a necessary part of prevention and treatment. Storey and colleagues provide several case studies of people who developed allergies, bronchitis, and asthma when spending time in damp spaces. Avoiding those places decreased symptoms and re-exposure caused symptoms to recur. Unquestionably, removing people from those environments until dampness was controlled and mold removed was indicated in those cases, even if the precise cause of illness could not be determined.
Spending time in damp and moldy buildings seems to increase the risk of bronchitis and respiratory infections, but is not proven to do so. If it is a cause of these infections, bacteria or chemical emissions are likely to be responsible.
There are well-known fungal infections, but they are not typically a result of exposure to indoor molds.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Although Aspergillus is a fungus found indoors and outdoors, people who develop this condition usually suffer from asthma, cystic fibrosis, or immune deficiency. The illness is related to the anatomy of the lung, not exposure to indoor molds. Athlete's foot and thrush are among many fungal infections that are not related to the presence of indoor mold. Mold Inspection & Testing is an established, BBB accredited mold assessment company, serving all neighborhoods in the Queens area. We have trained technicians who have the expertise and tools to assess whether your home or business has mold. If you do have a mold problem, we can identify it with skill and efficiency. Mold Inspection & Testing is an established, BBB accredited mold assessment company, serving all neighborhoods in the Queens area. We have trained technicians who have the expertise and tools to assess whether your home or business has mold. If you do have a mold problem, we can identify it with skill and efficiency. New York Mold Assessors is one of the leaders in the Professional Mold Testing in New York and mold remediation industry. New York Mold Assessors in located in the Queens and Manhattan areas but we service the 80% of the New York state territory. (Article 32 of New York State Mold Law/ New York Mold Assessors) Training).
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Why is mold in the home dangerous?
Whenever mold is detected in your home, it should be removed regardless of what type of mold it is. While not all mold leads to serious health issues, it’s recommended to be cautious as having mold in the home is never a good sign. The most common and dangerous types of mold are: aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (black mold). The risk levels of being exposed to mold range from cold-like symptoms to more serious long term effects.
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