What is Mold?


Mold is a microscopic organism that grows from spores. There are estimated to be over 100,000 species of mold in the World and they are virtually everywhere in our environment. They are usually inactive and don't present problems. In fact, molds are part of the natural environment and play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. However, indoors, mold growth should be avoided. When it settles on a surface under the right moisture and temperature conditions they start to swell and begin to germinate and multiply (colonize).

Certain types of molds are capable of producing a class of compounds called mycotoxins. Identifying mold is important because it is a common cause of asthma and/or allergic reaction with sensitized people. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions such as memory loss or severe lung problems. It's thought that mycotoxins are more likely to trigger health problems in even healthy individuals.

Mold and Mood

Not only unhealthy for your lungs, mold may play a role in depression risk, says a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. In surveying nearly 6,000 European adults, researchers found a connection between living in a moldy home and suffering from depression.

"Depressed people are probably less likely to take good care of their homes, which partly explains the link," says epidemiologist and lead study author Edmond Shenassa. But preliminary evidence also suggests that mold may weaken the function of a brain region responsible for regulating emotion. Mold-related health troubles, like wheezing and fatigue, might also influence depression risk, says Shenassa. "If you're sick from mold, and you feel you can't get rid of it, that may affect your mental health", he notes.

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Do I Need a Mold Inspector or Remediator?

Mold growth is virtually inevitable if a moisture problem is not controlled. If you think you have a mold problem, hire a mold inspection expert to determine the extent of any contamination. In addition to discovering the type and extent of a mold problem, a professional mold inspector will look for the source of your moisture intrusion. Moisture problems need to be identified and corrected as soon as possible because mold can start to grow within 24 to 48 hours after an intrusion.

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