Is Mold A Dangerous Health Risk?

Beyond their ability to spark allergic reactions and asthma attacks, molds can cause many other health risks ranging from  temporary discomfort to dangerous long term, life-threatening diseases.

Molds can be separated into three catagories:

  • Opportunistic Pathogens (a parasitic organism that does not cause harm to it’s host)
  • Exclusive Saprotrophs (an organism that only consumes non-living organic matter)
  • Aquatic Thermophiles (organisms that require warm temperatures to survive)

Molds differ from plants because they do not use photosynthesis to produce their food– mold must find a source of nourishment.  As it feeds on it’s host, mold work to break down whatever surface it is attached to.  For this reason, mold is beneficial to decaying processes, but when mold turns up in your house, it is important to address it immediately.  Though the mold growing on the grout in your bathroom may seem innocuous, it’s mere presence means that the only thing holeing you tile in place is being slowly dissinigrated.

mold health risk - biohazard signMolds spread by tiny airborne spores, that act like tiny seeds and only need a tempid environment, moisture and a food source to germinate (which is why the avergage house is a perfect mold environment).  Some mold will produce toxins called mycotoxins in order to inhibit the growth of competitive organisms.  The problem with mycotoxins is that molds enjoy the same environments that people do, and because of this, the humans are exposed to more dangerous mycotoxins than they may realize.

It is nearly impossible to destroy mycotoxins– the digestive system cannot break them down and temperature treatments like heating them or freezing do not affect them.  This is why mycotoxins are one of the primary causes of food-bourne illness. See related articles by European Food Safety Authority.

Another situation where mycotoxins are fairly common is office building and schools.  In the 1990′s, people first realized that mycotoxins caused organ failure, cancer and respiratory problems and several multi-million dollar law suits were awarded to those affected by mold.

There are several ways in which mycotoxins affect the body:

  • Mycetismus – ingesting a toxin such as poisonous fungus
  • Infection (systemic) – (also known as Mycotoxicosis)
  • Hyper sensitivity - allergic reaction to mold
  • Mycotoxicosis – poisoning by food that has been contaminated by fungi

The Mold Health Risk: Symptoms of Mycotoxins

• Respiratory problems

• Hypersensitivity pneumonitis ( inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs)

• Joint Pain

• Muscle stiffness and discomfort

• Coughing

• sneezing

• Difficulty swallowing

•  Choking

•  Musculoskeletal pain

• Burning in the throat  (sometimes confused with acid reflux)

• Asthmatic symptoms wheezing, shortness in breath, etc.

• Face flushing (Mylar Flush)

• Numbness in face and limbs

• Twitching

• Night sweats and hot flashes (Especially around the head)

• Nausea, diarrhea

• Abdominal pains

• Pain in the  liver, kidney or bladder

• Ringing in ears, balance problems

• Coated tongue, bad taste in the mouth

• Thyroid irregularities

• Headaches

• Anxiety

 • Depression

• Extreme blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides irregularities

• Chronic fatigue

• Multiple chemical sensitivity

• Nose bleeds

• Rashes

• Changes in menstrual cycles

• Sudden weight loss

• Cancer

• Hair loss

• Heart attack

• Seizures

• Compromised immunity

• Slurred speech, confusion, brain fog memory loss;

• Blurry vision

• Swollen lymph glands

You may also want to refer to Black Mold Symptoms and watch these Videos Explaining How Mold Effects the Brain