||Why is mold growing in my
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors,
molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as
fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided.
Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the
naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing
indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many
types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Can mold cause health problems?
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet
or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health
problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic
reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).
Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in
sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms,
such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).
Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed.
Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic
to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose,
throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms
other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a
result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.
This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential
health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information
consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or
local health department.