If you don’t know much about mold, you might be asking yourself if mold can hurt you or not. Well, this is a really easy answer because there are no gray areas when it comes to mold. Yes, mold can be harmful to you, even dangerous. In fact, many people that have been exposed to mold actually have symptoms, heck you might even have some right now, but you blame it on other things because very few people such as yourself connect the dots. Instead, you blame your symptoms on something else, something more common like a cold, allergies, hay fever or something else entirely. This is a big issue, not only the mold itself but people not being aware of how dangerous mold really is, what the symptoms are and of course other issues healthwise that it can lead to. Below you will see an outline on Mycotoxins, what they do, what they are, etc. As well as other diseases linked to mold exposure, organizations you can contact to find professional mold removers in your area and more.
Wikipedia says this about Mycotoxins: “A mycotoxin (from Greek μύκης (mykes, mukos) “fungus” and τοξικόν (toxikon) “poison”) is a toxic secondary metabolite produced by organisms of the fungi kingdom, commonly known as molds. The term ‘mycotoxin’ is usually reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonize crops. One mold species may produce many different mycotoxins, and the same mycotoxin may be produced by several species.”
Essentially there are molds, and then there are extremely dangerous molds with Mycotoxins. Some people say that these Mycotoxins are actually more harmful than heavy metals in terms of toxicity. These also tend to affect your biological systems than other harmful things like heavy metals and pesticides. Really by breathing in a mold that has Mycotoxins its like a virus attacking your body. Mycotoxins can easily be transmitted to your body, not only by touch, but taste, inhalation, and ingestion. In some cases the effects have resembled cases of radiation sickness – yea this is definitely not something to screw around with. Its a very serious matter.
One of the biggest reasons why Mycotoxins are so dangerous and can hit you so suddenly is because they can actually direct themselves to your brain. Your smelling abilities ie olfactory neurons are directly linked to your brain so when you taste or inhale these Mycotoxins you are essentially creating a direct link from that mold to your brain, with no shield or barrier placed between them. Anything you inhale in or even smell indirectly will go to your brain because of the olfactory neurons. One of the biggest issues that happen because of this is something called mold induced sinusitis. If you’ve ever had a sinus infection you know that it can be incredibly aggravating, painful, hard to live with and that they can last for a year if not treated by medicine. Think of this mold induced version, as the zombie apocalypse version. It’s even more painful, harder to get rid of, and it can wreak havoc on your senses.
If you need even more proof as to how dangerous mold is, here is the proof in the pudding. Mold not only can cause the issues mentioned above, but it can lead to other issues that you might not otherwise think of such as learning disabilities, GERD problems, heart problems, autoimmune diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis and more. If you want a great book about mold, consider looking at Mold: The War Within by Kurt and Lee Ann Billings. In it, they talk about personal experiences with mold, mold exposure and how it affected their lives as well as how to get rid of mold and recover from symptoms of mold exposure. Mold is one of those things where if you don’t know what your looking for, you could just as easily miss it. Many people think that mold is dirt or grime or some other form of unharmful fungi, so they ignore it, and then when they get symptoms, they blame it on a cold, seasonal flu, etc. If only they were reading this same article you were, maybe they would start to realize that the sickness could be caused by something other than an everyday cough and cold, it might be that something is causing havoc on their immune system! If you have negative health effects right now and you think you might have mold or know you do, its a good idea to see a general practitioner who can take a few blood test to see if you have mold exposure. It’s better to be treated sooner rather than later.
Honestly, if I had a mold problem and I was reading this article and I thought even remotely that the symptoms were being caused by the mold, I wouldn’t dare clean it up. Which is why most people want to hire a professional, and you can’t blame them, can you? This is dangerous stuff right here. If you are looking for a professional mold remover to come in evaluate the home or building to find out what kind of mold you have if any, and then make a plan on how to get rid of it, you might be a little confused as to HOW to find a professional. But, its actually pretty easy, here are some sites to start visiting to find lists of professionals in your area that deal with this specific problem:
IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)
NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors)
ACAC (American Council for Accredited Certification)—a certifying body that is third-party accredited.
The IAQA (Indoor Air Quality Association)—a membership organization with no certification program (the ACAC handles this by agreement)
RIA (Restoration Industry Association)
Hopefully, this has shed some light on mold, how it can affect your life and your health and hopefully its given you reason to actually do something about it. If you have insurance, see a doctor for any symptoms you might be having just to make sure its NOT something dangerous like mold. If you don’t have insurance, there are many state funded programs that allow you to visit a doctor to get tests done to see if it is mold that is making you so sick.