Mold In Your Crawlspace May Be Making You Sick
By Chuck Jaymes
Many homes have crawlspaces with excessive moisture problems that can lead to serious health problems. Mold and other organisms such as bacteria, fungi and dust mites thrive under buildings with excessive moisture. Of these organisms, mold is usually the most prevalent and problematic.
Mold has been linked to a myriad of health problems. According to a 1999 Mayo Clinic study, nearly all chronic sinus infections are a result of exposure to mold. Mold is a type of fungi that grows on the surfaces of objects and in deteriorated materials. It will flourish in moist, humid environments that have a constant supply of moisture. Mold reproduces by spores that grow when they land on damp indoor surfaces.
Mold is a biological airborne contaminant that is classified as a "bioaerosol". Bioaerosols are extremely tiny living organisms suspended in the air. Exposure to mold can lead to minor problems like mild allergies to severe problems like bacteria and viruses that cause infection. Mold spores can cause allergic reaction symptoms such as sinus congestion, difficulty breathing, headaches, watery/burning eyes and nose and throat irritation.
Many mold species produce mycotoxins (fungus poisons) which may cause toxicosis. Toxicosis from mold symptoms include headache, fatigue, memory loss, nosebleeds and immune system suppression. Another serious health problem introduced by mold is hypersensitivity pneummontis. This disease causes the air sacs in the lungs to become inflamed when certain mold spores are inhaled by individuals who are sensitive or allergic to the spores.
How your health is affected by mold is dependant on the amount of exposure and your individual susceptibility. People most at risk are those with allergies, asthmatics, infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
Controlling the moisture in your home is the key to successful mold remediation. If you have a crawlspace, this is a likely culprit for mold growth. Using a vapor barrier and a high quality crawlspace dehumidifier will dry the air, making your crawlspace an unfriendly environment for mold and other bioaerosols that can make you sick.
About the Author
Chuck Jaymes is an indoor air quality professional and
offers reviews and comparisons about Crawlspace Dehumidifiers for OscarAir, Inc.
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