According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold is everywhere. It’s in the air and it’s on many different surfaces. Of course, the one place you DON’T want mold is inside your home, especially if you have small children, or someone in your family has asthma, or someone in your household experience bad reactions when exposed to mold.
Mold can certainly affect people’s health. The CDC says that mold can cause a variety of health effects, such as:
- Nasal stuffiness
- Eye irritation
- Skin irritation
- Throat irritation
If a person has a weak or compromised immune system, then the effects of mold exposure can be more severe. For instance, if a person has COPD, lung cancer, or obstructive lung disease, mold in the home can lead to serious lung infections.
Individuals with these types of lung problems should not only be aware of the hazards of mold, but they should avoid all areas that contain mold, including moldy showers, compost piles, wooded areas, and fresh-cut grass.
In 2004, research conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found substantial evidence that linked indoor mold exposure to upper respiratory tract problems, such as wheezing and coughing in people that were otherwise healthy.
The IOM linked coughing and wheezing in people with asthma to indoor mold, and it found suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure to respiratory problems in children that are otherwise healthy, the CDC reported.
Additionally, the 2004 study by the IOM found that damp indoor environments were connected to upper respiratory tract symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing in healthy people and in people with asthma.
Mold Inside Your Home
You can find mold inside and outside. In your home, mold is often present in bathrooms and around leaky plumbing pipes. If a room, such as the bathroom has a lot of moisture, mold can grow. Mold thrives on porous surfaces, such as cardboard, paper products, wallpaper, and wood, but it also grows well on drywall, carpet, and even dust.
How do you tackle mold growth in your home? You can control mold growth by:
- Controlling the humidity in your bathroom. For example, run the vent fan during baths and showers, or open the bathroom door or window when bathing so moisture can escape.
- Promptly fix any leaky pipes in the bathroom.
- Always ventilate the bathroom when bathing or showering.
If mold is growing in your bathroom, you want to clean it up and fix the cause of the excess moisture right away. If you’ve discovered mold in your bathroom, you can clean it with soap and water, commercial cleaning products, or a bleach cleaner.
To make your own bleach solution, mix 1 cup of laundry bleach with 1 gallon of water. But beware, NEVER mix bleach with another household cleaner; it can create hazardous toxic fumes.