Mold spores enter indoor environments through windows, doors, air conditioning systems, heating and ventilation. Spores are transported indoors as they attach to people, pets, clothing, shoes, and other vehicles. Once the spores land on damp or wet materials indoors such as cardboard, tiles, paper, paper products, upholstery and wallpapers, mold growth can be expected.
There are a variety of health issues that can arise from mold exposure which can be classified into the following categories:
- Allergy – Allergic reactions could range between mild skin rashes to severe cases of anaphylactic shock.
- Infection – Infection as a result of mold exposure is common among individuals with compromised or weakened immune systems.
- Nasal Mucous Membrane Irritation – Some people find the odor of mold growth offensive. The musty or pungent odor is a result of the metabolites released by the fungi in molds. It should be noted that there are individuals who find the smell produced by the fungi as desirable such as in certain
- Trigeminal Nerve Issues – The trigeminal nerve is both a motor and sensory nerve responsible for facial sensation, chewing, and biting. Issues with the nerve’s functions due to mold exposure include paresthesias (tingling sensation), itching, burning sensation, and chewing difficulties.
- Toxicity (mycotoxins) – Mycotoxins are naturally occurring compounds produced by molds and are known to cause a wide variety of health issues including liver cancer, gastrointestinal imbalance, fertility problems, and a weakened immune system. Certain types of indoor molds such as Fusarium, Trichoderma, and Stachybotrys can potentially produce mycotoxins.Health risks associated with mycotoxins are generally a result of ingestion or skin contact with the mold.