Mold and Your Health

Air pollutants are hazardous.

Clean air is vital for good health, particularly when it comes to indoor environments. At Michigan Enviro Solutions, we understand the importance of indoor air quality, considering that we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors – whether it’s at home, work, or even during recreational activities. Sadly, many individuals are unaware of the negative impact that poor indoor air quality can have on their overall well-being. It’s important to note that asthma and various allergies can be directly linked to inadequate indoor air quality. If your home has a history of water damage or leaks, or if you find yourself feeling better when outside your home or workplace, it’s possible that poor indoor air quality caused by mold is the underlying issue affecting your health. Don’t overlook the potential impact of mold on your well-being.

Do I need a mold test?

Categorizing the type of mold you have is not always easy, people often look at color. However, green, yellow, white, orange and even black is not a clear indicator of what is present. It is best to professionally test samples of the visible growth and the air itself for a definitive answer.

How does mold affect my Health?

The effect of poor air quality can affect people in different ways. Depending on your genetics, immune system, and environment, mold can affect people in different ways. It can act as an irritant, causing symptoms like heavy sneezing, headaches, and bronchitis in those with “normal” immune systems. Mold can also be an allergen, leading to mild to severe reactions that vary from person to person. Digestion problems, shortness of breath, and dull headaches are just a few examples. Mold can even act as an infectious agent, particularly in immune-compromised individuals, such as bone-marrow transplant patients. However, even healthy people can develop mold infections with enough exposure. Conditions like Farmer’s Lung, Aspergillosis, and Valley Fever are three examples of this. Finally, molds produce mycotoxins, which are highly toxic substances that can have serious effects on people. From migraines to brain “fog” and loss of energy, these toxins can cause life-changing symptoms. Michigan Enviro Solutions understands the various ways mold can impact your health and are here to help address these issues.

Mold facts.

  1. In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor mold or mildew exposure with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheezing in otherwise healthy people.
  2. The IOM also found suggestive evidence linking indoor mold or mildew exposure to respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.
  3. In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional research in the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould that addresses the causes and risks of poor indoor air quality.
  4. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold or mildew exposure to development of asthma in some children.
Dangerous Molds

Stachybotrys (Stack-e-bot-truss)
Also known as “stachy”, “black mold” and “toxic mold”, Stachybotrys is characterized by its slimy shiny appearance. It needs a lot of water to grow and feeds on drywall, carpet, and wood. It takes 7 to 10 days to begin growing and is often found near slow leaks. Because the spores are heavy and wet they do not get airborne until the mold colony becomes dehydrated or dies. Stachybotrys has been linked to lung disorders and brain damage. Stachybotrys is also found in air samples when the colony or spores are disturbed.

Aspergillus (As-per-jill-us)
Aspergillus can be many colors including yellow, green or black. 15 of the 150 species are common in buildings. Aspergillus is easily airborne and more toxic than many industrial cancer-causing substances.

Penicillium (Pen-e-sill-e-um)
Penicillium comes in many colors including white, blue/green, or green. Penicillium spores are easily airborne and are common and thrive in indoor environments.

Chaetomium (Kay-toe-me-um)
Similar to Stachybotrys, Chaetomium is a known producer of mycotoxins and grows on water saturated drywall, carpet and wood.

Fusarium (Fu-sar-e-um)
Fusarium is a common soil fungus. It is found on a wide range of plants and often in humidifiers. It can produce toxins that target the circulatory system, alimentary system, skin and nervous system.

Do You Have Sick Building Syndrome?

In the 1980s, the World Health Organization (WHO), determined that poor air quality caused by water damage causes Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). SBS is a chronic inflammatory illness and is also known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).  According to research, up to 25% of the population have a genetic predisposition to mold illness, leading to them becoming mold sensitized.  Symptoms of CIRS include: Fatigue, Weakness, Aches, Muscle Cramps, Unusual Pain, Ice Pick Pain, Headache, Light Sensitivity, Red Eyes, Blurred Vision, Tearing, Sinus Problems, Cough, Shortness of Breath, Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea, Joint Pain, Morning Stiffness, Memory Issues, Focus/Concentration Issues, Word Recollection Issues, Decreased Learning of New Knowledge, Confusion, Disorientation, Skin Sensitivity, Mood Swings, Appetite Swings, Sweats (especially night sweats), Temperature Regulation or Dysregulation Problems, Excessive Thirst, Increased Urination, Static Shocks, Numbness, Tingling, Vertigo, Metallic Taste, and Tremors.  Because of the large number of symptoms and different combinations that a patient can have, CIRS is often misdiagnosed. If you have any of these symptoms and have made repeated visits to your doctor and your condition continues to worsen, you should consider examining your living or working environment to determine if this is the cause of your sickness.

Contact Midwest Enviro Solutions if you think you have a mold problem and particularly if you think your health is being impacted!