Mold has become a major source of concern related to health in the indoor environment. Molds are an important part of the natural environment and have been around for a long time. They are classified as fungi, being neither plant nor animal but a little of both and their role is to decompose dead organic matter such as fallen trees and dead leaves. There are approximately 150,000 types of molds and they are present everywhere in the indoor and outdoor environment.
Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores, which will grow where there is sufficient moisture and food (organic materials such as paper, wood, cellulose, etc.). In the indoor environment, mold growth can be a symptom of a water problem. It can cause structural damage by decomposing wood, drywall, carpeting and other porous building materials.
The presence of mold can present a health risk, depending on the inhabitants. Airborne mold spores are an allergen. Individuals with allergies to certain types of mold may exhibit allergic symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, upper respiratory irritation, cough and eye irritation. Exposure to excessive amounts of mold can also cause an increase in the severity of asthma symptoms. If you suspect you or someone in your family may be experiencing health symptoms because of exposure to mold, you should contact your health care provider to receive diagnosis and treatment. It is also important to have an investigation of that environment done by a professional.
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