The key to mold control is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold and fix the water problem. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24 -48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Why is mold growing in my home?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoor molds play a part in nature by breaking down organic matter such as fallen leaves and trees, but indoor mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores. The spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through the air, indoors and outdoors.
Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on wet surfaces. There are many types of molds and none of them will grow without water.
Can mold cause health problems?
Molds are usually not a problem indoors unless the spores land on moist surfaces and begin growing. Molds do have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions), irritants, and, in some cases, potentially toxic substances (micro toxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses are hay-fever type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to molds are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can trigger asthma attacks in asthmatic people who are allergic to molds. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.
This brochure provides a brief overview. It does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure.
For more information you may want to consult a health professional. You may also want to consult your state and local health departments.