Mold - Adverse Health Effects
Some molds are beneficial to mankind, while other molds can cause mild to severe reactions. People can have adverse physical reactions to toxins or have allergic reactions from either the body of the mold, the mold spores, the microbial volatile organic compounds, or the toxins in mold's digestive byproducts. All the parts of molds can contain toxins or allergens which cause health problems.
Most people do not realize that adverse physical reactions can occur whether the mold is thriving, dormant, or dead. DEAD MOLDS CAN STILL BE TOXIC AND CAUSE MOLD REACTIONS, so mold remediation is MUCH more involved than just killing "mold growth" to make a structure free from mold. Mold toxins can be breathed in, rubbed in through skin contact, or ingested - eaten. The curse of the Egyptian PharaohÕs tomb, was more than just a myth. Many of the explorers of PharaohÕs tombs became deathly ill, later it was discovered molds in the tombs caused allergic reactions, thousands of years after the tombs were closed up. An interesting section of the Bible discusses mold contamination in Leviticus 14, verses 33 to 57. Even the ancients knew about the ill affects of molds. Tens of thousands of people died in Russia earlier last century from mold affected rye grain which was made into bread.
Numerous health effects are recorded and can range from allergic reactions such as sniffles, coughing, muscle aches, sneezing, skin and eye irritations, and general malaise to extreme mental confusion, memory loss, and physical anguish. Even some cases of death of infants are documented. The modern news is full of adverse health effects caused by mold exposure, as if it were some new phenomena.
Even healthy people, without a previous sensitivity to mold, can and will develop sensitivity or allergic reactions if exposed to mold for a long enough time or mold in high concentrations. There is a limit to the amount of mold the human body can tolerate, and with enough exposure, even healthy, vital people begin showing signs of adverse reactions and may become permanently "sensitized" to molds. Some people with existing allergies, asthma, and sensitivities are already especially susceptible to mold. Infants, immune compromised people, elderly, surgery patients, pregnant women, and people who have been ill from other sources such as flu or respiratory conditions are also more at risk for mold-induced illnesses.