How to Learn the Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Mold isn’t always visible, but if you inhale it or ingest it, you can become very sick. Constant exposure to mold can cause major organ damage and even death.


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    Learn the facts about mold. Molds are fungi that flourish in damp and warm environments, both inside and outside. Mold is most likely to be found in your basement, kitchen or bathroom, and the best way to control and to prevent mold from growing is to control the moisture in your home. Mold can, however, grow on anything with a high cellulose content, such as paper and wood, and it can grow outside on organic materials, such as compost.
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    Recognize the early symptoms. There are many symptoms of mold exposure, so if you do have moisture problems in your home, you should consider mold as a primary culprit. The most common symptoms of mold exposure are similar to allergy symptoms[1]:
    • Watery eyes
    • Sneezing
    • Skin disorders (such as itching, redness and open sores that don’t heal)
    • Headaches
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    Be alert to the advanced symptoms. Prolonged exposure to mold is dangerous, and symptoms will become increasingly serious the longer you are exposed. If you or anyone in your household experiences the following symptoms, mold could be the cause:
    • Nose bleeds
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Nausea
    • Constant headaches
    • Unexplained fatigue
    • Lack of appetite and unexplained weight loss
    • Vomiting and diarrhea
    • Swollen glands (neck and armpit)
    • Respiratory infections


  • Follow the advice of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about safety precautions you should take when removing mold.
  • Moisture is the underlying problem when you have mold in your home, particularly in the basement. Take steps to dry out your basement; air it out and use a dehumidifier.
  • Make sure your bathroom has strong ventilation, and allow the vent fan to run for a half hour after showering to remove as much moisture from the room as possible.
  • Don’t toss wet towels into your laundry hamper. Allow them to air dry or launder them immediately.
  • Periodically inspect your home for water damage; examine wood thresholds and window casings after heavy rain storms to see if any water has leaked in; if so, get the wood dried out as soon as possible and get the problem areas fixed to prevent future leaks.
  • Although a mild solution of bleach water is very effective in preventing and eliminating mold, keep in mind that bleach is toxic. Wear nonporous gloves and avoid breathing in the bleach fumes while you clean.
  • Launder your shower curtain once a month. If you have glass or plastic shower doors, wipe them down after every shower and allow one side to remain open for a few hours after showering to allow the tub and shower area to dry thoroughly.


  • Prolonged exposure to high levels of black mold can cause blindness, brain damage, cancer and death. Pay attention to early warning symptoms listed above and take action to remove all mold from your home.
  • Have qualified professionals take care of severe mold problems.

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Categories: Allergies and Immunization