Mold are microscopic fungi that grow wherever there is a high level of moisture. While growing, they create reproductive organs from which they release spores into the surrounding air. They are very small and light and so are carried by air over long distances. In the outdoor environment they grow mostly on plant waste and in soil. Inside buildings, mold can grow and reproduce on walls or even objects. Visibly the growths of these microscopic fungi are accompanied by an increased concentration of fungal spores in the air.
What causes mold to form in the interiors
There are different types of indoor mold that one can encounter on the walls and furniture https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/a23118180/types-of-mold/. What causes it to grow on the interiors are activities such as cooking, washing and drying, in combination with insufficient ventilation. The steam that is not ventilated condenses on the walls and then it infiltrates into the walls. For economic reasons, some interiors experience insufficient or sudden heating. Altogether with the absence of proper cleaning, it can lead to mold formation.
In the workplace, one of the main causes of the growth of mold is insufficient ventilation of the offices. The fact that stationary air promotes fungal growth is seen in corners and on the furniture, where mold grows most often in such interiors. Interiors with many watered flowers as well as buildings with plastic windows and poor insulation are some of the common places where mold forms.
One of the great problems in the office buildings as well as private homes is the overuse of humidifiers while attempting to prevent air from being too dry. In fact, if the humidifiers are overused and the air moisture increases over 70 percent, mold is very likely to settle.
The usual places where mold can be spotted is the lower part of the wall, floors as well as the corners of the ceilings. Window frames and the flower pots are likewise prone to attracting mold and so are the back parts of furniture if placed too close to a wall. When detected, quick action needs to be taken to remove the mold. This has to be done by professional mold remediators such as those at L.I. Mold Removal while using specialized products to clean the mold-infected interior.
Mold and human health
The problem of mold is often seen primarily as an esthetic one. However, mold has also influence on human health. Those individuals who spend long periods in mold-infected interiors, for example in their workplace, can be affected. The health complications depend on the size of the lesion and the duration of exposure to the mold spores.
When mold grows, they produce volatile organic compounds, some of which are perceived by humans as fungal odor. The mold enters the human body through inhalation of the substances called mycotoxins. Inhaled mycotoxins damage the mucous membranes of the airways and provoke a toxic reaction.
Among the lighter symptoms of the inhalation of the mold spores are cough and sneezing, caused by the irritation in the nose and the throat. Skin and eye irritation is also common. A prolonged stay in the mold-infested area, for example at the workplace, can lead to the development of headaches, long-lasting coughs and abdominal pains.
Mold and diseases
Likewise, skin irritation can lead to urticaria, or so-called hives that appear on the skin in the form of an itchy rash. Eye irritation can lead to the development of conjunctivitis, also known as the pink eye. The pink eye is a result of the inflammation of the small blood vessels, caused by the presence of mold spores.
Some mycotoxins can lead to serious fungal diseases, some of which can be carcinogenic. The high concentration of fungal spores in the air can cause diseases such as asthma. This type of asthma, often called occupational, might be a reversible condition that disappears once the person stops being exposed to the infested environment. However, difficulties with breathing may remain for a long time. Click here to see more on asthma caused by mold.
Mycotoxins present in mold can also produce a vast array of different allergies. Prolonged inhalation of mycotoxins can lead to allergic rhinitis or hay fever with runny nose and itching, swelling eyes. Likewise, skin allergies can be developed. Scientists say that up to 30 percent of atopic allergies originate from long term presence in the mold-infected environment. Allergies caused by mold are common for children, but adults can develop them as well.
Clean, fresh air is one of the most important components of not only of physical, but also mental health. While fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of moldy interiors, some studies have shown a link between fungal spores in the air and depression. A mold-infested workplace interior is an environment in which workers can lose their motivation and deliver poor work results.
The danger of persisting mold in the interior
Due to these health risks, it is imperative to take immediate action and prevent the mold from spreading further while removing its presence from the infected inferiors. The danger of mold is two-fold. The mold spores in the air can be inhaled even before mold forms on hard surfaces. That means, a large number of “unclosed” microscopic spores of mold are moving through the airspace before they can be spotted.
Another danger connected to the mold is its life-span. Mold spores stick to the human body, especially the hands. If touched, they remain on the hands, especially when not washed properly. This way, the mold can be easily transmitted to the face but also to other individuals.
The first step when fighting the mold in the workplace is the determination of the type of mold species present. This is carried out by microscopic examination once the mold is isolated. Even more important, however, is the prevention. Ventilation by open door, acquiring a ventilation system, regular cleaning of the interior along with disinfection of exposed surfaces and leaving space between the wall and the furniture are the some of the simple yet useful steps against the mold formation. Due to the risk mold poses in the workplace, prevention of its formation is of utmost importance.