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Mold Allergy Symptoms: Foodborne and Airborne

Updated on May 28, 2014
Cardisa profile image

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

What is Mold?

Mold allergy is a result of exposure to mold. There are symptoms associated with mold allergy and these will be explained later in this article.

Mold can make you sick. Mold is a living organism or fungi that grows where there is dampness, moisture and bacteria. Mold grows on food and surfaces such as bathroom walls, under kitchen sinks and many other places that are damp or moist.

Mold has what are called spores and when consumed or inhaled in certain quantities can affect your health. These spores are airborne and can enter your environment and not be seen with the naked eye. The mold also reproduces through these spores.They can attach themselves to anything they come in contact with like a cup, your clothing, a pair of shoes, just about anything.

Have you ever noticed that clothing hanging in a closet for a long time will have some weird grey spots that when touched they come off on the hand like dust? Or have you ever noticed your shoes showing some growth of what appears to be mildew but a little more dusty and not as dark? These might be mold.

If your environment has a musky scent then maybe you have mold.


Eating moldy foods

According to the UDSA, some food borne molds can be dangerous such as those molds that grow on vegetables, grain and fruits such as grapes and apples. Consuming some of these foods can produce mycotoxins which are poisonous substances. Not all food borne molds are bad but you must be aware of what you are eating.

Some other molds are even more dangerous and are found to be cancer causing agents, these are called aflatoxins. Foods such as peanuts and corn carry this type of mold. Sometimes the molds grow on the corn and peanuts while they are still in the fields before they are harvested, depending on the weather conditions. Usually after a long rainy weather some crops grow mold.

In most cases food gathers mold when it has gone bad or rotting and so may make you sick if consumed. Due to the break down of nutrients while foods are spoiled or rotting, it is best not to consume them.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

If you are allergic to mold you will likely show some signs that mold is in your environment by your allergic reaction. These symptoms are similar to an allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and the common cold. Here are some mold allergy symptoms to look out for.

Frequent sneezing

Constant coughing

Runny nose

Stuffy nose

Itchy, watery and (maybe) red eyes.

Skin irritation, such as itching and hives

Sinus pains

Shortness of breath and a constricted airway (difficulty breathing)

Asthmatics, persons with bronchitis and other lung conditions will find it difficult to function in such an environment as breathing becomes very difficult and often resulting in hospitalization.


Toxic mold symptoms are

Skin rashes

Bloody cough

Difficulty breathing

Nose bleed


Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Chest congestion


Forgetfulness and memory loss

Not to frighten you but very severe toxicity to mold can also lead to pulmonary hemorrhage or even death.

How to control mold

Control mold growth by:

  • keeping your areas dry.
  • Fix leaking faucets and wall pipes.
  • Keep air conditioning panels dry
  • Clean out storage rooms occasionally and keep dry

If you have a small mold problem, for instance a small area under the kitchen sink, no worries you can clean it with some vinegar solution. But if it is a widespread problem you need to call the mold control people to have them deal with it because mold is very dangerous and can cause a toxic shock. It is best to let professionals deal with it then.

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    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      4 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Brakel2. Mold is a serious matter and needs to be dealt with immediately.

      Thanks for reading my article.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Thanks Cardisa for this excellent article about mold. We have a closet that needs cleaning out immediately, and we will do it pronto. You brought it to our attention, and you made a great point. I will share this hub everywhere, and you are so sweet and a great writer. Blessings, Audrey

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 

      5 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Gilbert AZ

      Thank you for this article. We had to recently withdraw an offer on a beautiful condo here on Hutchinson Island. We did not see mold, but my wife's eyes began to weep when we did our walk through. We called in the mold inspectors and the air conditioning system was full of Black Mold. We love living by the sea, but during our four years here we have had allergies that neither of us have ever experienced. Thanks for reminding me to be cautious and observant. Blessings to you and all your family and friends on the great island of Jamaica.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Peg, I wished you had worn a mask, that's quite dangerous because mold can get into your lungs and cause serious issues. Thanks for stopping by.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Very creepy and yet important to know. I renovated a house once that had a persistent odd smell and evidence of mold. I scrubbed down the walls with bleach and disinfectant but I wish I'd worn a mask while working.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Lorelei, thanks for stopping by. Mold is dangerous and many people don't know it. I am glad the hubby is keeping everything under control. Keeping the windows a crack open does help....great idea!

    • profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago

      Just looking at your mold images gave me the shivers. I have a super sensitive immune system so I am always on my husband if I sense there may be some in our home. Fortunately he is very good with keeping the house repairs in order and we generally keep our windows open a crack in both summer and winter to provide additional fresh air.

    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      You're very welcome Cardisa.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Word55, thank you for the great comment. I really appreciate you stopping by. Mold is very dangerous and many people have no clue how problematic it can be.

    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you Cardisa, I should have been following you long ago. I thought I already was. This was an excellent read. Being in real estate, I list and show homes that bear mold problems. I usually carry face masks inside when I suspect that there may be water damage in a property. Nevertheless, people are not educated enough about how hazardous mold is. You did a great job of presenting this major problem. I would like to share this as well. Voted up!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi David. No, it's not safe to eat food that has grown mold. Mold can be toxic if consumed so please throw those out. If the grapes' skin has been broken it may start gathering mold. However, yeast can also multiply on the skin of the grape if it was kept in a warm area.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi, I just had some grapes that at first glance look perfectly fine then I noticed that the grapes hve these slightly white coating on em that I thought was from being in the fridge for three days. Well I had a handful before I noticed the mold growing on the stems. Is it safe?

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Easy Exercise, I hope it's not mold, but if it is, it can be treated. Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Easy Exercise profile image

      Kelly A Burnett 

      6 years ago from United States


      My husband has been fighting what he thinks is sinuses - never thought of this one. Will have to do some checking. Thank you very much!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Grand Old lady (love your name). Whenever you feel a room to be more moist and cold you should check it out. Mold is very dangerous and is something we should not have around.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      This is a great hub. I didn't know that so many sicknesses can be sourced by mold. I also tend to sneeze more in certain rooms of my house, so guess I better check out the mold situation. Thanks for the advice.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 

      8 years ago

      Hi Nell, I really appreciate you stopping by. You could sue those people now because mold is very dangerous. The only food that mold does not affect negatively is cheese, for some weird reason but moldy foods can be fatal.

      Have a great day!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      HI, I remember having mold on my walls when I lived in what they called 'a halfway house' back in the eighties, we were waiting for a house, and this is where the council put people who were next on the list, the whole place smelled horrible, they wouldn't be able to get away with it today, and of course mold on fruit is dangerous because its there to break down the food, great hub and I didn't realise how bad it was, rated up and thanks for sharing!


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