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Molds can Cause Mere eye Irritation, or a Toxic Fungi can hit the Neural System, Leading to Death

Updated on November 4, 2015
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Mona writes a column for Enrich Magazine which is distributed in five countries. She is interested in learning as she writes.

My column on molds came out in two parts, in two issues of Enrich Magazine

June issue, Enrich Magazine
June issue, Enrich Magazine | Source

You come home after a hard day’s work, grab a drink and relax in front of the television. Then that old, familiar feeling starts – an irritation in your nose and constant, bothersome sneezing and sniffles. Sometimes this only occurs in specific areas of your house, or a particular room. If that is so, your symptoms may be due to the presence of molds.

Magazine is distributed in five countries
Magazine is distributed in five countries | Source

What are Molds?

Molds are fungi. The highest estimate for species of molds is 300,000. Molds fly through the air whether inside or outside of your home, seeking a landing place to take root and multiply. Different molds like different environments. Some like oxygen and water, others like dry areas. Either way, once a mold finds a suitable spot, it will remain there and reproduce.

My bio
My bio | Source

Common Household Molds

There are four common household molds, but each one has several subspecies, sometimes up to 200 for a single mold. The four most common home molds are:


My Column, Home Safety First

My column, Part I
My column, Part I | Source

1) Cladosporium – This mold can be dark green, brown or black. It accumulates on wood, fabrics (curtains, bed sheets, etc.), tile grout (bathroom, kitchen tiles), and plastic items (kept in moist areas like bathrooms and kitchen). Sometimes the mold is hidden on a subfloor or sheetrock.

2) Penicillium – This mold gets its name from the Latin word, penicillin, or little brush. The green mold often appears to have branches like a brush. It is found in dust bunnies, on wallpaper, wood, food (cheese, dry cereals, fruit, etc.) and debris.

Cover, July Issue contains Part 2 of my column on molds

Cover, July 2014 issue, Enrich Magazine
Cover, July 2014 issue, Enrich Magazine | Source

3) Alternaria – This mold is sometimes found on old wallpaper, or it may grow unseen beneath the wallpaper on its substrates. If the wallpaper is in your bedroom you may experience hay fever, lung problems, shortness of breath or fatigue, among others.


Part 2 of my column on molds
Part 2 of my column on molds | Source

4) Aspergillus – This mold seems to be irrepressible. It can be found everywhere in the home, but particularly likes damp areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms or any place with a leaky pipe or faucet.

In sum, molds can be found in food, drinks, medicines, basement leaks, neglected roof areas, water damaged ceilings and walls, household dust, clothes, wallpaper, drywalls, attics, floors, leather, windows and elsewhere.

In the Philippines people should be particularly wary of molds, especially during the rainy season when floods are common and often invade the interior of the first floor of a house.

Illnesses From Molds

Molds can cause throat, nose, skin and eye irritation. You may experience allergy and mold sensitivity. Daily exposure can cause headaches, migraines, itchy and watery eyes, rashes, skin disease (eg. athlete’s foot), a chronic cough, frequent sneezing and fatigue, among others.

Other illnesses: Mouth thrush (painful, white yeast patches), candida esophagitis (thrush that makes swallowing very painful), and vaginal yeast virus. If you have a sensitive system simply touching a mold can lead to an asthma attack.

Some molds release mycotoxins, which are toxic fungi that can affect your neurological system and, in a worst case scenario, can lead to death.

The Mold Survival Guide: For Your Home and for Your Healt

Mold Warriors :Fighting America's hidden health threat

What to do with molds:

If you have mold problems in your home, here are some things you can do:

  1. Clean up the mold. It may be very large, but there are effective anti-mold cleaners in the supermarket which are perfect for bathroom and kitchen molds. Once it’s cleaned, dry the area completely. Also, to prevent future molds, eliminate any unnecessary, excess moisture.
  2. Fix all leaks. This includes hidden leaks in your plumbing. Usually, these are found in the basement. Check all rooms of your home for leaks. Molds also prevail outdoors, so check your garden and fix any leaking outdoor pipes and faucets.
  3. Throw away any absorbent materials that have accumulated molds. This includes carpets, beddings, furniture, drywall and ceiling tiles, among others.
  4. Never carpet your bathroom. It provides the perfect housing for molds.
  5. If you plan to do any house painting, look for paint that has mold inhibitors in it. Otherwise you can buy the mold inhibitor separately and add it to the paint.
  6. Install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. Otherwise, open a window when you are washing dishes, cleaning up or cooking. Also, leave bathroom windows open when you are taking a shower.
  7. Always dry anything that is damp or wet in your home within two days to prevent molds from occurring.
  8. Get a hygrometer at the hardware store and make sure that indoor humidity remains within a 30-50 percent range.
  9. On humid days use your air conditioner or buy a dehumidifier.

For more information on molds, go online and check the section on molds in the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

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    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      True, Vespawoolf, home where your loved ones live with you and you build memories. So we really deserve to do the best so that we can have clean and safe homes in all ways possible.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

      How frightening that mold can even cause death! Bleach kills mold, but preventative measures must be taken as you've outlined here. Thanks!

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Dream On, molds are the enemy. We must be relentless in battle:).

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 2 years ago

      It is so important to keep mold under control if seen.Thanks for another wonderful hub filled with endless tips.Here is to a mold free life.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi ladyguitarpicker, thank you for the visit. I'm glad to know that this article on molds helped you.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi grand old lady, I learn something in your informative hub. In Fl. mold can be a big problem.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Interesting article. It's ironic that molds like the penicillum can save our lives and can also kill us. Great hub!

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      This is excellent info Grandy. Being a real estate broker, this will help me with my selling clients. Great job!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I suffer from rhinitis probably from inhaling recycled air at 37 thousand feet and my body reacts with dust and molds. It could be deadly because it absolutely affects our breathing. Serious health hazard and should not be taken for granted. And yes, I have a very sensitive system and so I confess, I am one clean freak and vinegar and lemon are my best friends at home. :)

      Great informative hub. Passing it along.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for your kind words, PegCole17. I hope you have a wonderful day today!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      It's great to have a writer of your caliber here on HubPages. I enjoy reading your articles and this one, on mold, contains a lot of useful and interesting information.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      LadyFiddler, thank you so much for sharing this hub, and thank you for being proud of me. It makes me feel so good! Have a wonderful day.

      Sangre, I have come to hate molds in the way I hate cockroaches. Except they can really cling on and they come back quicker. They are relentless, wretched creatures!

      Ologsinquito, yes, they are a particularly difficult problem in the Philippines. Molds and dust bunnies. I set aside time to dispose of both, and they come back in two days. It's a neverending war.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 2 years ago from On planet Earth

      Hi Grandoldlady this sure is an interesting hub i learned somethings i did not know about molds, also congrats on your column I am very proud of you. keep up the good work.

      I am sharing this with my hubbers :)

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 2 years ago from Ireland

      You know there is always a reason behind their appearance. I know many homes that have experienced Aspergillus mold. Once it appears if you don't sort it, it spread. Great hub. Always wise to know about these things. :)

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Mold seems to be a problem everywhere. I can imagine it's much worse in a warm, tropical climate.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you TravMaj, looks like molds are a problem for everyone! Glad to know you are gonna attack it, as it will keep you healthy and safe:)

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Very interesting and informative article. I needed this pointing out to me, as I have had this problem and sometimes been a bit lax about it. From now on I will be aware. Thank you for sharing this.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Faith Reaper, thank you for pointing out the two paragraphs. I'm glad you liked the article. Thank you for the visit!

      DDE, molds are awful, especially the stubborn ones. I have quite a few as well. Thanks for reading:)

      Ms. Dora, thank you for your kind words. Molds are awful and they have a way of coming back or even worse, overstaying their welcome.

      EricDierker, thank you so much for your comment. Yes, molds suck!

      FlourishAnyway, wish I was more of a hypochondriac. Molds and cockroaches, the banes of my life....Thank you for reading:)

      Bill, I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Thank you for your visit and your comment which, as always is very graciously articulated:)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Great hub here. Molds are so very dangerous and thank you for sharing your insight here as to all the different types of molds and where they can appear. (FYI ... you have two repeated paragraphs "In sum, ...)

      Voted up and more and away

      Blessings

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great tips here. I sometimes have this problem.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations, Mona on another published article that is very helpful to all of us. Thanks for doing the research, and I especially appreciate your suggestions on what to do with mold.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great stuff for everybody. This stuff can make you real sick if you do not take care of it. Really an important article.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      This has the hypochondriac in me on alert just in case. This was a great informative hub!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They can be deadly. I lost a friend to the effects of molds. Wonderful article...thank you for spreading awareness about this.

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