We have all seen mold many times. Moldy bread, moldy cheese, mold in the bottom of dirty garbage cans, mold around wet sinks and bathtubs, and many other places.
When you think about it, mold is everywhere. The problem occurs when it begins living in your house and destroying it and your health.
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus, one of over 5,000 different types! It is a microscopic organism that lives by digesting organic matter. It reproduces by releasing millions of tiny spores.
Mold is a necessary and useful part of nature. It helps decompose plant debris, wood and leaves. In nature it is very useful and without it our ecosystem would collapse. Unfortunately, it is not so useful in your home!
When the mold reproduces, it sends out tiny spores that enter your home. Once it finds a suitable environment, it begins digesting your walls, carpets, furniture and anything else that provides a humid and moist environment.
You can minimize the growth of mold in your house by good housekeeping, especially by keeping your house dry. It is the nice dark, moist areas that mold loves.
Very often, people are unaware of the mold growing in their house. Many times they only become aware when the odor becomes musty or family members experience a physical reaction. This reaction can be a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, irritated skin, headaches and other unpleasant symptoms.
When cleaning molds you must take care not to inhale the spores that are released when the mold is disturbed. Also, the spores can enter your body through your skin, which is your largest organ!
Sometimes mold can enter your body through eating moldy food or drink, or incidental hand to mouth contact.
Mold is not generally harmful to healthy people. However, for people suffering from allergies or asthma, mold can pose a real health threat. Mold spores can even trigger an asthma attack.
If you suspect that your symptoms are caused by mold spores, you should see a physician.