Exposure to molds (allergen) can cause cold-like symptoms, watery eyes, sore throat, wheezing and dizziness, and trigger asthma attacks.
Mold is ubiquitous (common) in all continents across the globe. When exposed to mold the majority of the population can handle low-level exposure, but the problem with mold is that it multiplies exponentially when it has access to moisture and organic substrates like building materials, food, soil, wood, paper, leaves and fabric. Exposure to molds (allergen) can cause cold-like symptoms, watery eyes, sore throat, wheezing and dizziness, and trigger asthma attacks.
Mold spores are microscopic in nature (typically less than 5 microns) and can easily be airborne and breathed into our lungs. Exposure to high spore levels can cause the development of an allergy to mold. If there is a musty, earthy smell, the mold problem should be addressed. When a musty odor is noticed it is typically the result of high exposure to microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) off-gassing produced by the molds. The odors are chemicals released from the molds during some parts of the mold's growth cycle.
If you have a mold allergy, your immune system overreacts when you breathe in mold spores. The allergic reaction triggers a cascade of reactions that lead to allergy symptoms. Like other allergies, a mold allergy can make you cough, make your eyes itch and cause other symptoms that make you miserable. In some people, mold allergy is linked to asthma and exposure causes restricted breathing and other airway symptoms.
If you have a mold allergy, the best defense is to reduce your exposure to the types of mold that cause your reaction.
The following steps may help to identify molds:
1. Check for patches that appear fuzzy, or cotton-like. Many household mold looks like this. If mold-like conditions appear on walls or hard surface, place a flashlight against the surface. If filamentous (long visible chains, threads or filaments) structures appear in the shadow of the light, most likely mold is present.
2. Identify mold by the discolorations. Mold comes in almost all colors of the rainbow, including brown, gray, black, green, yellow, white and orange.
3. Use your nose to find mold. Household mold by its musty or earthy smell.
4. Look for mold in places where you've had any water damage. Leaking roofs, leaky windows, plumbing leaks and flooding leave household areas ripe for mold growth. Check ceilings and carpets.
5. Know that the humidifiers and vaporizers you use for your health are prime places for mold growth due to the high level of humidity. Poorly vented bathrooms may contain mold fed from the steam from showers. Plumbing leaks in interstitial walls can also be problematic.
6. Understand that mold loves damp basements and garages. And if you store books, clothing, drywall, cardboard or wood in these locations (and who doesn't?), then mold has a ready food source to grow on.
7. Inspect you air handling system for visual mold like conditions. Check the evaporator coil, blower assembly, drain pan, wetted insulation liner, etc… Look for primary or secondary drain pan leaks.
8. Play detective and identify mold in these hiding places: under the kitchen sink, air ducts, entryways and refrigerator seals.
9. The best way to identify mold is with the Mold Screen Check (MSC), a product of the do-it-yourself IAQ Screen Check. The Mold Screen Check (MSC) for $52.50 (includes kit and lab analysis) is as easy to use as 1-2-3, is inexpensive and quantitative. Another great DIY kit is the evalu-aire that includes air and surface analysis. EDLab, a industry leading AIHA accredited laboratory analyzes all of the samples.
You can purchase the Mold Screen Check through your HVAC distributor/dealer or on-line at http:// www.indoorairtest.com, or call toll free 1-800-422-7873 ext 404
The kits are available from www.indoorairtest.com on-line retailers and distributors e.g. WW Grainger, Hunter Fans, Totaline/Carrier, Ferguson Supply, Johnston Supply, Professional Equipment, etc…..For more information on the IAQ Screen Test product line, please visit www.indoorairtest.com or contact Cy Garner at 1-800-422-7873 ext 804.
About Building Health Check, LLC:
Alan Wozniak founded Building Health Check, LLC as a product manufacturing component for Pure Air Control Services, Inc. Today, the screen check kit products are manufactured from its offices in Clearwater, FL and in which they set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis. Pure Air has serviced more than 500 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.
Pure Air’s nationally performed services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; an AIHA accredited Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Power Sterilization, Environmental Project Management; and HVAC System Cleaning PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning and Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services. The company’s expanding client roster includes the General Services Administration (GSA); Allstate Insurance; Carrier Air Conditioning; Naval Air Warfare Center, Orlando; and Naval Air Station - King's Bay, Georgia, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air a reliable industry leader.
For more information on Building Health Check, LLC. and/or its distribution please contact Cy Garner, at (800) 422-7873 ext 804, or visit www.indoorairtest.com