While mold is a natural part of the environment and it is inhaled on a daily basis, exposure to elevated levels of mold in the air of people’s homes, schools or work environments can lead to indoor air quality (IAQ) issues and potential health concerns.
For mold to grow indoors, it needs moisture and a source of food. Unfortunately, many building materials, furnishings and personal belongings make for an excellent food source. If moisture is allowed to enter the indoor environment, it can become an ideal breeding ground for mold in as little as 48 hours.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares the following on its Facts About Mold and Dampness page: “Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to mold. For these people, mold can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to certain types of mold.”
“One of the best ways to control mold growth is to control indoor moisture,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This is why it is critical to prevent indoor water incursions, control humidity levels and dry any water-damaged materials as quickly as it is safe to do so.”
Those concerned about the possible presence of mold in their home, school or work environment have testing options. EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers mold testing, sampling supplies and easy-to-use test kits. They also provide field instruments, such as moisture meters and infrared cameras that can be essential for finding the source of any moisture that could cause the growth of mold.