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Is Mold Making Me Sick?

Prolonged exposure to mold can be extremely dangerous to health and cause serious respiratory diseases – especially for children and the elderly.

People may experience mild to severe allergic reactions to mold. These reactions may show up as a dry hacking cough, nasal irritation, sinus congestion, reddening eyes, wheezing or rashes. Severe allergies are indicated by symptoms that superficially resemble hay-fever. A more advanced symptom is shortness of breath and other symptoms such as memory loss, headaches and body aches have been associated with prolonged mold exposure.

How long do I need to be exposed to feel sick?

Health reactions to mold vary significantly from one person to another, and can be dependent on the level of exposure and pre-existing conditions. Some individuals may be able to tolerate mold with little or no symptoms while others may react very strongly. Those most likely to have the most harm from small amounts of mold exposure are:

  • Infants and young children
  • Senior citizens
  • Individuals with an already weak immune system. For example, cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy or organ transplant patients.
  • People who have predefined respiratory issues like asthma or breathing problems.

Serious consequences for health

Prolonged mold exposure may result in more severe symptoms such as flu-like symptoms, vomiting, liver damage, nose-bleeds, dizziness and fatigue. Usually removal of the mold exposure will result in reduction of symptoms, but in some cases they may continue even when the exposure is no longer there.

For more information, please reference the Center for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/mold/.