Mold can be a major factor in poor indoor quality in your home or business. Recently a very common sample of household mold was sold at auction for more than $14,600. This mold, Penicillin, is relatively harmless – the sample was from Dr. Alexander Fleming’s laboratory, where they first discovered its lifesaving properties. It was the indoor air quality of the laboratory that first alerted them to it as the microscopic spores arrived via an open window and colonized a bacteria sample.
However, the mold affecting your indoor air quality is likely to not be as helpful as Penicillin. Mold needs food and water to survive, both of which are readily available in your home. They spread (and effect your indoor air quality) by moving through the air as spores, which can be breathed in on their way to colonize new parts of your home. Your indoor air quality has a huge effect on your health – breathing in these spores can impact the respiratory systems of healthy adults, let alone children or the elderly. As mold consumes its food source, it affects your indoor air quality through a chemical reaction. Volatile Organic Compounds are released into the air and effect your indoor air quality by evaporating easily at room temperature. When you are in a home with a mold problem, the musty odor you may notice is the Volatile Organic Compounds affecting the indoor air quality.
Many molds can produce toxins that can affect your indoor air quality and cause quite serious health effects. Symptoms of toxic mold exposure may be fatigue or flu-like symptoms, or more serious respiratory ailments caused by the spores affecting your indoor air quality.
The ventilation in your home may be contributing to poor indoor air quality and mold exposure. Good ventilation helps keep your indoor air quality at a high level by removing contaminated air, and by helping to dehumidify your home. Humidity affects your indoor air quality by providing ideal conditions for mold growth and a bad ventilation system can spread something previously limited to one room to the entire house.
Symptoms of a mold infestation caused by poor indoor air quality are broad. They can range from itchy eyes and a runny nose to dizziness, headaches, and respiratory congestion. If you notice that moving to or from a particular room alleviates these symptoms, it may be bad indoor air quality from mold that could be causing this reaction. Health Canada has reviewed two studies related to health and indoor air quality effects caused by indoor molds. They found that exposure to indoor mold was associated with a prevalence of asthma-related symptoms, as well as an inflammatory response in the lungs of laboratory rodents whose indoor air quality had been compromised with mold spores. All Federal and Provincial agencies agree that mold growth in buildings is a risk factor in poor indoor air quality and related health problems.
If you believe that mold growth is affecting the indoor air quality of your home or business, we are able to perform an air quality test that will determine what is prevalent in your environment. Your indoor air quality can be impacted by many things, mold being one of them, but an inspection carried out by a qualified technician can make sure your moldy bread isn’t an indicator of something much more serious.