Mold Sickness: A Hidden Epidemic!
Since we started this business, our team has helped 1000s of people remove mold.
We are often asked:
“Can mold make me sick?”
Yes, mold can make you sick. It is particularly harmful if your immune system is compromised and can have a negative impact on senior citizens and children.
We are all exposed to mold on a daily basis because it is part of our eco-system. Mold is nature’s recycler.
The core problem with mold begins when it starts growing inside of a home or business. When this occurs, the spore levels begin to increase. As the spore count increases through continued mold growth, this will have a negative health impact.
There are three key reasons mold sickness is a hidden epidemic:
- Mold can be hidden meaning you likely do not even know you have mold issues.
- There is a false perception that newer homes are safer. This is not the case, in fact modern day building practices designed to be more energy efficient are contributing to the mold epidemic.
- Most physicians are not trained to identify mold illness, meaning you could go to a Doctor multiple times and still not be diagnosed properly.
The purpose of this article is to explain the top three reasons so many people are sick from mold but do not realize it is the cause.
#1 Hidden Mold!
One of the major points made by the one hour documentary, MOLDY is that hidden mold is a huge concern. Simply put, the dramatic photos you see showing full-scale infestations of black mold after floods and hurricanes are the exception not the rule.
The seven areas listed below are the most common areas in a home where you will find mold.
Bathrooms and Kitchens
The most common area where you will find mold is under the sinks because of leaks.
Another potential source of leaks are your refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machines. Check behind and under the appliances for mold.
If you notice water stains on the ceilings, then your roof could be leaking which will cause mold if the leak is not repaired.
If you have condensation in the home, you will likely find mold on the window sills and around the windows.
If there is high humidity in your home, then check your basement and other areas of the home for mold.
Leaky pipes, high humidity, and other sources of moisture can result in hidden mold in your closets. If there are boxes in the closet, move them and check the walls and floor for mold.
Moisture in your crawl space will cause mold to grow.
According to the documentary:
- At least 45 million buildings in the United Stats have unhealthy levels of mold.
- You have a 33% chance of being exposed to toxic mold when you move into a new home, apartment or office. The documentary also emphasizes the fact that many foods are contaminated with mold, including corn, peanuts, and coffee.
- Approximately 28 percent of the population have genes that make them highly susceptible to mold-related health issues.
- Despite the fact that mold is a significant health concern, like lead and asbestos, there are no federal environmental protections laws.
The most important reason mold sickness is an epidemic: most mold is hidden!
If you are concerned that you may have hidden mold growing in your home or business, call Puritan Restoration. We are mold removal experts!
#2 Building Practices Encourage Mold Growth!
Modern day building building practices promote mold growth for these reasons:
- The desire to reduce energy bills means that many new homes are air tight and lack proper ventilation, conducive to mold growth.
- The season that the home was built is also a factor. For instance, if the home was built during a period when there was lots of rain and the foundation was not allowed to completely dry before installing the insulation and vapor barrier, then moisture could be trapped behind the walls.
- Building practices have changed. In the past, most homes were built with non-porous materials like plywood and timber which made it difficult for mold to penetrate the surface. Today, cost conscious builders use Orient Strand Board (OSB) and particle board which are porous and susceptible to mold growth.
The core problem is homes are built with materials that mold loves to eat: wood, drywall, carpet, etc.
Moisture is the key component mold needs to grow and thrive. With this in mind, mold growth is a problem that can be prevented.
Unfortunately, according to the MOLDY documentary, at least 50 percent of homes in the United States have water damage issues caused by water line leaks, tears in moisture vapor barriers, leaky showers, condensation under eaves, and water pooling in crawl spaces. It is this water damage which causes mold to grow.
Improving building practices to prevent moisture issues is the single most effective way to prevent mold.
#3 Most Doctors Are Not Educated on Mold Sickness!
Possibly every doctor in the United States is treating mold illness, and they just don’t realize it. (Dr. Scott McMahon, MD)
The website, Mold Sensitized, was launched with the specific goal to educate consumers, contractors, and health professionals on mold. One of the website’s objectives was to document the experiences of mold survivors by interviewing them.
Five key lessons can be learned from these interviews:
- There is a lack of appreciation in the medical community of the impact mold can have on certain individuals.
- Symptoms from mold sickness are broad, leading to multiple mis-diagnosis of patients by many doctors.
- Mold sensitized individuals seek help from multiple medical practitioners because their illnesses continue.
- The mold sensitized individual eventually learns that mold has been the cause of their sickness.
- Because traditional remediation approaches do not adequately address their sensitivities, mold sensitized individuals often are forced to seek alternative shelters.
One of the key points made by the MOLDY documentary: most Physicians are unable to properly diagnose mold sickness in patients because they do not have the knowledge or training.
According to mold survivor Hilesca Hidalgo:
There is such a huge gap in care when it comes to mold illness that I found it extremely frustrating. I believe every medical assessment should include the question “have you been in a water damaged building?” There were many times that I felt so alone and with so little support that I didn’t know what to do. Luckily I have met some wonderful people in the many mold support groups that I have joined. The amount of people inflicted with mold illness and co-infections is unbelievable! So many have been misdiagnosed and unable to find medical help. They have shared their experiences and their healing and really helped guide me in finding my healing journey.
The experience of Hilesca Hidalgo is a common experience faced by most individuals battling mold sickness.
Awareness is the key. If you are consistently sick, have seen many different doctors, and are not getting better or begin to feel worse, then the cause of your illness could be hidden mold in your home.
Your best defense is to first verify that your home has mold which can be done by contacting Puritan Restoration for a professional mold inspection.
Once mold is verified, then seek out an environmental physician with experience dealing with mold afflicted patients. To find listings of environmental doctors throughout the world, click here.
Once you are diagnosed, you need to follow the medical treatment designed to detox your body and allow your immune system to recover and begin to regain its strength. The detox strategy will be prescribed by your physician who will likely recommend that you remove yourself from the property that has been making you sick until it is safe to occupy again.
As stated by Dr. Mark Hyman, MD:
If you think you have a mold illness, there’s a way out….One, you have to get rid of it in your environment and Two, you have to get it out of your body, and Three, you have to repair the damage that has been done.