Mold is a microscopic fungi that thrives on moist and pourous matter such as wet drywall and damp wood. They produce spores which are easily spread by air, water, and insects. While some species of mold are non-toxic, others can be extremely toxic. Some molds cause allergic reactions and asthma.

Airborne mold spores are found everywhere, indoors and outdoors, but the risk to your health is considerably elevated when indoor levels of mold spores are abnormally high. Air sampling during a mold inspection will compare indoor mold spore levels to outdoor mold spore levels.

Molds spores can cause health problems even when the spores are not viable (not alive) or when they are dormant (inactive while waiting for more moisture to resume growth). Inhaling, ingesting or touching both non-viable and dormant molds can make a mold-sensitive person ill. Everyone's immune system is different, so what might be a harmless amount of mold exposure to one occupant may seriously affect the health of another person.

Short-term reactions can include: sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, lethargy, fever, cold and flu symptoms, nose bleeds, digestive problems and joint problems.

Long term symptoms can include: dermatitis, impaired immune function, infections, lung damage, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Pulmonary hemosiderosis, ocular disease, deafness, cancer and even death.

Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to these contaminants.

For more information about mold:

Weather.com Mold Article  A Weather.com article regarding moisture within a home and the health effects of mold growths in an indoor environment.

Environmental Protection  Agency About mold and moisture

CDC Mold Information  Frequently asked questions (FAQ) resource provided by the CDC on mold and indoor environmental topics.

NYC Dept of Health Website  A New York City Department of Health website regarding the health effects of mold shown in a Question & Answer format.

FEMA Article on Mold Hazards  FEMA article regarding water damage and how mold can spread from water intrusion from within a home.

National Association of Realtors Article  A collective report of conclusions on the health effects of mold exposure in different situations.

WebMD Article on Health Effects of Mold  A WebAD article regarding negative health effects of mold exposure in households.

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