Health Effects of Mold

Can mold make my family and I sick?

Mold grows everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Most often mold found indoors comes from outdoor sources. Outdoor mold spores travel indoors through windows, cracks, crevices or are carried inside on shoes and clothing. It is very common to find mold spores in the air of homes and growing on damp surfaces.

We are all exposed to mold on a daily basis without evident harm. However, health problems arise when mold spores enter our bodies in large numbers. For some people a relatively small amount of mold spores can cause health problems, and yet for others it may take a considerably greater amount. The following are three ways mold spores can enter the human body:

Inhalation: Breathing in airborne mold spores.

Skin: Touching moldy surfaces such as furniture or coming in contact with plants that may have molds. Worse yet, is if you may have an open wound or abrasion that mold can penetrate into your body.

Ingestion: Eating toxic fungal species on spoiled food, including nuts, grain, rice and agricultural products.

What symptoms might I see?

The most common health problems caused by indoor mold are allergy like symptoms. Although other and more serious problems can occur, people exposed to mold commonly report problems such as:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Abnormal pap smears
  3. Acid reflux / indigestion
  4. Acne
  5. Allergies and anaphylaxis [severe allergic reaction]
  6. Altered immunity
  7. Asthma and asthmatic signs [sudden onset asthma,increased asthma attacks, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, burning in lungs]
  8. Balance problems
  9. Bladder and kidney pain
  10. Bleeding lungs
  11. Blood pressure irregularities
  12. Body aches and muscle pains
  13. Breathing difficulties [tightness in chest, shortness of breath]
  14. Bruising easily
  15. Burning in mouth, throat and lungs similar to acid reflux
  16. Cancer
  17. Central nervous system effects
  18. Chills
  19. Choking
  20. Cholesterol or triglycerides irregularities
  21. Chronic fatigue (chronic, excessive or continued and/or general malaise
  22. Chronic sinus infections
  23. Coated tongue
  24. Colds, recurring and with decreased resistance to infections
  25. Constipation
  26. Dandruff problems (chronic) that won't go away despite use of anti-dandruff shampoos
  27. Dark urine
  28. Death in extreme cases
  29. Depression/anxiety/dementia
  30. Dermatitis and skin rashes
  31. Diarrhea
  32. Difficulty concentrating
  33. Difficulty in swallowing
  34. Dirt-like taste in mouth
  35. Dizziness
  36. Dry, hacking cough or coughing up blood [resulting to sore lungs/chest due to excessive coughing]
  37. Early menopause
  38. Eye and vision problems
  39. Eye irritation (burning, watery, or reddened eyes)
  40. Face flushing intermittently
  41. fFacial movements inadvertently or extreme jerking
  42. Feeling lost or disconnected from what's happening around you
  43. Feelings of hopelessness
  44. Fevers
  45. Fibromyalgia [chronic fatigue and widespread pain]
  46. Food allergies
  47. Frequent bloody noses
  48. Frequent infections
  49. Hair loss
  50. Headaches/migraines
  51. Heart attack
  52. Hemorrhagic or hypersensitivity pneumonitis [extrinsic allergic alveolitis, or farmers' lung disease]
  53. Hypersensitivity to mold
  54. Indigestion [heartburn /acid reflux ]
  55. Infertility
  56. Irritability, mood swings, spleen pain or sudden personality changes
  57. Irritable bowel syndrome
  58. Itching of the nose, mouth, eyes, throat, skin or any area
  59. Kidney pain and failure
  60. Large boils on neck
  61. Leaky gut syndrome
  62. Liver pain
  63. Long lasting flu-like symptoms
  64. Memory loss or learning difficulties [brain fog, confusion, Alzheimer's-like symptoms]
  65. Metallic taste in mouth
  66. Multiple chemical sensitivity
  67. Night sweats and hot flashes
  68. Nose or throat irritation
  69. Nosebleeds
  70. Numbness in face and limbs
  71. Open skin sores and lacerations
  72. Open sores on head
  73. Organic dust toxic syndrome
  74. Peripheral nervous system effects
  75. Physical weakness
  76. Poor appetite
  77. Puffy or droopy eyes
  78. Rashes or hives
  79. Redness of the sclera (white portion of your eyes)
  80. Respiratory distress
  81. Ringing in ears
  82. Runny nose (rhinitis), clear, thin, watery mucus from your nose may appear suddenly, or thick, green slime coming out of nose (from sinus cavities)
  83. Seizures
  84. Sensitivity to smells / odors
  85. Sinus congestion, sinus problems, chronic sinusitis and other nasal problems
  86. Skin rashes or irritation
  87. Skin redness
  88. Sleep disorders
  89. Slurred speech or verbal dysfunction (trouble in speaking)
  90. Sneezing fits (more than three sneezes in a row, happening often)
  91. Spitting up mucous
  92. Swollen glands
  93. Swollen lymph nodes
  94. Systemic candida infection
  95. Tremors (shaking)
  96. Unexplained fevers
  97. Urinary tract infection (uti)
  98. Vertigo or dizziness
  99. Vomiting (nausea)
  100. Women's health problems [such as endometriosis and vaginal yeast infections].


Are the risks greater for some people?

There is wide variability in how different people are affected by indoor mold. However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. The following types of people may be affected more severely and sooner than others:

Infants and children, Elderly people, Individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies and asthma

Persons having weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients, or even a cold or flue)

Those with special health concerns should consult a medical professional if they feel their health is affected by indoor mold.

Are some types of mold more harmful?

Many fungi produce toxic metabolites called mycotoxins. Dramatic and carcinogenic effects have been recorded for animals and humans exposed to high levels of mycotoxins in laboratory studies. Symptoms of exposure to mycotoxins may include cold and flu-like symptoms, headache, nosebleeds, dermatitis and immune suppression. Many mycotoxins are highly disease causing.

Read More: Home Investigation