Breathing mold: The health impacts of recent hurricanes

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Breathing Mold: The Health Impacts of the Recent Hurricanes

Breathing Mold: The Health Impacts of the Recent Hurricanes

No matter where you live, mold can be a problem. However, recent natural disasters have made mold an even more widespread problem. People who suffered from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are facing big trouble with mold. Breathing mold can cause some severe health issues. Now more than ever, it’s important to understand the implications of breathing mold.

The Mold Problem

When hurricanes hit, they usually leave water damage in their wakes. Unfortunately, water damage means mold growth. Homes that seemed to avoid hurricane damage often show signs of water damage and mold growth. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize the true danger of mold. Mold growth can damage the structural integrity of your home. However, there’s an even greater risk that comes with mold- health issues. Breathing mold into your body can cause serious harm to your health.

People often don’t even realize that mold is a problem in their home. Often, they first start to exhibit symptoms that mimic colds and other issues. After some time, they may realize that mold is the cause of those symptoms. Any water in your home can be a breeding ground for mold. It’s important to have a technician check your home for mold before your health begins to suffer.

Past Troubles

Harvey and Irma weren’t the only two hurricanes to cause mold growth. In the past, major hurricanes plagued people for years thanks to mold growth. For example, Katrina left New Orleans residents breathing mold for a decade after she hit. Many low-income areas faced Katrina’s wrath. As a result, the residents couldn’t afford to have anyone check their homes for mold. Long after Katrina left New Orleans, residents suffered from health issues.

Hurricane Sandy had the same effect in New York. Years after the hurricane, many residences still have mold growth. Not surprisingly, the residents still suffer from health issues.

Breathing Mold and Health Problems

When you breathe in mold, your body does not always react well. There are different types of mold, and each one can have different effects on you. Likewise, people have different reactions to the varying types of mold. While you might be sensitive to one type, another member of your household may not show any health complications.

Generally speaking, mold causes toxic responses in your body. Common symptoms of mold in your home often include sinus congestion, a runny nose, wheezing, and chest tightness. The presence of mold can also make rare conditions, like chronic sinusitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, more common.

Black Mold

While other types of mold can cause allergy-like symptoms, black mold can have extreme effects on your health. Also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, black mold releases spores into your home’s air. Breathing mold spores of this type into your body can be lethal. Symptoms of black mold include the following:

  • Chronic coughing and sneezing
  • Eye irritation
  • nose and throat irritation
  • chronic fatigue
  • headaches

Although these symptoms may seem unpleasant enough, the long-term symptoms are worse. After prolonged exposure to black mold, you may experience:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding in the lungs
  • Bleeding in the nose

The only way to combat the health effects of black mold is to remove the mold from your home.

Other Types of Mold

Of course, black mold isn’t the only culprit. Other types of mold can cause health issues. Especially vulnerable to these health issues are infants and children. If you have mold in your home, they may be the first to exhibit symptoms. The elderly are also vulnerable. People with asthma and allergies may find their symptoms worse than usual when mold is present. The same is true of individuals with a compromised immune system.

Even those with strong immune systems and no health issues can suffer from other types of mold. For example, you might think that you have a sore throat. However, that sore throat may not go away. The real cause of your pain could be mold. Likewise, a persistent irritation in your eye could be caused by mold growth.

Mold often mimics allergy symptoms. If you have persistent allergy symptoms and live in a home that may have water damage, mold may be the culprit. The best way to find out is to have someone check your home.

Stopping Mold Growth Before it’s too Late

There’s only one way to prevent the symptoms of mold growth. And that’s to prevent mold from taking over your home. If your home was in a hurricane’s path, you might have water damage. If you do, you need a mold specialist to test your home. You can’t always see the mold taking over your home. Unfortunately, even the slightest bit of water can make it take over.

A mold specialist can check your home and give you peace of mind. They can also make sure that any traces of mold disappears. As a result, you can keep you and your family in great health.

Case Studies

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