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Is MOLD dangerous to your health?


by: Harry Dunbar

What symptoms are common? Allergic reactions may be the most common health problem of mold exposure. Typical symptoms reported (alone or in combination) include:

~ respiratory problems, such as wheezing, and difficulty in breathing
~nasal and sinus congestion
~eyes-burning, watery, reddened, blurry vision, light sensitivity
~dry, hacking cough sore throat
~nose and throat irritation
~ shortness of breath skin irritation
~ central nervous system problems (constant headaches, memory problems, and mood changes)
~ aches and pains
~ possible fever

We have only recently begun to understand the health hazards of fungal exposure. I hope to provide enough information here so that you may identify and correct the problem.

There are over 100,000 types of molds in the world. In Canada alone there are over 270 indoor varieties.
Some molds produce secondary metabolites that produce toxins called mycotoxins which are very dangerous to your health. We usually are unaware we are breathing mold spores and mycotoxins until we develop health problems ... some as severe as chronic bronchitis, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis and much more.

I'm not trying to educate anyone as to which mold is toxic and which is not. I'm not a mold expert. The fact remains that regardless of the toxicity of mold in your home your health may be at risk. Unfortunately we are not effectively being protected by any level of our government or by the building codes used to set guidelines and regulations for building our homes. We are basically left in the dark to deal with this all on our own.

Moisture left within any structure will allow mold to grow and live there indefinitely. The spores grow and may become airborne and circulate within your home. Common areas for mold to grow are basements, showers, behind and under bathtubs, under sinks and in the drywall where plumbing is located. If there's moisture in any material for over 24 hours at a time can cause mold to develop. Keep things dry and you will most likely never have a problem.

Mold can be killed using bleach but if mold has contaminated absorbent materials such as carpet, drywall, or insulation, that material may have to be completely removed. All remaining areas need to be dry and free of any moisture before repairs are conducted to damaged areas. Also if you are tearing things apart to get at the mold you'll need to protect yourself and the rest of your home from the airborne spores caused by your disturbance, so masks, gloves, barriers and ventilation is important.

Here are some photos of what to look for when trying to identify mold.
mold,harmful mold,toxic mold,killing mold, identifying mold,flooding,moisture,bathrooms,basements,Allergic reactions,metabolites,mycotoxins 

The dark areas indicate specifically the existence of MOLD, but also the presence of moisture, damaged backerboard and failing tile installation.

Mold is no longer an option in our homes.
It's time to let Home Builders, Contractors and Retailers know ....
Improperly built showers are no longer acceptable!
mold,harmful mold,toxic mold,killing mold, identifying mold,flooding,moisture,bathrooms,basements,Allergic reactions,metabolites,mycotoxins  (Same bathroom as above.)

Tile wasn't installed high enough to accommodate the splash area, but the biggest contributor to the perfect environment for mold is the absence of a ceiling exhaust fan.

Click here to see how I fixed this problem.

mold,harmful mold,toxic mold,killing mold, identifying mold,flooding,moisture,bathrooms,basements,Allergic reactions,metabolites,mycotoxins The moisture has wicked up into the backerboard from the shower pan not only creating the perfect environment for mold growth .... but it has completely destroyed the shower structure.

This is the reason I promote properly constructed showers that won't collect moisture.

Click here to see how I fixed this problem.

The tile was covered with a cheap vinyl tub enclosures (not shown here) in an attempt to hide the loose tile and discoloured grout. The black areas are the mold. The material in my hands is soaking wet pieces of greenboard which I pulled off the wall with my fingers. Mold is flourishing between the vapour barrier and greenboard.

A proper installation of the correct products would have prevented this disaster.

The water damage is very severe in this shower. There is dry rot everywhere in the lower section of the pan. Mold flourishes in these kinds of environments. It doesn't have to be this way, but because the building codes allow builders to save a buck by cutting very crucial corners ... the end user suffers ... sometimes Literally!

Through education and awareness we can effectively cause change by NOT settling for this type of shoddy workmanship. It is a health hazard and we should ALL be angry as hell that builders are getting away with this!

Builders, retailers and tilesetters ALL need to be held accountable.

Click here to see how I fixed this problem.

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