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Could exposure to mold in your indoor environment be causing your symptoms?


Mold is very common in homes, especially homes in areas with high humidity like Virginia. If the relative humidity indoors hits 50% or more, mold is happy to grow there. If there has been water damage to your home, it can take only 24 hours for mold to begin growing. You may not even see the mold if it is hidden behind walls or in the HVAC system. In fact, direct exposure to sunlight is deadly to mold. It grows much better in the dark. Mold also needs a steady supply of oxygen and a food source. In our home there are an abundance of organic materials for mold to feed on. Usual indoor temperatures are ideal for mold to grow as well.



Mold spreads and grows by releasing mold spores into the air that then spread to areas close by, including your body! Spores are invisible to the naked eye at 1-5 microns in diameter. Mold can have a musty odor associated, caused by the gasses produced by mold. Molds also produce what are called mycotoxins as products of their metabolism. These are even smaller than spores at 0.1 microns in diameter. Thus, when we breathe in spores, fragments of spores, and mycotoxins, it is very easy for them to get deep into the lungs. In the case of mycotoxins, they get through the respiratory lining and soak into blood vessels. Then, they can go anywhere in the body that blood goes! Unfortunately, this means they can affect all body systems causing a wide range of symptoms.


As you can see, mold in the home is not just pesky, it’s a major health issue!


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