When homes that survived Hurricane Katrina were tested for mold, they found levels that were so high that breathing apparatuses were recommended before re-entering. Luckily for most of us, mold levels are much lower in our homes, but global warming is causing a rise in our exposure to mold.
Where mold hides
It’s estimated that—brace yourself—there are tens of thousands of different types of fungi, otherwise known as mold. Mold lives on dead, decaying material and thrives in warm, damp moist places. Think of your shower and basement. But mold can also thrive outdoors. The main sources of outdoor mold are the brown patches of dead grass you see during a hot dry summer, or the decaying leaves of autumn. The spores become airborne and can be breathed in through your nose and mouth. If you are allergic to mold, you may experience a stuffy nose, itchy eyes and skin, or you can develop shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Mold spore season begins in the spring, peaks in the summer and plateaus through the fall.
In homes with attached garages, 30% of the indoor air comes from the garage: make sure the garage isn’t a source of mold or other pollutants. If you need the help of a healthy homes specialist, go to www.healthyhomestraining.org.
If you have symptoms year round, you should get blood tested for mold, as well as other indoor allergies like dust and pet dander. Usually we can test for a panel of potential indoor and outdoor allergens in your environment. Allergy drops have been successful in reducing symptoms with many patients.
Contact us for more information or to get tested.