Signs & symptoms of mold & mildew exposure

Updated February 21, 2017

Exposure to mould and mildew is a serious health concern. Mold and mildew is a fungus that needs moisture to grow. When mould spores find that moist environment, they spread and can give off toxic fumes. A black mould is one of the most dangerous forms of mould and leaves people with severe breathing difficulties if exposed for long periods of time. Mildew is normally found in bathrooms and along window sills and graduates to mould spores over time if not killed. Mold is found in damp basements or in attics, especially if there is roof leakage.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

Sneezing, itchy watery eyes and an itching inside the nose are signs of a mould allergy. They can also be signs of other allergies from pollen or dust, so you need to determine what is causing these symptoms. If you notice these symptoms primarily during damp times of the year or when the pollen count is low, you may be experiencing mould and mildew allergy symptoms.

Breathing Difficulties

Mold and mildew spores give off a musty odour that can cause shortness of breath or wheezing. The toxins invade the lungs resulting in inflammation of the lung tissue. Asthma sufferers may experience severe attacks or the attacks become more frequent. What is called "black mold" has been speculated to cause bleeding of the lungs in infants, according to the Mayo Clinic. People with compromised immune systems or lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis are susceptible to lung infections brought on by mould exposure.

Coughing, Headaches & Fatigue

Mold and mildew exposure can bring on dry coughing fits. Your lungs and throat become inflamed from the fungus's toxic fumes, but do not produce mucus to cough up. Headaches and fatigue may also occur from breathing toxic fumes. Your skin may produce a rash if it comes in contact with mould or mildew spores.

If you suffer from these symptoms over a period of two weeks or longer, see your medical professional. Inspect your home for damp areas such as in the crawlspace or attic and if mould is detected, have a professional remove the mould from your home.

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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.