Symptoms of Mold in Your BedroomNov 19, 2018
by Angela Cummings
Do you have symptoms of mold in the bedroom?
There are approximately 1.5 million species of mold that exist, according to the National Institute of Health Environmental Health Sciences.
Various mold species can be found indoors and in the bedroom.
In this article, we’ll discuss common indoor molds and symptoms to watch for.
What Kinds of Mold in Bedrooms Are Toxic?
The most common types of indoor mold include: Aspergillus, Alternaria, Acremonium, Cladosporium, Epicoccum, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, and Trichoderma.
- Aspergillus – There are about 200 species and varieties of mold classified as Aspergillus. They can grow on cloth or leather fabrics, such as mattresses and carpeting.
- Stachybotrys – Stachybotrys is a greenish-black mold that we most commonly associate with “toxic mold.” It can be found on fiberboard and wallpaper. This type of mold is often caused by water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, and flooding.
- Alternaria. When bedroom windows are open in spring through fall, Alternaria spores can blow in. Concentrations of Alternaria are highest during dry windy conditions when the spores become airborne.
- Acremonium. With about 100 species of mold, acremonium is commonly found in dead plants and soil material. Bedrooms with potted plants may have this type of mold in the soil.
- Cladosporium. Commonly found year-round, Cladosporium is made of 40 species of mold. Found in soil and decaying plant material, Cladosporium can blow in through open windows or grow on plants and soils in the house.
- Epicoccum. This mold is found throughout the world. It’s commonly seen in wood pulp, canvas, cotton, flooring, carpet, and mattress dust.
- Penicillium. This is the same penicillium that antibiotics are sometimes made of. It’s found in damp building materials, walls and wallpaper, floor, carpet mattress and upholstered furniture dust, soil, plant decay, and in the air. There are 200 species of Penicillium.
- Trichoderma. Commonly found including decaying wood, wood products, textiles, gypsum board and water-saturated wood, wallpaper, carpet and mattress dust, paint, and air-conditioning filters and soils, Trichoderma require relatively higher water activity (than other molds like Penicillium and Aspergillus).
What Are Toxic Chemicals in Toxic Mold?
Breathing in mold spores and fragments is the most common way people are exposed. When mold becomes airborne, it becomes part of the air we breathe.
There is conflicting medical and scientific evidence about the toxic effects of mold. With over 1.5 million species, there are overwhelming challenges and costs associated with studying mold.
Different Types of Symptoms Caused by Toxic Mold in the Bedroom
There are four types of health conditions caused by mold, according to the Florida Department of Health. These are allergic reactions, irritant reactions, infections, and toxic effects. Here are the symptoms associated with each:
1. Allergic reactions. Allergic reactions are the most common reaction to mold. Symptoms of an allergy to mold include nasal and sinus irritation, congestion, dry cough, wheezing, skin rash or burning feeling, watery eyes or eye irritation. Serious allergic reactions can include shortness of breath, triggering of asthma attacks, and the development of asthma.
2. Irritant reactions. Similar to some allergic reactions, irritants include watery eyes or eye irritation, nasal and sinus irritation and dry cough.
3. Infection. “People with chronic illnesses or people with immune system problems may be more likely to get infections from certain molds, viruses, and bacteria,” according to the Florida Department of Health.
Aspergillosis is one example of an infection caused by mold. The most common symptoms of aspergillosis are respiratory.
4. Toxic effects. There is controversy in the medical and science communities about the toxic effects of mold in buildings. Mold consumption (mold found on food) is better understood at this time.
According to Poison Control, “
"Toxic mold syndrome " is a legal construct, rather than a medical diagnosis, involving unidentified disease processes, a constellation of disparate symptoms, and reports of illness uncorroborated by a physical examination of the patients or a professional examination of their surroundings.”
The health effects of mold range from poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer, according to the World Health Organization.
In a 2018 press release, the WHO stated, “…indoor mold and dampness make asthma more severe in children.”
If you experience these symptoms and find mold in your home, use caution in cleaning the mold. Consider hiring an expert if the mold seems serious. If it seems minor, consider cleaning it with nontoxic cleaning solutions. If you’re replacing furniture or flooring, consider choosing nontoxic products.
If you have symptoms of mold in the bedroom and need to replace furniture or flooring consider nontoxic options.
Read more about mold by clicking here: Mold at Home.
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