There are several ways you can become exposed to Mold: Breathing. Tiny spores reproduce and are invisible to the naked eye and float through indoor and outdoor air.  (These fungi are called fruiting bodies). Skin contact from handling or rubbing an object with mold on it. Swallowing, and/or eating. Neglecting to do something about mold whether it is seen or unseen. Molds feeds off water, moisture, dampness, food source, and amiable temperatures. Mold symptoms: Molds have the potential to cause health problems such as mold allergy and even make a home become uninhabitable. Each person is affected differently when they come in contact with mold. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases (mycotoxins: potentially toxic chemical substances) Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Symptoms of mold exposure: Itching or irritation of the nose, eyes, skin, or throat Respiratory problems (sneezing & coughing) upper or lower infections Frequent headaches, fatigue, chronic aches and pains Mysterious skin rashes Sinus infections or congestion / sinusitis (runny nose) Trouble concentrating, memory lapses, confusion Mood swings, anxiety, depression vomiting   Mold can be found in your home or office, examples include: Drywall (front & backside), hidden mold and mildew, wallpaper, paneling, studs HVAC systems & duct work, vents-registers Underneath carpets and pads, tiles, flooring, sub floors Basements, crawl spaces, kitchens, bathrooms, laundry wash/dryer area Ceilings, attics, floor joist (especially prior or existing roof leaks) Anywhere there is preexisting or current flood moisture situations. Modern, tightly sealed homes can increase the likelihood of mold due to lack of breathing between walls   Additional Resources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency www.epa.gov/iaq/molds Got Mold? Frequently Asked Questions www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/ts/IAQ/Got_Mold.html Facts about Mold www.nyc.gov/html/dohhtml/ei/eimold.html Mold Allergy www.niaid.nih.gov/publications/allergens/mold Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) www.aafa.org
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American Lung Association (ALA) www.lungusa.org   Floods/Flooding www.fema.gov www.iicrc.org   OSHA www.osha.gov Center for Disease Control www.cdc.org
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