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Frequently Asked Questions About Mold  

AMI strives to answer questions and concerns regarding mold through resources we believe to be reliable and knowledgeable. This page of our web site is continually updated to bring the most current information available. 

DISCLAIMER: This web site is designed only to provide general information and is not directed toward providing legal or medical advice of any kind. For proper legal advice contact an attorney. For proper medical advice contact a physician. 
 

Q: How can I tell if I have mold spores in my home or office? 
A: If you see mold growth, water stains, dripping faucets, it is a good idea to have a Certified Mold Inspector test that surface and the indoor air for an accurate representation of mold spores. Where there is no visible mold growth, but there is a musty or moldy odor, again, have the air inspected. It is always better to be safe than sorry. 
 
Q: How does mold become a problem? 
A: All mold needs for growth is food sources and appropriate climate. Oxygen-rich environments with either standing liquids or humidity over 70% are optimal for mold growth. Many fungi grow well at temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which are also ideal temperatures for human comfort. Mold becomes a problem to property once a structure gets wet. If it does not dry out or dries out slowly, mold spores can germinate and destroy anything it grows on. Mold becomes a problem to your health when it comes in contact with your skin, is breathed into the lungs. 
  
Q: Who is at risk? 
A: High levels of molds are not healthy for anyone inside a building. Those individuals that appear to be at higher risk are infants, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems (HIV infection, liver disease or those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy), pregnant women and individuals with existing respiratory conditions, such as allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities and asthma, pneumonia or bronchitis. Healthy, active people are less likely adverse reactions at first. However, extended exposure to molds can be a health risk to anyone. If you have concerns about your health, you should consult a physician for advice. 
  
Q: What are the symptoms of exposure to mold? 
A: Effects from exposure to toxic mold can result in any of the following symptoms: 
headaches memory loss problems focusing or concentrating chronic fatigue 
nose and throat irritation persistent cold-like symptoms burning, itching or watering eyes  dizziness nausea tremors heart palpitations shortness of breath (during mild exertion)  exhaustion after routine activity serious swelling in legs, ankles, feet serious swelling in torso or stomach prolonged muscle cramps and joint pain sensitivity to odors cancer women who are pregnant could experience multiple problems, even miscarriages. 
  
Q: Does it matter what kind of mold is found in my home? 
A: Some molds will produce mycotoxins (poisonous toxins). Simply spraying a mildewcide or fungicide on mold will not remove or inactivate the mycotoxins that have already been produced. An adverse reaction from dead mold or mold spores can still happen. Not all molds produce mycotoxins all the time. It is important to note that mold spores do not have to be alive to be dangerous. Dead and dormant mold can be just as toxic. Tolerance to these mycotoxins again varies from person to person. 
  
  Note: Bleach is not effective at eliminating mold.
Bleach may clean mold off surfaces, but it does not penetrate deep into porous materials where mold hides. For proper mold killing cleaners, visit www.jondon.com/mold.htm  Also, Home Depot carries a mildewcide made by ZEP. 

If you believe you or your children have symptoms that you suspect are caused by exposure to mold, you should see a physician. Keep in mind that many symptoms associated with mold exposure may also be caused by many other illnesses. You should tell your physician about any symptoms and approximately when, how and how long you think you or your children were exposed. 
   

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