Your home is your haven. It is the place to unwind, kick off your shoes, sink into the sofa, turn on the TV, and take a deep breath of… mold-infested air!
Yep. The air inside your home or office is more polluted than outdoor air.
Indoor Air is Polluted
Several studies conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “indicate that the levels of many air pollutants may be two to five times higher in indoor air than outdoor air. In some cases, indoor air pollutants may even be 100 times higher than outdoors.”
These numbers are alarming because outdoor air quality in the U.S. is nothing to cheer about.
The American Lung Association estimates that 125 million Americans, or 38.9 percent of the population, live in counties with “unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution.” Eleven of these highly polluted counties are in New Jersey, including Monmouth County.
Distressing! But if indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, why doesn’t it seem like so?
The indoor air feels cleaner because we are more aware of the pollutants in the outdoor air. We can see smoke coming out of automobiles and detect putrid smells when we are outside, but indoor air pollutants do not get noticed easily because “health effects may show up either [several] years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure,” according to the U.S. EPA.
Mold is a Common Source of Indoor Pollution
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) lists these six possible sources of indoor air pollution:
- Biologic agents
- Building materials
- Tobacco smoke
- Heating devices
Mold is a biologic agent and a source of indoor pollution with several side-effects. Your home is not as safe as think. As you are reading this in your home or office, you may also be risking your health in more than one way by getting exposed to black mold spores.
What Black Mold Is
Black mold is a fungus. It smells like mildew and appears greenish-black bordered by strips of white and gray.
Mold is present in minuscule quantities in most homes and offices but becomes a health concern when it grows. The rate of growth can leave anyone dumbstruck.
Mold can grow from barely noticeable to an eyesore in less than three days. However, the effects on health begin long before the mold is visible.
Black mold may be making you and your loved ones unwell. So if you, or someone in your family, are experiencing any of these five health issues, call a Certified Mold Investigator for identification and remediation.
1. You Break Out in a Rash
Researchers estimate that nasal allergies affect about 50 million people a year in the United States, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Mold can make nasal allergies worse. Mold spores get into your nose and aggravate allergy symptoms. You can develop patches of irritation, red bumps, skin rashes, or anything that looks like hives.
2. Your Eyes Get Itchy or Irritated
Even if you aren’t allergic to black mold, you can still experience irritating symptoms from inhaling spores. Red, watery, irritated or itchier than usual eyes mean it’s time to check for and get rid of black mold.
3. You Develop Upper Respiratory Issues
A persistent cough that sounds and feels thick in the lungs, or develops into a wheezing sound, could be a sign of Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) in your home or office.
4. You Get Achy Muscles and Fatigue
If your body feels heavy, muscles ache, or you feel constantly run down after being inside your home or office for prolonged time periods, then you should have your home checked for black mold.
5. You Develop Worse Symptoms
New symptoms, or symptoms that get worse over time, should be addressed. This is especially true for people with asthma or allergies, children, elderly, or people with compromised immune systems.
Experiencing daily these symptoms means it’s time to call in a Certified Mold Expert to check for black mold. GreenWorks investigators can help restore your peace of mind. They identify, remediate and certify your home or office healthy. So you can get back to resting, and breathing, safely.
Originally posted on: December 15, 2014
Updated on: September 4, 2018