Mold has evolved as something of a buzzword for modern homeowners, tenants, and really anyone who has lived inside a home. You say “mold,” there is going to be a reaction from someone who shares your living space. But the question reigns: Can mold actually make you and your family sick? The short answer, unfortunately, is yes. Mold has been attributed to a number of illnesses, ranging from common colds to severe respiratory problems. And before we can dive into the common side effects of what can happen to you and your family while living in a space plagued by mold, we must first look at why mold makes you sick to begin with.
Mold is a natural fungus that refers to a group of single-celled organisms that have begun to grow in a colony, forming a stringent, colony-like existence. Mold thrives in moisture-rich places, which is why household mold is so common – our homes trap moisture, and variety of every day household chores and activities, including even a variety of common household products such as air conditioners, contribute to mold growth throughout the house, increasing you and your family’s likelihood of encountering mold.
Molds reproduce by creating spores, microscopic specks that travel through your home and finding new, moisture-rich locations to sprout new fungi. However, when inside a home, these spores don’t have ample room to travel, and low air currents inside our homes contribute to molds having a limited range of reproduction. This means that, often times, we will inhale these microscopic mold spores while simply walking around our homes, lying in bed at night, or performing basic household chores such as cooking or cleaning. Unfortunately, these mold spores are so small that the chances of us inhaling them deep into our lungs is quite high. The deeper we inhale, the worse it can be for us and our families. In low quantities, however, mold is not strictly bad for our and our family’s health.
We more often than not inhale small quantities of mold every time we step outside, and in mold-rich households, every time we come back inside. Do these small amounts of mold inhalation make us sick? Not necessarily, but over time, these small amounts can piggy-back off one another and lead to much more serious health detriments down the road. The overarching problem with mold is that it forms, grows, and reproduces anywhere where moisture is present: in our homes, in our house plants, on our windows’ condensation. Small quantities of mold will turn to larger and larger quantities of mold if left untreated, and this is when mold will almost certainly lead to sickness in you and your family.
Due to the microscopic mold spores, and due to the easiness of inhaling these spores deep into our lungs, mold can almost certainly make you and your family sick, depending on the condition of your home’s ventilation and how well you clean your home. As unfortunate as it seems, rapid mold growth is preventable, and it is important to pay attention to signs of mold, such as musty smells are visible spots, before your mold problems become serious for you and your family.