Abingdon, MD, January 21st, 2013 -- Molds are found in virtually every environment, both indoors and outdoors. Molds originate from the outdoors and are brought indoors through open doors and windows; by pets, shoes and clothing; and via HVAC systems that bring in outdoor air.
In homes with water damage or excessive humidity, any molds that have entered a building can actually begin to grow indoors and release additional spores into the air people breathe. In homes and buildings with indoor mold growth, concentrated levels of mold spores can develop creating a potential health risk to a building’s occupants.
These spores eventually settle throughout the building and can accumulate in household dust. When this dust is disturbed during routine daily activities or during cleaning, they can again easily become airborne. The inhalation of mold spores can cause allergies, trigger asthma attacks, and in some cases lead to infections in susceptible individuals.
Many types of mold also have the ability to produce toxic metabolites, known as mycotoxins that can exert various toxic effects. Some known potential health effects include mucous membrane irritation; skin rashes; dizziness; nausea; suppression of the immune system; kidney, central nervous system, and lung damage; cancer; and birth defects.
For people concerned about elevated levels of mold in household dust and on surfaces, IAQ Index has developed a simple way that homeowners and tenants can test their indoor environment. “The surface dust sampling method used by the IAQ Index Mold Kit provides an indirect measure of the potential exposures that may be present in an environment,” reported Bruce Jacobs, CIH, President of IAQ Index. “The test results provide information concerning whether there may be mold growth in the area, whether there may be an excess water or moisture problem within the area, and whether the environment contains normal or elevated levels of mold spores.”
To help further educate people about this issue, IAQ Index has sponsored an online video discussing house dust allergens and indoor air quality that can be seen at:
About IAQ Index
IAQ Index was developed by a Certified Industrial Hygienist with decades of experience dealing with indoor air quality issues. IAQ Index was developed as a health-based, easy-to-understand, air quality index that is calculated from data generated for various parameters commonly measured during IAQ surveys. The approach is similar to the EPA’s Air Quality Index that has been used historically to communicate the risks posed by common pollutants in the ambient air.