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Mold: Health Risks

Purdue Extension > Extension Disaster Education Network > Mold: Health Risks

Mold: Health Risks

What are the health risks of mold exposure?

Most types of mold that we are exposed to every day are not hazardous to healthy individuals. However, some people are more sensitive to mold than others, especially people with allergies, and/or asthma. Mold can trigger asthma attacks so those people who suffer from asthma are more at risk when exposed to mold spores in the environment.

Certain types of molds can produce toxins, called mycotoxins, which the mold uses to inhibit or prevent the growth of other organisms. Mycotoxins can be found in both living and dead mold spores, so they can continue to cause problems even if the surface area containing the mold has been cleaned. Exposure to mycotoxins may present a greater hazard than that of allergenic or irritating molds.

Health problems due to mold exposure:

Resources

EPA: Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals
Lists signs and symptoms from exposure of pollutants. Includes a diagnostic checklist and reference summary.

EPA: Biological Pollutants in your Home
Health effects of biological pollutants, and how to control growth and buildup.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
The National Allergy Bureau is the section of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology that is responsible for reporting current pollen and mold spore levels to the public.

Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners
What is ozone and how is it harmful? Are ozone generators effective in controlling indoor air pollution?