Some people are sensitive to molds, which are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Mold typically grows in humid conditions and spreads by making spores. Some types of mold are benign, some are allergenic and some are toxic.
Exposure to mold can result in nasal stuffiness, sore throat, eye irritation, or skin irritation.
Toxic black mold is dangerous to everyone and can cause neurological symptoms, such as confusion, dizziness, impaired learning ability, anxiety, depression, aggression, and seizures.
There have been many instances of children improving or recovering from autism symptoms once they were living in an environment free from mold, whether it be from moving out of a home, or professional remediation of a toxic mold problem.
The following are labs that can test to see if you or your child have been exposed to mold
Professional Testing for Mold in Your Home
Look for a certified mold inspector in your area. Both a visual inspection and air sampling can be done to determine the type of mold that may be present. An outdoor sample is typically taken to compare to the indoor samples. The air sampling lets you know if mold spores are being released into the air. Mold often goes unseen, such as residing behind sheetrock, behind washer/dryers, under dishwashers. The inspector will provide you with a report, which will tell you what types of spores are present.
Typical Cost is around $300-400 for 3 or 4 samples.
I recommend finding a mold inspection company that does not also remediate to avoid conflict of interest. This company has some great information.
DIY Testing for Mold in Your Home
Dust sampling is an effective way to assess the health of your environment. You can do this yourself with an ERMI test kit.
Cost is $165
More information can be found on the Moms Aware website.
Finding a qualified company for the remediation of mold in your home is very important. If safe practices during remediation are not followed, airborne spores may increase and/or spread to unaffected parts of your home.
Remediation costs vary depending upon the extent of the issue you are dealing with. It is wise to get several quotes, as well as understand each company’s practices. Also consult your home owners insurance company to see if the cost of remediation would be covered under your policy.
If you have the extra money, it may be wise to hire an Environmental Engineering Consulting firm like RT Environmental Services to oversee the work that the mold remediation company is doing.
Detoxing From Mold
If labs have determined that your family has been exposed to toxic mold, it is a good idea to follow a protocol to detoxify your body. Please review Mold MD for more information.
Suggestions for your home
There are things you can do to help clean your home after mold exposure. Because mold spores attach to dust, the mold gets embedded in your carpet. Removing your carpet and installing a hard surface would be ideal. Otherwise, invest in a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner, like Dyson, that does not push/blow dust around.
Depending on the scope of the problem, it may be wise to dispose of furniture that has been exposed to mold spores. This can be costly, but necessary for your health and future, as mold can return.
Invest in an air purifier like IQAir.
Respect any water issues you have by taking care of them immediately.
Clean any visible mold with detergent and vinegar (half water/ half vinegar, and a squirt of dish soap will do).
Install a dehumidifier in your basement. Finished basements often have hidden mold behind drywall, so it’s sometimes more safe to have an unfinished basement.
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