Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
Health and Mold
Molds can trigger asthman episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma; molds can also trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. Allergic reactions can also be triggered by other biological pollutants such as allergens derived from house dust mites; from other arthropods, including cockroaches; from pets (cats, dogs, birds, rodents); molds; and from protein-containing furnishings including feathers, kapok, etc. People with weakened immune systems may be at risk of developing additional infections when exposed to any of these contaminants.
Homes and Molds
One third to one half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants such as molds and bacteria. Water in your home can come from many sources. Water can enter your home by leaking roofs, leaking pipes, or by seeping through walls or basement floors. Showers or even cooking can add moisture to the air in your home.
Indoor Air Regulations and Mold
Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants. Health effects of mold are being further studied by the Center for Disease Control.