Leviticus 14:39-47: The priest shall come again on the seventh day and shall look; and if the disease has spread in the walls of the house, he shall command that they take out the diseased stones and cast them into an unclean place outside the city. He shall cause the house to be scraped within round about and the plaster or mortar that is scraped off to be emptied out in an unclean place outside the city. And they shall put other stones in the place of those stones, and he shall plaster the house with fresh mortar. If the disease returns, breaking out in the house after he has removed the stones and has scraped and plastered the house, then the priest shall come and look, and if the disease is spreading in the house, it is a rotting or corroding leprosy in the house; it is unclean. He shall tear down the house--its stones and its timber and all the plaster or mortar of the house--and shall carry them forth out of the city to an unclean place. Moreover, he who enters the house during the whole time that it is shut up shall be unclean until the evening. And he who lies down or eats in the house shall
Molds are the most typical form of fungus found on earth, comprising approximately 25% of the earth’s biomass.
Molds are made up of masses of thread-like cells called hyphae. Under the appropriate conditions, the hyphae will grow into long intertwining strings that form the main body of the fungus, or the mycelium. It is the mass of mycelium that is visible to the human eye.
Molds reproduce via seed-like spores present in the air and soil. However, molds can also spread if a fragment of broken hyphae is transplanted to an area with adequate moisture and organic matter for food. Spores are produced in large numbers. They are located on the hyphae.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
There are many symptoms of mold exposure. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. An allergic reaction is the most common symptom that could include wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Inhalation of fungal spores, fragments (parts), or metabolites (mycotoxins and volatile organic compounds) from a wide variety of fungi may lead to or exacerbate immunologic (allergic) reactions, cause toxic effects, or cause infections.
A single or repeated exposure to mold, mold spores, or mold fragments may cause non-sensitive individuals to become sensitive to mold, and repeated exposure has the potential to increase sensitivity. Allergic responses include “hay fever”-like symptoms, such as headache, sneezing, runny nose, irritated eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Molds can cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. Fungi in buildings may cause or exacerbate symptoms of allergies, especially in persons who have a history of allergic diseases (such as asthma and rhinitis). In addition, molds can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of individuals, whether or not they are allergic to mold. Other symptoms include nasal and sinus congestion, burning, watery and red eyes, a sore throat, a dry cough, and skin irritation.
These and other symptoms may be associated with exposure to mold. But all of these symptoms may be caused by other exposures or conditions unrelated to mold growth. Therefore, it is important not to assume that mold is the cause of such symptoms.
The effects of mold exposure can be acute or chronic. An acute effect is an immediate, severe reaction to a large exposure. A chronic effect may take days, months or years to manifest, and usually comes from small, repeated exposures.
If a person experiences these symptoms only when occupying a particular building, then that person may possibly be experiencing symptoms of mold exposure.
There are four important indoor allergenic molds. They are Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Alternaria. Alternaria and Cladosporium are outdoor molds that can be found indoors if the doors or windows of a building are left open and the spores are carried by air currents.
For more detailed information on mold and its health effects, consult a healthcare professional or the state or local health department.
Though many people mistakenly believe that cleaning surface mold with bleach eliminates the problem, this is not an appropriate solution.
Biocides are substances that can destroy living organisms. The use of a biocide or a chemical that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment indicates their use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of mold spores will remain, but these spores will not grow if the moisture problem has been resolved. If disinfectants or biocides are used, always ventilate the area and exhaust the air to the outdoors. Never mix chlorine bleach with other cleaning solutions or with detergents that contain ammonia because toxic vapors could be produced.
Note that dead mold is allergenic and may cause allergic reactions and other health effects in some individuals, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold. It must also be removed.
Contact a Certified Mold Inspector. I have the training and expertise to give you the peace of mind you need!
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