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Mold

Why is there mold in my house?

Mold is found everywhere, both inside and outside. It is most likely to grow where there is moisture (water) and in damp places like bathrooms and basements. Mold releases spores into the air, especially when disturbed. The number of spores is likely to be highest where the most mold is growing.

How does mold affect my health?

Most types of mold are not a problem for healthy adults. Very heavy growths of mold may make allergies, hay fever, and asthma worse. It can also cause coughs, congestion, eye irritation, skin rashes, and runny noses. If someone is not in good health, or has a weak immune system, more serious health effects, like fevers and breathing problems may result. The affects can be worse in very young infants (those less than 6 months old).

How can I eliminate mold in my house?

Most mold grows near water damaged areas, or places of high humidity and dampness. Removing the source of moisture; repairing water damaged areas, and dehumidifying moist areas, should help reduce mold problems. Thorough cleaning of areas with mold growth should also help keep problems at a minimum. After that, any areas where mold appears should be cleaned as soon as possible. An adult who is in good health should do the cleaning, and use a soapy / detergent solution. Gloves, goggles, and a respirator (N-95) are recommended (by the EPA), and should be worn while cleaning mold. Dry these areas after cleaning. Discard any rags or sponges used for this cleaning.

What should I do if I think my health or the health of my family has been affected?

If you feel you or anyone in your household has been affected by mold, you should see a physician. Be sure to talk to him or her about the exposure to mold. Many of the symptoms of exposure to mold could also be the result of many other causes.

Is more information available?

You can visit the following web site(s) for more information:

US Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov/iaq/molds)
American Lung Association (http://www.cdc.gov/health/mold.html)

If Nassau County residents have additional questions or concerns regarding Mold in their dwelling, they can call the Nassau County Department of Health – Residential Environment Unit at 516-227-9686.