How can you get exposed to high concentrations of mold spores? Well the answer is very simple and in this post we will cover some scenarios on how you could get exposed to mold.
Mold is virtually everywhere in the natural environment. Mold spores are found floating in the air and are present on all surfaces. Individuals are exposed to molds in all aspects of their lives. An average person, when resting, takes about 17,280 to 23,040 breaths a day.
Each breath is an opportunity to put pollutants into your lungs. People become exposed, no matter where they go. So, exposure to molds occurs 24 hours.
High Concentrations of Mold Spores
Increased spore concentrations in the indoor environment could be potentially dangerous for infants, the elderly, individuals with respiratory conditions. Ailments such as asthma and people with compromised immune systems are at increased risk of potentially allergic reactions. When materials infested with mold are disturbed, microscopic mold spores and other microorganisms are released and can be easily inhaled (Florida Department of Health).
An individual can be exposed to mold in several ways. However, the primary routes of entry for mold into the body are by ingestion and inhalation.
Common Mold Exposure Scenarios
- Eating moldy foods such as uncooked nuts, grains, and other food items.
- Direct contact with surfaces or items contaminated with mold growth.
- Smelling items that are impacted by mold growth.
- In High humidity conditions: Mold thrives in environments with high moisture levels, so if you live in a damp environment or experience water damage in your home, this could lead to mold growth and possible mold exposure
- Areas in your home with poor ventilation, such as bathrooms and basements, can accumulate moisture and mold growth.
- Mold growth is common in flooded areas, especially if the areas are not correctly addressed by a professional water restoration company. If you experience flooding in your home, ensure you have the area dried out or contact a water restoration company.
- Mold growth can occur on damp or wet building materials such as carpet, drywall, and insulation, so if you have a leak or water damage in your home, take steps to dry the materials or have them removed.
- Outdoor activities such as gardening, raking leaves, and working around compost can expose you to mold spores that are naturally present in the environment.
Reducing Exposure at Home
To help reduce your exposure to mold spores, it is important to maintain good indoor air quality by keeping your home clean, dry, and well-ventilated. If you suspect that you may have a mold problem in your home, it is important to address it promptly by fixing any leaks or water damage and cleaning up any visible mold growth.
Work Related Exposure
- Working in grain processing areas with poor ventilation.
- Working in water-damaged buildings and office environments.
- Working in poorly ventilated areas, structures with leaky roofs, and damp building materials can all contribute to mold growth in the workplace.
- Occupations that involve high moisture levels, such as construction, agriculture, and mold remediation, can lead to mold exposure.
- Working with or around contaminated materials, like waste disposal and sewage treatment.
Reducing Exposure at Work
You can reduce your exposure to mold at work. It is important to follow correct safety protocols and use the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary. If you think there is mold issue in your workplace, discuss it with your supervisor or the building maintenance personnel so correction action can be taken promptly.
Remember, consider your health and consult with you doctor before performing any form of mold removal in your home. In some cases when the mold is over 10 square feet or caused by grey or black water, contact a mold remediation professional for assistance.