Mold or mildew

Keywords: mold and moisture, mold problems, mold and allergies, mold and asthma, mold and chronic lung disease, moisture, humidifiers, carpet, rugs, kitchens, bathrooms, basement, attic fan, getting rid of mold, controlling mold
Description: Mold in the house isn’t just a problem for people with allergies or asthma. Prevent mold -- and the health problems it causes -- with these basic tips from the experts at WebMD.

For people sensitive to mold, inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing. runny nose. red eyes. and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath. In people with asthma who are allergic to mold. breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks .

In addition to people with allergies and asthma. others who may be more sensitive to the effects of mold include:

  • Infants and children
  • The elderly
  • People whose immune systems are compromised due to HIV infection, cancer. liver disease, or chemotherapy
  • People with chronic lung disease

Molds are small organisms found almost everywhere. They can be black, white, orange, green, or purple. Outdoors, molds play an important role in nature, breaking down dead leaves, plants, and trees. Molds thrive on moisture and reproduce by means of tiny, lightweight spores that travel through the air. You’re exposed to mold every day.

In small amounts, mold spores are usually harmless, but when they land on a damp spot in your home, they can start to grow. When mold is growing on a surface, spores can be released into the air where they can be easily inhaled. If you're sensitive to mold and inhale a large number of spores, you could experience health problems.

Your walls, floors, appliances, carpet, or furniture – they can all provide the food mold needs to grow. But the thing all molds need most is moisture, so you're most likely to see mold in damp places such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawl spaces.

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