Causes of Mold

Learn how widespread toxins are and its effects on your health

There is a shocking amount of toxin cases that go unnoticed, unknown, and untreated in the world. 7 million deaths per year are linked to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Of the 21.8 million people reported to have asthma in the United States, approximately 4.6 million are estimated to be attributable to dampness and mold exposure in the home.

An estimated 45 million buildings in the United States have unsafe levels of toxins. Infants exposed to toxins in their living environments have an approximate 3x risk of becoming asthmatic than those who are not exposed to toxins. 95% of chronic sinus infections have been attributed to mold. A high number of doctors are not trained to identify toxin illness. Up to 25% of the population are genetically predisposed to being more susceptible to toxin illness.

Every year, nearly 600,000 children under the age of five die from diseases caused by or exacerbated by the effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution. Millions of people are suffering from respiratory diseases that affect their physical and cognitive development. In the United States alone, the cost of dealing with allergic rhinitis, acute bronchitis, and asthma caused from exposure to indoor dampness and toxins are staggering. For acute rhinitis: $3.7 billion; acute bronchitis: $1.9 billion; asthma morbidity: $15.1 billion; and asthma mortality: $1.7 billion.

One out of six Europeans—or the equivalent of the entire country of Germany—report living in unsafe buildings; i.e., buildings that have damp (leaking roof, damp floor, walls, or foundation), a lack of daylight, and inadequate heating. People in such homes are 40% more likely to have asthma, various respiratory illnesses, and a risk of developing of non-respiratory diseases.

92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceed the World Health Organization limits. Some 3 million deaths a year are linked to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution is almost as deadly, with an estimated 6.5 million deaths in 2012.

Studies across the world and also in India prove that outdoor and indoor air pollution is a serious environmental risk. It has been identified as the fifth highest cause of morbidity in India. Four children die an hour of pneumonia caused by respirable suspended particulate matter (PM), which form a large part of the air people breathe. This adds up to approximately 104 deaths per day, and 38,000 a year. In a recent Pan-European study, they estimate that exposure to indoor pollutants is linked to reduced life expectancy and burden of disease (57% of the total burden relates to cardio diseases, 23% to lung cancer, 12% of asthma, and the remaining 8% is associated with other respiratory conditions). The estimated cost of health problems associated with mold and damp is 450 million euros each year. If you add in the cost of repairing the problem the total cost reaches 1.4 billions Euros. This was discovered in a 2012 report from Finland. From a 2011 World Health Organization report: “About 12% of new childhood asthma in Europe can be attributed to indoor toxin exposure, which represents approximately avoidable DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) and 83 potentially avoidable deaths per year.”

From the United States EPA website: One third to one half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants, such as mold and bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions—including asthma—and spread infectious diseases. From a 2009 World Health Organization report: “Indoor air pollution—such as dampness and toxins, mold, chemicals and other biological agents—is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. About 1.5 million deaths each year are associated with the indoor combustion of solid fuels, the majority of which occur among women and children in low-income countries.” The percentage of homes in 31 European countries that are affected by damp, mold, or water damage is staggering. A report concluded that 12.1% of homes had damp, 10.3% had mold, and 10.0% had water damage, giving a total of 16.5% for a combination of these indicators. It is estimated one in every six of the dwellings in Europe have one or all of these issues.

It is our mission to develop more knowledge in order to discover, treat, and reduce health issues connected to toxins, to pass legislation, and encourage better health for the world.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), mold is extremely common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow where there is moisture, where there are leaks, or where there have been flooding. Mold can grow on a great deal of material—such as cardboard, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, drywall, and so on. Unfortunately, the CDC does not have precise information on how often different molds are found.

Mold can be found both indoor and outdoor. It can enter through doors, windows, vents, and the HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). All it takes is one mold spore to attach on a spot where there is excessive moisture, and they will grow. Detection of mold in buildings is limited to sight or smell. This is where it gets dangerous, because mold can grow unseen. More, mold can cause a great deal of sinus problems, reducing the ability to smell it.

So how can we improve conditions? In your home, you can control mold growth by handling humidity levels; fixing leaks promptly; thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding; ensuring ventilation for shower, laundry, and cooking areas. For the humidity, keep the levels as low as you can—between 30% to 50%. A dehumidifier will help. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. The clothes dryer should vent outside as well. Remove carpet out of rooms or areas that have a lot of moisture, such as the basement and bathroom.

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