- 05 May
Everything You Needed to Know About Mold Removal Part 2
4. Mycotoxins – Mycotoxins are a dangerous by-product of mold, the thing that makes you sick. It is a toxin produced by yeasts, mushrooms, and molds. Where there is more fungal growth, there are higher mycotoxin levels. Toxins vary greatly in their severity. Some fungi weaken the immune system without producing any symptoms specific to that toxin, some fungi produce severe toxins under specific conditions, some are lethal, some have no known effect on humans and others act like irritants or allergens.
Mycotoxins cause a variety of short and long term health effects as well, ranging from immediate toxic response and immune-suppressions to long term carcinogenic effects. Symptoms may include recurring cold and flu-like symptoms, dermatitis, sort throats, excessive fatigue, diarrhea, headaches and impaired immune function.
Your body may also feel weakened and not able to fight off diseases and you may end up with infections. Misdiagnoses of mycotoxin exposures are common because these symptoms may also be caused by many other diseases.
How do you clean up mold?
To eliminate mold, you’ll first need to eliminate the source. Figure out where and how the moisture is getting into your home, then deal with it accordingly. Once the moisture issue is solved, you can then begin removing the mold. The mold must be removed completely and entirely. Just spraying chlorine bleach everywhere will not make the mold go away, and will not address the spread of VOCs, mycotoxins or mold spores. The best way to remove mold is with a non-chlorine mold cleaning product. Enzyme-based products have proven to be both effective and safe at removing mold because of their power to break apart the fungal biomass. Always research brands of products carefully to ensure they are safe for your family, pets, the environment, and the surface you are cleaning.
In addition, it is always in your best interest to use a surgical face mask and other protective gear. You don’t want to breathe in mold. Use a long-sleeved shirt and long pants underneath the protective outfit. Remember too that even the best protective gear is no guarantee that you are safe from the toxins associated with traditional mold removal.
Mold Cleaners and Killers
There are a variety of mold cleaners, killers, and inhibitors on the market that use chemicals. Chlorine is dangerously and very regularly used for mold clean-up, but we do not recommend it. While chlorine bleaches away the mold stain, the mold always returns. It is never fully removed from the surface. Typical mold clean up methods require protective gear to protect you from both the mold and the chlorine bleaching products. Even a small mold clean-up can expose you to hazardous products and by-products. In addition, chlorine and mold have both been linked to allergies, childhood asthma and poor indoor air quality. Often chlorine bleach is just as toxic as the mold. New research has linked the residue compounds left by chlorine cleaners, called organochlorides, to many illnesses from respiratory disorders to cancer.
About the Author
My journey as a Cleveland home inspector began 15 years ago when I was buying real estate properties in Ohio. Because they were my investments, I wanted to make sure I was getting a great deal, so I decided to learn everything I could about general home inspections.