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Symptoms of Mold Exposure & Who is Most At Risk

Mold affects different types of people in many different ways. Every person comes into contact with some type of mold spore daily, however a majority of people don’t suffer severe side affects. Mold symptoms generally resemble hay fever – rash, fatigue, as well as severe to mild headaches have been reported. Generally speaking, and according to Vicki Lankarge, there are 5 main symptoms that anyone who comes into contact with mold may experience:

5 Symptoms of Exposure to Mold

  • Nasal and Sinus Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Skin and/or eye irritation
  • Upper respiratory infection including sinus

Mycotoxins

If everyone comes into contact with mold spores daily, why does it only affect some people? In most cases, its not that mold isn’t affecting that individual, its that the mold the individual is taking in, does not carry mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are what cause these symptoms and what are so poisonous to humans.

Who is Most at Risk for Symptoms of Mold Exposure?

Because mold can harm anyone no matter how healthy they are, this is a harder question to answer. According to Vicki Lankarge, there are three ‘types’ of people that are more susceptible to mold exposure problems:

  • Individuals with a respiratory disorder such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Individuals who have an immune system already weakened by cancer or HIV
  • Individuals that are either very old, or very young

Remember, these problems are not limited to these people, because anyone who comes in contact with mold can be harmfully affected.

Do You have Children, specifically Babies?

Young children, especially babies are more susceptible to severe mold problems. Their immune systems are still developing and especially in babies, their lungs are still growing stronger. According to Lankarge, there have been 45 cases since the incident in Ohio. 16 of these infants have died. When, small infants breathe in the mycotoxins, the blood vessels in their lungs are weakened. Repeated exposure to these mycotoxins, causes severe pulmonary hemorrhaging, or bleeding in the lungs.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source: What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Mold (And What to Do About It) by Vicki Lankarge, Pages 28-31.

42 Responses to “Symptoms of Mold Exposure & Who is Most At Risk”

  1. I work for a mold remediation company and I can tell you that if the guys come back from a job and walk through the office, my eyes immediately start itching, my face stings and I get a sore throat. Seriously. Once when I worked back in the warehouse for a week, my chest felt really heavy and I had a headache that nothing would take away. I can’t even imagine living with mold in my home … and will tell anyone who has it to get it removed as fast as you can.

  2. Profession:
    Office worker

    About Me:
    Married with 3 children

    Best Recommended Resource and Why
    http://www.biosignlabs.com

    Was very ill for a about a year….had the same symptoms as the flu at first but steadily got worse and started to lose my hair…..had read about mold sickness but my doctor just said I was run down and wouldn’t test for it. I called Biosign Labs, who test for mold allergens and the results showed extensive mold exposure. Armed with the lab results, I took it to my doctor who could then prescribe me the proper course of medication to help my recover.

  3. My husband has had a sore raspy throat for about 6 months now. Doctors told him that it was acid reflux, and he has been on expensive medication all this time. We have a little mold around our window but I try to clean it off often. Who knows what is lurking behind the old walls. He has been to two specialist and an allergist. When we go on vacations it seems to go away. Could it be mold? This house is 60 or 70 years old. The climate here is damp and rainy. PLEASE CAN YOU HELP!

  4. Please let the poster who works for the mold remediation company know that the workers are not following rules if they walk through her office in mold-infected clothes. All HAZMAT suits from jobs should be properly bagged and disposed of, even before they get in their trucks, otherwise they are spreading toxic spores, endangering the poster and taking spores home to their families. Someone is not following rules. If they don’t comply, she should contact OHSA. Her life may be at risk.

    AS for who gets sick from mold: anyone. I did not (and still don’t) have asthma, nor was I allergic to mold. In concentrated indoor areas, ANYONE can inhale spores, which can set up home in your lungs and spread throughout the blood system, infecting every organ, including the brain. Been there, almost died from that. Sadly, there are few doctors who know how to treat mold. I would have been better off seeing a vet, as they know about moldy hay and “Farmer’s Lung”. I saw 22 doctors before I finally found someone to help me before it turned into cancer (it was close). Someday I may even be able to work again. And someday, our government will finally fess up to the dangers of mold (think lead paint and asbestos)so those of us downed by it can collect disability while we’re fighting for our lives.

  5. we have been living in our house now for 9 years… i just recently discovered we have a extreme mould problem growing behind wallpaper where the gib board is sodden and badly needs replacing.. now my question is “my three youngest children seem to be always suffering with vomiting and diaorreah bugs.. would this be the mould affecting there amune systems and making them continuously sick.. i am concerned about this.. please help..

  6. I’m looking for information on curing toxic mold poison to my body when I was expose to alot of toxic mold. I can only eat 6 different foods right now due to the allergic reaction to molds in food now. I know their is other people like me I need help on a cure. thanks

  7. I am considering getting the mold blood test done from biosign labs. Anyone else ever had this done? I have been very sick especially last three months. Going in for sinus surgery on 17th of Dec I have a feeling though all my problems are from mold exposure from our house (which we have moved out of recently). Thanks

  8. Hello,
    I scheduled a blood test with Biosign Labs and am now secon-guessing my decision. Does anyone know about their credibility? This isn’t a scam is it?
    please reply

  9. What about recovery? All over the internet I see instances of mold exposure and health problems. HOW does one recover?

  10. Melissa,

    They are a real company, we had are testing done with them last year..the results were positive as we expected.

    We needed those results to prove our lawsuit.

    Nancy

  11. My mom lived with me and my family till she was old enough to move into senior living center in are town. She moved in, in March 2006 by February 2007she went to the Hospital complaining she felt sick. She came out having to use Oxygen for the rest of her life. Could get around at first ok but the longer she has lived there the sicker and sicker she has become. Before she moved into this place she was very active volunteering at are local Hospital, walking there everyday volunteering for 4 or 5 hours and walking back home about 2 miles each way. The senior complex is being remolded my mother had hot water heating pipes removed and behind them was all kinds of black mold. Management is acting like it’s no big deal!!

  12. We’ve been renting a garden flat for about 4 and a half months. From day 1 I could smell mold in my bedroom. The owner insisted it was the carpets. One day I decided to change the room around, and so I moved the beds out and I saw that 3 of the 4 walls in the room are covered in black mold. This is the same room that my 3 kids sleep in.
    I am angry with the owner for not informing us about this problem, and I’m not sure what to do. Do we pack up and leave?

  13. My 5 yr old and 2 yr old twins are always getting vomiting bugs. Could black mould in the creases of the splash back of the kitchen bench be causing this? I’m desperate for answers!

  14. Rachael, have you had your home tested for mold? Do you notice any improvements when you are _not_ at home?

  15. My heart goes out to anyone who is living with a mold type illness. My husband and I are in the middle of our own mold nightmare right now. We are being treated by Dr. Richie Shoemaker, author of “Mold Warriors”. He is located in Pokomoke, Maryland if you need his help.

  16. We recently purchased a house built in 1953 that is not wet at all. We run a dehumidifier in the basement all the time. We had a home inspection before purchasing the house, and nothing was said about mold at all. However, upon further inspection by my husband and I, we noticed what looks like pennicillum mold growing on the plaster ceiling in the living room and master bedroom. We have drop ceilings in both rooms and regular plaster ceiling under that, where the mold is growing. There is no obvious water damage or moisture. Is this dangerous? Should I just clean the 2 areas with a bleach solution, or call a professional? HELP!!

  17. Lord have mercy. Everyone here seems to be pretty freaked out by mold.
    #1. Mold ONLY grows on Organic materials, where it breaks down the composition of the host (feeds off it), with that in mind….how in the world could it possibly grow in your body????? C’mon.
    #2. Mildew is the ONLY fungal that can possibly grow within a humans lungs.

    Keep in mind…these points are based on my personal research. I have worked as an office manager for a remediation company where I am very well versed in the field (hands on), also. I study everything I can on mold so that when I speak to customers I can “know” what I am speaking on.

  18. Great post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired! Very useful info particularly the remaining part :) I maintain such info a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  19. I’m interested in using Biosign Labs, but money is very tight right now. Can any of you who have used it give me an idea of the cost?? I’m assuming it is not covered by insurance?? Thanks so much.

  20. My 20 month old suffers from bad colds an respitory illnesses could this be caused by mold he has been sick since he was born

  21. So i am absolutely disgusted and upset. My 8 month infant has been sick for roughly 2 weeks and has been put on various antibotics for his cough and being sick. Tonight I notice a weird smell coming from my “Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper” and start to pull it apart and notice there is MOLD from the bottom to the top on the nonwashable part of the sleeper and all over the back part of the washable part. So I googled it and found that this has been a problem that fisher price is aware of. I have been a longtime buyer of fisher price products but this has been the most hardcore blow in child safety I have ever encountered.

    SHAME ON YOU!

    Disgusted & Upset Parent

  22. Another place where you can be treated from fungi mycotoxins is The Mold Treatment Center of America in Alpharetta Georgia.EHAP does blood and urine analysis.

  23. can mold be harmful to cats

  24. In 2011 I was living in my grandmothers basement for over a year & 8 months . As i was living down there i could tell something was wrong. Knowing that there was mold but not knowing the severity of it.It is now 2013 & although i moved upstairs & no longer live in the basement, I am still very sick. Iv gone to my doctors more then enough times that they actually suggested i get a job there one day. Iv spoken to many different nurses & one of them told me that as long as i stay away from it, that it should clear up. Mind you as a young child suffereing from weak immune system & bad asthma & being pron to the mold for a long period of time youd think that itd be something to look into . Iv done my research on it & im suffering from alot of the side effects Im not the same girl i used to be im not energetic like i once was now all i can do without feeling sick is lay in bed, iv also made a page on all the research that iv done, If any one can please help me seek the right care id be honored.. Feel free to check out my Website if your looking for more insite on mold exposure and how dangerous it really is.

  25. A neighbour’s lady was not well last year, she needed her brother’s blood and the whole ordeal weakened her greatly. She was ok for a few days and then her condition worsened greatly. She had pressure in her head which had to be released. When the doctors did they found out she had a fungus growin in her brains. The next day she fell into a coma and then died 2 days later.
    This could well have been caused by the moldy apartment they lived in, but the landlady never cared to get it fixed. I read about the harm it can cause. If the body is weakened those mold spores can be inhaled and the blood stream can transport them to the brain. Her brain was literally molding away. Scary thought! I think mold should never be handled as if it’s nothing. It CAN definately cause harm and should be taken care off in any case.
    The house I live in has mold aswell in some of the bedrooms. The first reaction from my landlady is quite typical for houseowners “Oh you air the room wrong or not enough!” Plus then she said mold would only be dangerous if the whole wall was full, but not a bit. I don’t think so, no matter if little or a lot, it IS unhealthy in any way. I hate these responses when they try to play it down or if you get them to do something they wanna get away with it as cheap as possible. Health should be worth an effort and then the place would be worth it’s quite pricy rent!

  26. I have three young kids, 3, 4 &7 yrs old.they seem to be getting sick often, have had a cOugh for over a week.doctors say it’s just a virtual, ccan mold be reason for mY son vomiting at night,for all three of mY kids coughing, running nose, my one son gets rashes like breaks out In hives out of nowhere, this is scary.please let me know what I should do,should I get out?

  27. I work at a restaurant and all the employees seem to always be sick. The other cook and I are regularly coughing, sneezing and have running noses. I know we have mold that’s been covered up with paint from one inspection to the next. Is this getting us sick? I’m now hurting in my muscles and really weak. I don’t know whats wrong with me and i don’t have medical coverage please tell me what u think.

  28. Tabitha I’m sorry about your situation. Do you have any idea what is causing the mold? I would recommend you look into these articles:

    http://moldblogger.com/10-health-risks-of-toxic-mold/

    http://moldblogger.com/toxic-mold-litigation-who-is-legally-responsible-and-do-i-have-a-case/

    and this book:

    Are You Moldy? by Lori Tondini (I haven’t read it all the way through yet, but my wife has, and recommends it)

    I recommend you post your situation to the questions page http://moldblogger.com/questions/ask/ so more people can see and respond to you.

    I wish you all the best!

  29. My sister and I have been upset all week,her 1 month old grandson has been in the hospital,running very high fever,they found 3 spots on his brain and we were told he had spinal meningitis,they just put him in a self induced coma because he started having seizure’s and now they are saying he doesn’t have meningitis he has spots on his brain and the spots are mold,they are flying him to New Orleans,la while in the self induced coma and all we can do is pray,prayers for little 1mth old Zachary are needed and would be much appreciated.To those people who have left comments on this page,(and there are some) that say “mold cannot grow on your body”they have a opinion that people are stupid thinking that,I am here to tell you this nightmare we are in is very real,please take this serious.

  30. My son is almost 8 months old. He got bronchitis very bad after we moved into this house. Ever since.. hes constantky had breathing issuea and coughing like theres flem in is throat. We suspect mold. This is a very old house. Now he has a cold… so hes basixally been sick for 5 months. And docs dont help. Coukd it be mold

  31. After reading this I really need some help, just recently I have been having headaches feeling aches and pains and having breathing difficulty. I have only just noticed black mold spores growing on my bathroom

  32. k After reading this I really need some help, just recently I have been having headaches feeling aches and pains and having breathing difficulty. I have only just noticed black mold spores growing on my bathroom side panel and on the corner of the bath tiles, the bathroom smells of mold very bad, the living room carpet is going black around the edges to. I’m very worried about my 4 year old daughters health :( she has always had a bad immune system after an operation, is this why she is getting bad colds again? Should I leave the property? Thanks in advance x

  33. Yes, I would have the home tested for mold and leave as quickly as possible. Health is so important.

  34. I use lots clove leaf oil with Tea tree or lemon Eucalyptus in a diffuser after a really bad dose of a mould instigated sinus infection in 2012. Our climate in the Blue Mountains of Australia is usually cold and damp for a large part of the year. Gas heating possibly contributes to it. A wood fire may dry out walls better. I also used clove oil in water to clean our basement ceiling and repainted it with anti mould paint.There is rising damp in the walls downstairs and we only use the area in summer as we can then open doors. My family and i also have probiotics, zinc, lots of garlic in our diet. These provide extra nutrition/resistance against mould. Clothes contain spores as well and I always notice it when someone has them in a jacket /sweater, or going into a house with mould. Sun can kill mould spores on clothes. Hope this helps.

  35. if im buying a house on contract and my house is full of mold and theirs to much damage done.and my family and i are in danger living their much longer,i dont have any extra income to fix the problem,what can i do?do i have rights i only owe 12,000 ish left on it.is their anyone who can help people in my situation or not

  36. My name is Dante D Watson. I am a Pharmacist, Certified Homeopath, Naturopath, Orthomolecular Nutritionist and Bach Flower Practitioner. I have a great deal of experience treating adults as well as children with Cancer ( Oncology ). I received my Pharmacy degree 1992. I worked in the Hospital General of Alicante and later moved to the United States of America where I worked in Walgreens Pharmacy in Las Vegas, NV. I gained a great deal of knowledge and insight studying homeopathy courses from CEDH in Barcelona, Spain (Center to Learn and Develop Homeopathy) and later Naturopathy and Acupuncture degrees in Estena in Mallorca, Spain (School of Natural Therapies)

    HIV/AIDS cure also available with roots and herbs

    Contact me via Email: pharmacistdwatson@gmail.com

    Dante D Watson

  37. I am (or was) an Olympic track athlete, got exposed to toxic mold in my house (was the only one sick of 3 people living there). Started with flu like symptoms, then got worse with extreme fatigue, anxiety (in the gut), memory loss, food allergy, rash. Had good financial support and I want to share with you my recovery. Overall I met with 14 doctors (in 3 countries) and about 8 people with experience in this field. I’m fully recovered after about one year treatment. For someone reading this you need to know you will fully recover in 1-2 years. This is not going to kill you, just make you ill.

    1. Get out of the building to be able to start your recovery. No need trying to recover if you are still in the house.

    2. You need to put all your clothes and furniture made of fabric and leather to an ozon chamber (if you have that in your area) and wash it to get the mold out of it. The next best thing would be to wash the clothes in a bathtub with Rodalon. All things made out of wood, glass and such, can be cleand with a spray called oxivir. This sounds crazy but if you had this mold toxcicity you will be super sensitive to it at least while you have not fully recovered.

    3. Diet matters, but it is just one of the very small things compared to the two above. Be careful if your ill and desperate, because a lot of people will use that to “help” you with some food programs and oils and stuff like that. You have to avoid peanuts, caffeine, beer and the food that are giving you rashes and other symptoms (if food allergy is one of the reactions) and avoid over eating. Please don’t fall for someone that is telling you to go on some secret dieting program they are selling you.

    3. Medication. There are medications that help. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker recommends binders, and he is by far the nr. 1 Dr. in the world in this strange field. He has found out that the mold is often in the sinuses, and the gut after you leave the “sick building”, and you need to help the body get rid of it by using drug called Questran (my dose was 16g per day, split in 4 x 4g). Chlorella is recommended. Bentonite is recommended. Pink bismuth (pepto bismol) is recommended. Interface plus is recommended. However, the medicine and the diet is just helping to speed up the recovery. The body will “cure” itself if you follow point 1 and 2 above. I tried 5 different kinds of antibiotics, and steroids (predison) and it did nothing for me. However, the Questran drug helped me a bit. I used symbicort turbohaler to work on breathing problems for the last 3 months of the recovery, and that helped. Also Avamys nasal spray for the last 3 months, to finally kill the sinus infection or the mold that was there.

    4. Before you start this process, be sure that mold is really causing your illness but not the Lyme disease or something else. Get a mold expert to look at the house, because most of the time you do not see the mold, in my case it was in the shower wall, no way to find it until the humidity was measured in that wall and then broken down after I had been sick in bed for 3 months in the house. New study had found that over 90% of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia had a lot of mold measured in their urine..this is what Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker was talking about in a recent interview (http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/79893/mold-toxicity-new-understand-and-treatment-for-a-surprising-common-and-serious-illness).

    5. Although you are very ill, people will just show this illness an understanding to a certain degree, and no matter how much they care for you, after weeks/months of this sickness, moving, financial stress, time off work, dr visits and so on, this is likely to cause a big problem in your marriage/relationship. You will recover, so don’t make any big decisions during this illness. Best of luck

  38. Okay my daughter is 48 days old I live in a government owned apartment she has been hospitalized twice for the same reason and they found fluid in her lungs. Well recently my neighbor above me had a water leak and of course I got all the water so my apartment was flooded for days and the maintance man had removed an air vent and I found black mold in it of course they told me to use bleach and it would get rid of it I’m just wondering could that be why my kid is sick with fever and stuff on her lungs….

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