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Mold

Mold can cause health problems that range from itching eyes, sneezing and coughing to serious allergic reactions, asthma attacks and even permanent lung damage. Mold could be growing in your home right now.

It may not matter how neat and clean you are. Some mold just keeps coming back as fast as you get rid of it because it comes from inside the walls or above the ceiling. Households usually find it on walls, floors, ceilings, carpets and fabrics exposed to moisture, one particularly troublesome hiding place is inside the ductwork and associated components of central forced-air heating and air-conditioning systems. Fogging the ductwork.
Many notice it in the shower area.

Watch for when you start up your central heating systems. Many find themselves suddenly coughing, wheezing and sneezing. The forced air circulates mold spores found naturally in the air through parts of the system that often have dust on their surfaces.

Many molds survive by eating dust then all the spore needs is moisture, including humidity in the air itself.

Because it can hide inside a wall and in heating and air conditioning ductwork it can be expensive to find.Fogging the ductwork.

If there does not appear to be actively growing mold in the heating system, additional testing may be necessary if people detect spores or are staying sick.

Air samples taken by an expert are needed. If high levels are detected that warrants further investigation.

Leaks from apartments or appliances on the floor above can saturate the wood, wallboard and insulation in walls and ceilings, creating an ideal incubator.

Homes, apartments, office buildings that do not have openable (that are actually opened regularly) windows will recycle stale air that should be exchanged with non polluted outside air. If you suspect your living space, sleep outside somehow (maybe go camping) and see if you feel better. Hint. The mountain air is most often a good comparison to how your home should feel when you breathe. If you suspect mold make sure you dust well (included venetian blinds) before checking for mold as the dust can collect and give you a false or  misdirected read and make you think the mold is in the walls instead of in the dust that you can easily remove. DUST OFTEN. If you think you have mold hire a mold inspection specialist. Household gas heating systems warm and dry the air and often create stuffiness. BEWARE. Fogging the ductwork.

I got tested for mold and discovered I got very irritable when it was scratched tested into my skin.  So mind your moods and develop your lungs. Take the Free Breathing Tests regularly http://www.breathing.com/tests.htm 

Sensitization to airborne moulds and severity of asthma: cross sectional study from European Community respiratory health survey. 
Zureik M, Neukirch C, Leynaert B, Liard R, Bousquet J, Neukirch F; European Community Respiratory Health Survey.

European Community Respiratory Health Survey, Unit 408 Epidemiologie, Faculte de Medecine Xavier Bichat, BP 416, 75870 Paris CEDEX 18, France. zureik@vjf.inserm.fr

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the severity of asthma is associated with sensitisation to airborne moulds rather than to other seasonal or perennial allergens.

DESIGN: Multicentre epidemiological survey in 30 centres.

SETTING: European Community respiratory health survey.

PARTICIPANTS: 1132 adults aged 20-44 years with current asthma and with skin prick test results.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Severity of asthma according to score based on forced expiratory volume in one second, number of asthma attacks, hospital admissions for breathing problems, and use of corticosteroids in past 12 months.

RESULTS: The frequency of sensitization to molds (Alternaria alternata or Cladosporium herbarum, or both) increased significantly with increasing asthma severity (odds ratio 2.34 (95% confidence interval 1.56 to 3.52) for either for severe v mild asthma). This association existed in all of the study areas (gathered into regions), although there were differences in the frequency of sensitisation. There was no association between asthma severity and sensitization to pollens or cats. Sensitization to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus was also positively associated with severity. In multivariable logistic regressions including sensitization to molds, pollens, D pteronyssinus, and cats simultaneously, the odds ratios for sensitization to moulds were 1.48 (0.97 to 2.26) for moderate v mild asthma and 2.16 (1.37 to 3.35) for severe v mild asthma (P<0.001 for trend).

CONCLUSIONS: Sensitivity to molds is a powerful risk factor for severe asthma in adults. This should be taken into account in primary prevention, management, and patients' education.  PMID: 12193354 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

Helpful hint from Mike: If you suspect a mold issue in your sleeping space, weather and wild animals permitting, try sleeping outside a few nights and see if you wake up more refreshed. OR maybe a hotel stay can help with that.

Learn about Sick Buildings.

From Science news

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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
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