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Mon, 19 Mar 2012 11:09:49 EST Molds are found in virtually every environment, both indoors and outdoors. Although fungus and fungi are the more accurate scientific terms, "mold" and "mildew" are the non-technical names that are most commonly used to refer to any fungus that is found indoors.
Molds originate from the outdoors and are typically brought indoors through open doors and windows; by pets, and shoes and clothing; and via heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems that bring in outdoor air. These molds can then obtain the nutrients and moisture from indoor sources that permit them to grow on various surfaces. Building conditions that can increase moisture levels and mold growth include inadequate ventilation, condensation of water on surfaces, and water leakage or flooding.
'Exposure to molds is associated with numerous potential health effects,' reported Bruce Jacobs, CIH, President of IAQ Index, a leading mold and indoor air quality (IAQ) test kit manufacturer. 'The most common health hazard is allergic reactions. An estimated 6-10% of the general population is sensitized to mold allergens, and research shows that exposure to mold plays a role in the exacerbation of asthma and may play a role in the development of asthma. Some molds have shown the ability to produce infections. Most of the recorded infections are in hospital settings, but those individuals with weakened immune systems are at risk in any setting. Finally, many molds also have the ability to produce toxic metabolites, known as mycotoxins, that can also exert various toxic effects,' he continued.
Mold exposure occurs primarily through the inhalation of airborne spores and fragments of the mold structure. These can become airborne when settled dust is disturbed, active mold growth is disturbed, or when the molds naturally release their spores into the surrounding air.
IAQ Index has developed an easy to use mold test kit to help people identify mold contamination issues. To learn more, please visit IAQ Index at http://www.IAQIndex.com, email info@IAQIndex.com or call (888) 259-3883.
About IAQ Index
IAQ Index was developed by a Certified Industrial Hygienist with decades of experience dealing with indoor air quality issues. IAQ Index was developed as a health-based, easy-to-understand, air quality index that is calculated from data generated for various parameters commonly measured during IAQ surveys. The approach is similar to the EPA's Air Quality Index that has been used historically to communicate the risks posed by common pollutants in the ambient air.
Molds are found in virtually every environment, both indoors and outdoors. Although fungus and fungi are the more accurate scientific terms, "mold" and "mildew" are the non-technical names that are most commonly used to refer to any fungus that is found indoors.