Mold exposure can be dangerous to health, although people may exhibit different symptoms following contact with this common house fungus. The symptoms can generally include headaches, nausea, stomach pains, and the common cold. Further evidence, however, shows that mold exposure can have far more severe side effects than just these minor ailments.
New Findings About Mold Exposure
Two researchers from Rutgers State University, Arati Inamdar and Joan Bennett, are responsible for discovering neurological symptoms following exposure to molds. They published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy Alliances.
The two used fruit flies as test subjects and found that mold emits a chemical compound that triggers Parkinson’s-like symptoms. Human cells were also used to study the compound further, which has since been called “mushroom alcohol.” The consensus is that the chemical compound could also be linked to genes responsible for dopamine’s production and transport.
Dopamine, a chemical that comes from human nerve cells, handles the transmission of messages to the brain. Lack of dopamine is one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and this usually happens when the nerve cells die.
Further Research Exploration
With the fruit flies, the study revealed that they developed movement disorders after they came into contact with the fungus samples. A similar result came out when the subjects were exposed to a pesticide. It indicates that dopamine neuron loss can be caused by mushroom alcohol.
Further research has also shown that the chemical compound attacked VMAT2 and DAT, two genes responsible for dopamine production. In this regard, Bennett and Inamdar noted that there had been an increase in Parkinson’s-like symptoms among rural residents due to pesticide use and their exposure to molds. These findings are significant but may require additional investigation to show the clear connection between mold exposure and Parkinson’s disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Mold Exposure ?
Below are the common effects of mold exposure that you should be aware of:
Eyes, Nose, and Throat Irritation
The eyes, nose, or throat can become itchy after exposure to mold. This is because mold spores can be found in the air. Thus, the quicker you get rid of mold spores, the better it will be for you.
Coughing and Wheezing
Deep Water Emergency Services and Restoration said that mold could produce a variety of reactions in people. If you experience wheezing and/or coughing at home, molds could be around, and your condition can worsen during cold weather.
Sneezing or Stuffy Nose
Allergy symptoms include sneezing and stuffy noses. If you and your family don’t have any history of allergies, molds could be the cause, so you should inspect all areas in your home where mold might have grown.
Rashes or Dry Skin
Molds may not be your initial suspect when you experience dry skin and rashes, although they should be. Certain types of mold can have adverse effects on your skin. Inspect your home for mold if these symptoms suddenly appear out of nowhere.
Watery eyes can also be a sign that you have come into contact with molds. This is especially true if this has not happened to you previously.
Preventive Measures to Stop Mold Growth
You can do many things to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected from the dangers of mold exposure. Below are some of the steps you can take.
Moisture is a critical ingredient in the growth of molds. To ensure moisture is minimized, water leakages should be fixed immediately.
Watch the Carpet
These should not be placed in damp areas such as the basement, laundry room, or bathroom. Additionally, do not leave towels or wet clothes in your washing machine or laundry basket.
As an additional layer of protection, you can use mold inhibitors to protect your walls, especially when painting them. Also, before applying the paint, ensure the surface is completely dry.
Have Good Ventilation
This will involve opening your windows and doors to allow air to circulate freely. In this regard, you should also consider replacing the filters of your air conditioning system so clean and cool air can be enjoyed.
Molds contribute to serious property damage and can also place you in great danger health-wise. Although the studies may still be insufficient, there’s significant proof that exposure to molds for a prolonged period can make you susceptible to Parkinson’s disease. This is a serious neurological disorder with no known cure, as therapy and medication are the only available solutions for now.
Given this and the latest research about mold exposure, it has become increasingly crucial for the home to be effectively protected against this common household fungus. There should now be a more determined effort for people to keep their houses clean and dry to keep harmful mold spores away.