Indoor mold can trigger allergies or allergy-like symptoms affecting the upper respiratory system. Although other, more serious problems may occur if people are exposed to very high levels of mold, the most common complaints are:
- nasal and sinus congestion
- wheeze/breathing difficulties
- sore throat
- skin and eye irritation
- upper respiratory infections (including sinus infections)
The effect of mold on different people can vary widely. However, long-term exposure to high levels from indoor mold growth can eventually be unhealthy for anyone. The following groups of people may be at greater risk than others:
- infants, children and the elderly
- individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as severe indoor allergies and asthma
- persons with weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients)
MDH recommends that you consult a medical professional if you feel your health is being affected by a moldy environment.
In addition to health complaints, mold damages building materials, goods, or furnishings when it grows on them. Mold growth and moisture may eventually compromise the building’s structural integrity. Because of potential health concerns and damage to property, molds should not be allowed to grow and multiply indoors.