Have you ever walked in your home or school and realized that there was mold on the walls? I don’t know about you guys but the last thing I want to deal with after coming home from a long day of work or school is mold. Recently, I read this interesting article on mold published by researchers at the National Institute of Health (our research agency) on mold. Although I am a public health professional, I learned a lot from this article that I thought it would be a great insight for you guys to know. So I am sharing my reflections from that article.
Mold is a fungus that spreads through damp areas. Actually, there are different types of mold that can be both harmful and not harmful. Many people can inhale mold at school, work, or at their home. Inhalation is the main source of way that people can get exposed and there are many health effects that are caused by the inhalation of mold. People that had respiratory illness prior to getting exposed are most likely to experience adverse effects from mold.
The geographic distribution of mold exposure is different for each country. In the United States, the percentage of the population that has been affected by mold is 24% and 38% in Canada. For cold climate, mold has affected between 5%- 10% of the population. For environments that have a warm climate, 10% through 60% of the population has been affected by mold. People that are allergic to mold can experience symptoms of sneezing and wheezing. However, people that are not allergic can experience, eye irritation, congestion, skin rash, sore throat, and headaches.
People that are in damp and moldy buildings can have an increased risk of respiratory symptoms, infections, and shortness of breath. Towards the end of the article, it mentioned what the National Toxicology Program is working to help with this issue. Some of the future works include, designing methods that can accurately detect the levels of fungal products in floor dust samples taken from water damaged buildings. Another future work is distinguishing the different types of fungi in homes. The sampling involved are measuring temperature, air circulation, humidity, and carbon dioxide.
In summary, I can say that mold is a serious issue that can cause a variety of symptoms and death. It is important that public health officials continue with the efforts of limiting and preventing molds from growing, which can help control and eliminate people from getting sick.
You can learn more about your health and how you can protect and improve your health. For more information, take a look at what the Global Health and Education Projects (GHEP) and volunteers are doing at the Health, Environmental Education and Awareness (HEEA) program. At the HEEA day, we educate members of our community on the relationship between the environment and public health. Experts share nuggets of life-saving health and environment information in a joyful and entertaining atmosphere.
I can tell you that human health is truly complex. But there is hope. Obtaining and empowering ourselves with the latest information and research on different health conditions is important for protecting your health. There are a lot of valuable information published by health care providers, researchers and other experts from around the world. You can read free and updated information on health issues affecting mothers, women, children and families and other health issues such as HIV/AIDS at GHEP’s global health journal on maternal and child health and aids. You can also read other interesting articles on public health, medical research, and how research is changing our lives at the journal of translational medical research and public health known as IJTRansmed. Finally, you can also write and share your comments on any health issue that you’d like to share. You never know who might be saved by reading that little piece of information that you write.
By: Kanisha Blake, BS, MPH (C). Ms. Blake is a Master of Public Health candidate at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA with a concentration in Epidemiology. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Wesley College, Delaware. She is an intern with the Global Health and Education Projects Inc. (GHEP) where she works closely with GHEP leadership in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, participates in supervised research, manages social media, and writes impactful blogs on public health issues.