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The Effects of Mold in Human Health

You probably get tired of cleaning your bathroom or your kitchen repeatedly, but you also probably don’t realize that the mold that is accumulating in these areas of your home, and others that aren’t as easy to spot, are having adverse effects on your health. The effects of mold on our health can be serious and needs to be addressed quickly.

It’s a pain in the butt to constantly scrub down damp or moist surfaces that often accumulate mold, but when you see what it can do, it makes sense why it’s so important to clean. Here are some of the ways that mold harms our health.

Respiratory Illness

General respiratory illness is a problem that can occur from inhalation of mold over a prolonged period of time. It won’t happen overnight, but if left unchecked, mold spores will spread and expand. Problems like wheezing and coughing can lead to issues like pneumonia, especially in young children and seniors, which is why it’s so important to remove it when you can. A major disease or infection that can occur as a result of mold exposure is bronchitis. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs, similar to asthma but more severe, and causes heavy coughing/wheezing and may result in coughing up mucus. This infection, if chronic and left untreated, can wind up result in pulmonary diseases.


It sounds far-fetched, but there have been studies linking exposure to mold in homes to an increase in depression. This may be partly due to the effects of lack of control over the home and could trigger the need for commercial mold treatment to stem the growth. Depression also leads to a weakened immune system and a higher exposure to illness.

Throat Irritation

As an additional aspect of the respiratory problems, throat irritation becomes a common problem. In areas of the home where there is plenty of mold present, it’s important to take note of your breathing. Mold spores are microscopic, so they’re impossible to see with the naked eye, and once they get into your throat and nasal passageways, they cause irritation.


Plenty of people suffer from asthma, which is a respiratory disease wherein the bronchial tubes (airways) of the lungs become inflamed and swollen, causing shortness of breath and tightness in the chest/lungs. Mold not only exacerbates this problem, but unchecked mold treatment can lead to asthma developing in young children. It’s harder for adults to develop it, but it’s a serious concern for children who have weaker lungs.

Increased Allergic Reaction

Speaking of exacerbation, people who suffer from allergic reactions, like stuffy or runny noses, coughing, or wheezing because of air particles like dander or pollen will have increased symptoms because of mold spores. It’s no surprise that the more particles that are in the air, the more likely it will be that people who deal with these issues will suffer, but it’s hard to tell as many people believe it is just regular old household dust causing it. It may in fact be a direct result of mold that is causing a very similar reaction, as a lot of the health issues surrounding mold are similar in nature regarding the respiratory system.

Inflamed Airways

Again, the nature of mold and its effects on human health almost all seem to revolve around the development of respiratory problems. Another issue is the inflammation of the airways in a general sense. It’s a nuisance and can cause a stuffy nose, itchy throat, irritation, and other problems listed above, but it is not an indicator of a more serious problem in many cases if you remove the mold. Still, it is good to pay attention to these signs as they may indicate that there is mold present.


Inflaming airways and hurting your respiratory system can cause problems for the brain as the reduction in clean and clear oxygenation of the blood may result in headaches. These headaches can be a result of closed and confined spaces being rife with mold that causes discomfort. Small bathrooms are a major concern for this because of moisture content and because of the fact that steam in an enclosed space will help disperse mold spores, which could lead to headaches or migraines over time.

Mold is found everywhere, and most worrisome is where it is in your home. It’s hard to see sometimes, but it’s there, and you need to know what it can do to you if left unchecked, so you understand how to protect your health.