Every day we’re exposed to smells that would make us sick with long exposure: chemical fumes like the hydrocarbons in car exhaust or the waft of decay from garbage cans or dumpsters. However, the biggest risks to your health are those things you can’t smell – sometimes because you slowly become accustomed to the smell or they have no smell at all because they are always with you in your own home. Today we’re going to look at one of those home health risks that grow on their own, bioaerosols, and how mold is one of the leading causes of them.
What is Bioaerosol?
The term bioaerosol is shorthand for biological aerosols and is a category of airborne particles that are released from biological organisms (including their reproductive or waste processes). You’re exposed to these particles every day, such as tree pollen. The danger is being exposed long-term to hazardous bioaerosols, which most commonly occurs when you’re breathing them in all day at work or home. Bioaerosols are broken down into four categories: fungus (such as spores), bacteria, viruses, and pollen.
Mold Spores: The Risks to Understand
Of these four, most are either inconvenient (such as pollen) or short-lived (such as viruses). However, fungal bioaerosols are particularly insidious due to their ease of growth indoors under the right circumstances, difficulty to detect due to certain strains or desensitization, and the possibility of strong allergic reactions or dangerous chemical releases. In particular, strains such as toxic black mold can carry mycotoxins – dangerous toxins that can cause serious injuries.
Cleaning Up and Disposing of Bioaerosol Sources
The good thing about all bioaerosols is that they only flourish under certain conditions: take away those conditions, and you can solve the problem. For mold, take the following steps:
- Ventilation: Is your building breathing? Proper airflow can avoid pockets of dead air that trap bioaerosols. Make sure your roof vents and other exterior vents are working properly.
- Humidity: Mold thrives in damp spaces, especially those with enough humidity to form condensation. Employ a humidifier in your basement to reduce humidity to below 40%.
- Remove Food Source for Mold: In places where there’s a high chance of mold growth, don’t store paper or clothing. Think about replacing carpeting with removable rugs.
- Manage HVAC and Crawl Spaces: Out-of-the-way places are where mold can thrive. Make sure to inspect HVAC systems and unused rooms in your home, such as attics or crawl spaces.
If you think you’ve got a mold problem, it’s important to deal with it before it becomes a serious issue. Fiber Control, Inc. is a remediation company dedicated to providing the best diagnostic, remediation, and removal services for asbestos, mold, and lead paint in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Contact us today to learn more about your options for dealing with such hazards.