Here’s a scary fact: infants who live in homes that contain mold are three times more likely to develop asthma by age seven, the age at which asthma can be diagnosed, according to a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Led by researchers from the University of Cincinnati, the study determined that early life exposure to mold played a critical role in childhood asthma development. Eighteen percent of children enrolled in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study were found to be asthmatic at age 7. Mold exposure levels were measured using a DNA-based analysis tool developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — the environmental relative moldiness index (ERMI). The tool combines results of the analysis of 36 different types of mold into one index, which describes the mold burden in the homes.
Another study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and Yale University showed a strong connection between children who were exposed to mold in their first year of life and the development of a wheeze and cough by twelve months of age. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs (May 2011), one in ten children in the US had asthma – that’s almost 7 million children. Asthma was also responsible for nearly 3,500 deaths in the US in 2007, and cost nearly $56 billion in direct medical expenses.
Common symptoms of asthma are:
– Coughing, especially at night;
– Wheezing or whistling sound, especially when breathing out;
– Trouble breathing or fast breathing that causes tightness in the skin around the ribs and neck;
– Frequent colds that settle in the chest.
How can you protect your newborns from asthma? The first step is to know if you have mold in your home. The best way to do that is to have your home tested by a professional. If they determine that levels are too high, they can devise a remediation plan for you so that the problem can be corrected. Call RTK today at (800) 392-6468. Then, both you and your little one will breathe a whole lot easier!