As trees bloom, that’s when allergies start. Most of us assume our runny noses, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats are caused by pollen. But what’s really causing the mayhem is not just pollen; it can be mold. Why? Because warmer weather and increased humidity create the perfect environment in which mold grows. Mold is a serious allergen, that we don’t often think about as a contributor to allergy and asthma attacks.

allergy causesUnlike pollen, which you can see coating cars, windows, and other items, indoor mold can hide easily in your home (or workplace) – behind walls, in air ducts, under sinks, and in other hard-to-see places.

How do you know if you have a mold allergy? One telltale sign is if your allergies tend to act up when you are in one specific location over others. Indoors, that could mean your home of office. You may have an indoor air quality issue or mold in that location. The symptoms of mold exposure are similar to those of allergic reactions. However, if you suffer from asthma, mold spores can actually complicate your symptoms and even trigger an attack.

Common symptoms of indoor mold exposure can include:

– Sneezing

– Stuffy nose

– Itchy, watery eyes

– Scratchy throat

– Coughing, wheezing

– Runny nose, nasal drip

– Skin rash

So how do you know when your symptoms are no longer allergies and actually a reaction to indoor mold? The best way to find out is to have your home or office tested for mold and indoor air quality by an independent environmental inspector.

RTK Environmental Group is a non-biased company who specializes in environmental testing. RTK can test for mold, indoor air quality, radon, asbestos, lead, and other dangerous toxins that can negatively affect your health. Unlike many companies, RTK only does inspections, so there is no conflict of interest in terms of remediation.

Although there is currently no cure for mold allergies, you can take steps to minimize the symptoms:

– Remove main sources of indoor mold

– Use a dehumidifier

– Regularly clean AC, HVAC, and fan ducts to prevent spores from being distributed (and redistributed)

– Regularly check under your sink for leaks and dampness

– Keep your gutters free from organic debris (year round)

– Regularly clean your bathroom and use the fan after showering, to keep the bathroom dry

Don’t just assume that because you’re sneezing you’re allergic to all pollen and allergens. Indoor mold can cause complications and even pose threatening health risks. By having your home’s indoor air quality regularly tested, not only will you be safer and healthier, but you’ll also breathe easier.

 

Testing for lead isn’t required in the US — and so doctors miss children exposed to the toxin. (Vox)

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