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Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold

Mold Exposure in Kids Increases Asthma Risk

mold testing dc 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 spring allergy moldasthmatic 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.

mold allergy connecticutCommon 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!





Categories
Healthy Home Mold

Has Mold Moved Into Your Summer Home?

It’s vacation time, and when you put the key in the door of your beach house or mountain cabin, the last thing you want to smell is the musty odor of mold and mildew, but it happens to owners and renters alike. So what can you do if you walk into a moldy mess?

“The first thing to do is open the windows and get air flowing,” Robert Weitz, Certified Microbial Investigator and principal of RTK Environmental Group says. Weitz said that this is a common problem because many vacation homes sit empty and closed up over the winter months, collecting moisture, as air conditioning or heat has been turned off for the season. “Mold is not picky – it only needs moisture and a food source, such as wood, ceiling tiles, carpet or sheet rock, to begin growing.”

Whether you hire a mold inspector or put up with it will probably depend on whether you are the owner or renter, how long you will be there, and whether you or your vacationers have allergy or breathing issues.

Short-Term Solutions:

–      Keep the windows open as much as possible if it’s dry out;

–      A dehumidifier can also help lessen the moisture in the air;

–      If you decide to turn on the A/C, change the filter first;

–      Wipe off any visible mold on walls, floors and tiles with a bleach/water mixture;

–      Allergy medication may help lessen symptoms;

–      Let the owner know that they have a mold problem;

 

The Best Solution:

–      Get an independent mold inspection to identify the source;

–      Pinpoint if the mold is toxic or not;

–      Have the mold properly remediated.

Remember, if you are the owner or plan to be there for an extended stay, mold could affect your health causing wheezing, asthma, and allergy symptoms. The home should be tested by a certified microbial investigator, who can then advise you as to the next steps depending on the outcome of the mold testing. Whatever the case, mold can become a big issue quickly, so don’t ignore it!