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Harmful Effects of Mold and Their PreventionBY: Amna Adnan | Category: Biology | Submitted: 2010-07-23 23:26:33
Article Summary: "Mold or fungus is a multicellular organism which causes various diseases in humans. Certain precautionary measures should be taken to avoid their growth at homes..."
Molds are the multicellular organisms and are the part of the fungus family. They range from species of tiny molds to large mushrooms. Scientists have estimated that molds evolved about more than 400 million years ago. They are the part of this planet earth and help in degrading organic materials like plants, leaves, wood fiber and other naturally existing materials. They get their food from the organic materials are grown in the form of spores. They comprise a quarter of the whole biomass on the earth. Mold spores are present everywhere in the environment and when humans take breath they inhale spores of molds also.
Molds can also grow on wood and by doing so they change the color of the wood by producing different colored spores like, white, black, yellow, orange and green. They also grow in the damp places especially in wooden houses when they are exposed to floods or moisture. Molds are not beneficial for humans because they cause different kinds of diseases in them like, allergy, irritation, lung bleeding, cancers and many other harmful diseases.
The immune system acts against substances which are normally harmless for the body. Molds are usually allergens. When a person takes breath in the presence of these allergens, the body releases some chemicals and histamine as an immune response. These substances cause swelling and itching in the body. In some cases, mucus production and inmost serious cases hives and rashes appear along with other symptoms. Mold symptoms include runny noses, itchy watery eyes, sneezing and coughing. All these infections lead to severe asthma and sinusitis. It is not necessary that every one get affected to these allergens. May be those people can get affected whose immune system is weak.
When the mold or fungus gets nutrition from organic substances during the degradation process, it produces Volatile Organic Compounds. These volatile organic compounds are the cause of contamination indoors. If the person is exposed to these volatile organic compounds, his mucous membrane and central nervous system can get damaged. It may leads to the irritation of the skin, headaches, and decreased attention span. The person can also face difficulty in concentrating on things and feels dizziness all the time.
Molds and mildews have the ability to damage nerve tissues and it can result in harmful neurotoxin effects. Due to such harmful effects, person may suffer from visual sensitivity and poor neurological function.
Molds can also be the source of causing cancers in humans. When they enter in human's body through breath, they slowly suppress the immune system and cause damage to lungs, heart, intestines and kidneys and skin. These areas get susceptible to the cancer.
Prevention from Mold:-
As mold is found in all places whether it's a home or wood, their complete elimination is almost impossible but still it can be prevented from growing in and around the house. If the windows are kept open for an hour or so, it will allow the fresh air to come in the room and dampness of the room will decrease. Eventually mold will not find the suitable environment there to grow. Regular use of air purifiers makes the air clean and destroys the spores from it.
Keeping of wet, porous materials around or in the house leads to the growth of mold for example damp wooden furniture should be kept in the sun to avoid the growth of fungus. Those places should be cleaned regularly which remain in water most of the time such as sinks and water bowls. Water leakage also causes the production of fungus, so certain precautionary measures should be taken if anyone finds such places.
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