The first steps toward fighting off these symptoms is are sleeping more, exercising on a regular basis, and eating healthier. But, if you notice that they don’t go away no matter what you do, it is a red flag! The chances that you are exposed to toxic mold and indoor pollution in your own home are enormous.
What is Indoor Pollution?
Indoor pollution refers to the quality of air in buildings and how it impacts the health of those living in those areas. Keeping indoor pollution to a minimum is of utmost importance. Being exposed to toxic odors and molds affect the health in various ways, from causing runny nose and itchy eyes to respiratory issues and loss of consciousness.
3 Types of Molds
1. Allergenic molds
These are the least dangerous, causing allergy-like symptoms. They include:
- Aspergillus: Dust found in warm and damp climates
- Penicillium: Found in old fabrics, carpet, wallpaper, and in some insulation. They can cause asthma and allergies.
- Cladosporium: Grows on damp materials like wood and textiles. These can cause asthma-like symptoms and fevers.
2. Pathogenic molds
- Some types of Penicillium and Cladosporium
- Alternaria: Found on electrical cables, stored food, organic materials, textiles, canvas, cardboard, and paper, as long as there is dampness or moisture. It causes allergy-like symptoms and asthma.
3. Toxigenic molds:
- These are the highly dangerous molds and are typically found on paper and wood and can cause serious breathing problems.
The Signs and Symptoms of Indoor Pollution and Mold Illness
The most common signs of indoor pollution and mold illness include:
- Headaches, brain fog, memory problems, trouble focusing
- Tingling sensation and numbness
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained muscle cramps, muscle pain, joint pain, and persistent nerve pain
- Asthma and sinus issues
- Digestive issues
- Eye problems (red eyes or sensitivity to light)
- Vertigo and tremors
- Temperature regulation difficulties or night sweats
How to Remove Indoor Pollution from Your Home
If you experience any of the symptoms above, consider taking the following steps to remove indoor pollution from your home:
Step 1: Get an air purifier
The simplest and most effective way to improve your air quality is to use an air purifier, especially when it is too cold or too hot to open the doors/ windows. Air purifiers are effective in filtering out volatile organic compounds, malodors, fragrances, and other chemicals in the air.
Step 2: Purchase filters for your HVAC system
Making the most of your HVAC system is yet another way to enjoy a toxin-free home. Look for HVAC filters which remove chemicals odors and volatile organic compounds, not just bacteria and dust.
Step 3: Address The Kitchen
Mold is likely to hide in many places in the kitchen, such as behind dishwasher and refrigerator and under the sink. To prevent mold from developing in your kitchen, clean the appliances on a regular basis, clean and dry splatters or spills, cook with the overhead fan on, fix leaks, and open the windows for better air circulation.
Step 4: Address The Bathroom
Mold can build on around the toilet, on wet towels and shower curtain, between cracks in the tiles, under the skin, and even on walls. To prevent it from growing in the bathroom, use non-toxic cleaners and soaps, don’t leave any water behind after showering, turn the fan on when you shower, and wash the towels on a regular basis.
Step 5: Address The Laundry Room
The laundry room is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to indoor air pollution. Most of the fabrics used to make the clothes are packed with toxins and chemicals which we put on the skin.
Luckily, there are non-toxic laundry products available which remove fragrance and toxic vapors from the clothes. When buying a product, look for one that neutralizes odors and deodorizes fabrics and materials.
Step 6: Address Your Carpet and Upholstery
Carpets and coaches create the perfect conditions for mold to thrive and can harbor many toxic substances, such as fragrances and flame retardant chemicals. Most carpet and fabric cleaners have the ability to remove mold, but they are also loaded with chemicals which trigger allergic reactions.
Opt for non-toxic odor eliminator to remove odors and chemical vapors from carpets, couches, mattresses, and wood flooring.
Other Places Mold Can Grow in Your Home
- Water filters
- Knife block
- Can opener
- Blender gasket
- Coffee maker
- Yoga mats
- Air conditioners