Thanks to Mike for sending in a question about the health of his workplace and whether or not it might be infected by black mold.
I work at a dealership and over the last two months or so, I have been noticing that I feel unwell near the end of the day. I feel headachey, worn down and almost as if I have allergies. Recently, I was talking with one of my co-workers about how I have been feeling and they mentioned that they have been feeling the same way. We also agreed that on weekends away from the office, we both feel fine.
I am wondering if it could be an underlying mold issue? I have heard about black mold inducing similar effects but we cannot see any mold anywhere. I know that you deal a lot with mold and performed a mold remediation for a friend of mine when they purchased an older fixer-upper home. What are your thoughts?
Thanks for your help,
Here us our response:
Hi there Mike,
Thank you for your question on whether or not we may feel the health of your workplace is being jeopardized by mold.
You had mentioned in your question that you cannot see mold so you weren’t sure if mold could actually be the cause. You have excellent insight because mold does not need to be visible to the eye to be present and wreaking havoc on your system. Often, mold can grow in hidden places like behind a water source, in the attic, in the drywall etc. Mold will also grow undetected under carpet, behind baseboards, under wood flooring, in ducts and so on.
For example, if the property has ever experienced any kind of water damage from a storm or heavy rain, mold could have easily grown if the area damaged by water was not thoroughly dried out and properly restored. Mold will begin to grow within 24-48 hours of water damage occurring. So yes, there could definitely be a mold problem within the building you work in.
As for whether or not mold could be causing these symptoms you and your co-worker are experiencing, it most certainly could be. Prolonged exposure to mold can stimulate allergic like reactions in people as well as cause symptoms of being sick. The mold most famous for producing negative sick-like symptoms is Stachybotrys also known as Black Mold. However, other forms of mold such as Aspergillus, also a common mold, can also create symptoms of allergies and illness.
Common symptoms of mold exposure and sensitivity include: sinusitis, headaches, general allergy symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose, fatigue, memory loss and breathing disorders. Sinusitis is the most common health care complaint and affects 37 million people in USA (about 1 out of every 7 Americans). According to a Mayo Clinic study, mold is a known allergen that many people are likely sensitive to. In addition, the study shows that mold in the air and in the nose is directly linked to sinus inflammation. The Mayo Clinic study proved that 93% of all chronic sinusitis studied was caused by mold!
Mold is extremely dangerous to a person or even a pet’s health. Currently, there is a theory that supports that Fibromyalgia, sudden onset of Asthma or Emphysema, Chronic Lung and Sinus infections as well as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are actually caused by mold exposure.
It appears that people with better immunity will be able to tolerate the ill effects of mold; however, people who are under stress, have weakened immunities, are allergic to mold or are seniors are at greater risk to develop mold-induced illnesses. Constantly working in a mold-infected environment can take its toll on even a healthy person.
What we suggest is that you talk to a health care provider and also speak with your employer about your concerns. A health care provider can treat you if needed and employers, by most laws, are required to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers.
Regarding your employer, we suggest they hire a mold remediation company like 1-800-DRY-ME-OUT to perform a mold inspection. We have the latest technology to find mold anywhere within a building. Upon receiving the results of a mold test, we could determine whether or not mold exists within your building. If mold is found, a plan would be devised for mold removal and complete remediation of the property.
Thank you for sending us your question and let us know if we can help with this situation any further.
Mold Remediation Specialist
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1-800-DRY-ME-OUT is a full service water damage restoration company that provides emergency water removal, carpet drying, mold removal, fire damage, sinkhole and sewer cleanup services. 1-800-DRY-ME-OUT is located in Port Richey, Florida, and proudly services the West Gulf Coast of Florida. For more information, please visit http://www.drymeout.com