In a study by the Annals of Allergy & Immunology, infants exposed to mold were more likely to develop respiratory conditions such as chronic inflammation of the lung airways with symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. For children under the age of one, mold exposure also increased the risk of asthma. The study authors found that if children were exposed to mold as infants, they were at a significantly increased risk for asthma at 7 years of age.
Preventing Mold in the Home
- Use air purifiers to cleanse the air, especially in nurseries where children sleep or playrooms where babies may spend most of their time. Only use an air purifier with a HEPA air purifier to remove mold spores from the air. Mold spores are destroyed by a HEPA filter because it is a dry, sterile environment. Also a HEPA filter with AeraSafe antimicrobial treatment provides added protection against airborne mold.
- Manage humidity in the home with air conditioning. Homes without AC were more likely to contain high humidity levels which fostered the growth of mold.
- Look for problem signs of mold throughout the house, such as leaky windows that allow condensation to collect around the frame, which can promote mold growth. An overflowing gutter causes mold to grow on the exterior of the house at first, but eventually enters the home through gaps in soffit and fascia if left untreated.
- Conduct a thorough cleanup after any significant water damage including flooded basements or broken pipes. Initial cleanups to remove water may seem adequate, but mold quickly grows without proper sanitation. Hire an expert to test for mold in the home after water damage. No visible signs doesn’t not necessarily mean that mold isn’t present.
When selecting an air purifier for your home, make sure they have the certifications for protecting indoor air quality.