What are molds?

Molds produce spores or seeds, which are very light and about the size of pollen grains.  They can be spread by air currents inside or outside the house. These spores are the major source of trouble for the individual who is allergic to mold.

Where are molds?

Molds are everywhere! They will grow on almost anything with sufficient moisture. Molds, also called mildew, are common around the house and can be recognized as the growth that occurs on spoiled fruit or old cheese.  It may also appears on shower curtains, in shower stalls, on stored books and leather goods, in damp basements, in storage areas under leaves, in the grass, and in cultivated gardens.

How can we control molds in the air?

Create a healthy environment for you and an unhealthy environment for molds by doing the following things:

•  Use a dehumidifier in damp weather. Keep humidity low (35% – 50%).

•  Correct all areas of seepage or flooding which may occur after heavy rains.

•  Make sure that concrete walls are made as waterproof as possible with appropriate repairs and use of   

   “Sta-Dri” or other appropriate paint.

•  Keep refrigerators clean: dispose of food which has spoiled.

•  Keep walls of shower stalls, ceilings, curtains, and doors wiped down with Lysol or Clorox. Don’t have

   carpeting in the bathroom if possible.

•  Keep closets well ventilated, or use a drying agent hung in the closet. Moth preventives are not

   sufficient for prevention of mold growth.

•  Check all water pans in appliances and clean weekly.

•  Keep houseplants to a minimum.

•  Watch out for old stuffed furniture and old mattresses; even old foam rubber may harbor molds.

What about molds in other places?

Not all mold is airborne. Some molds can be found in foods which are prepared by the help of mold activity. In other instances the mold may appear as a contaminant. Aged cheeses are a common source of mold, and molds are used in the preparation of wines, beer, breads and cakes: these are called yeasts. Molds may contaminate foods that are constantly exposed, such as potatoes, onions, fruits, etc.

*All of the previous measures are designed to minimize contact with molds. These measures are an adjunct in therapy, and avoidance of molds is an integral part of effective treatment.

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