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Fairfield, CT

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Trumbull, CT

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Mold or fungi cause various types of disease in humans, including infection and allergy. Some fungi grow well in dry environments, but most require substantial amounts of moisture. They are found wherever there is a source of organic or previously living material, including decaying vegetation, wood or cellulose. Mold spores, which are used for reproduction, are the allergy causing part of the mold. Mold spores are released into the air and begin to rise in the spring, and peak in July through October.

The amount of spores in the environment can be estimated by microscopic examination of settled dust samples. High mold counts correlate with musty odors, damp spots, and moisture or water damage in your home. Mold counts are also higher in homes with pets, infrequent vacuuming, carpeting and visible mold. Indoor mold exposure usually occurs to the molds Penicillium, Cladosporium and Aspergillus. Damp basements or bathrooms can generate mold spores that spread throughout the house. Many work-place environments have high mold counts and have been linked to various symptoms, but these do not appear to have an allergic basis.

To reduce indoor mold counts, infiltration needs to be controlled by keeping doors and windows closed, and using air conditioning for cooling. Indoor moisture should be kept below forty per cent with a dehumidifier, all water leaks should be sealed and clothes dryers should be vented outside the home. Visible mold contamination can be eliminated by spraying a dilute solution of bleach on the contaminated surface. Mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water for an inexpensive remedy. Carpeting is an indoor reservoir for mold allergens, and should be removed. An air purifier will also remove mold spores and should be placed in the bedroom. Make sure your cooling and heating vents are clean and have a fresh filter at least once a year. Thoroughly inspect your refrigerator for mold, indoors and out. Mold is likely to grow around water lines, door gaskets and on top of the refrigerator. Some molds produce potent toxins whose link to human disease is still being investigated. Except in a few isolated instances mold toxins probably do no cause a significant amount of human disease.