According to research conducted by the World Health Organization, a significant percentage of the 300 million cases of childhood asthma worldwide can be attributed to those kids being exposed to dampness and mold indoors.
An average person spends about 12 hours per day at home and that number increases for children and the elderly, who are most vulnerable to having their health compromised by noxious substances.
Why Is Mold Harmful?
Mold tends to accumulate in buildings that are damp and inadequately ventilated. Inhaling fragments and spores can cause inflammation to the airways, nasal congestion, throat irritation, coughing wheezing and chest tightness.
Moreover, long-term exposure to high indoor humidity will lead to a reduction in pulmonary function, weakened immune systems, skin irritation and even depression.
What Can You Do About It?
In order to protect the health of your family, you should, first of all, examine your home for any visible signs of mold, mold odor, peeling or cracked paint, water stains and frequent condensation.
There are no health-based guidelines as to safe levels of indoor humidity so it’s best to reduce it as much as possible.
You’ll need to properly insulate your property and provide sufficient heating if you’re living in a colder climate. Another area you should focus on is installing proper ventilation for your bathroom, laundry room and kitchen.
Holes in your roof, cracks in window and door frames and pipes that are not well fitted can let water seep into your home and create the ideal conditions for mold to grow.
It might seem like an expensive investment at the moment but it’s well worth it considering the health risks. You’ll also be protecting the structure of your house or apartment, not to mention saving on heating bills.
What If You Live in a Rented Home?
In case you’re currently renting and your landlord seems less than prompt and enthusiastic when you ask them to make repairs around the house, depending on where you live, know that there is such a thing as “implied warranty of habitability”.
This means that you are entitled to be provided with basic things like a sturdy roof, capable of keeping the rain out, running hot water and heat, your walls and floors should be in good condition, and your living space should be devoid of lead, asbestos and, you guessed it, mold.
If they refuse to make the necessary renovations so that the rented property stays habitable, you can make the them yourself and deduct the cost from their rent.
If you’re already experiencing health problems caused by prolonged mold expose, another option is to talk to a lawyer regarding toxic tort litigation.
According to Ryan Goldstein Law, a toxic tort refers to a personal injury lawsuit concerning exposure to hazardous substances such as mold, in which the person that files the claim can show how the exposure caused them injury or illness.
This is a viable option not just in disputes with landlords, but also with employers if they don’t secure their employees with access to a safe working environment.
And now you know both the risks of living in a moldy home and what measures you can take to protect your health, whether you are the owner or the tenant.