Mold allergies are often suspected when allergy symptoms do no abate when the seasons change. Mold is almost everywhere. Molds are fungi and are single celled organism that grow and reproduce through spores. Mold spores are spread by the air currents indoors and outdoors. Some mold spores are released in dry weather while others are release in damp foggy conditions. These spores can also adhere to insects or animals.
Unfortunately for mold allergy sufferer’s spores do not die during the winter but become dormant instead awaiting spring so they can flourish on dead logs, leaves, grasses, grains, or any organic matter that provide nourishment for the spores. The spores grow into a thread-like filament called hyphae. Then a mass is formed called a mycelium. The mycelium produce spores. Mold spore sacs are formed and when they mature they burst and more spores are release into the air and land on places that provide the spores food for their growth and start the reproduction cycle all over again.
Mold allergies occur when the spores are inhaled by an individual with mold sensitivities. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, most often mold allergies are worse during July to late summer.
Symptoms that are indicative of mold spore allergies are much like many other allergies such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, congestion watery eyes, and even dry scaling skin. If the spores are inhaled into the lungs, serious asthma symptoms or even the illness called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis can occur.
Diagnosis of mold allergies can be done by a doctor often using a procedure involving a scratch test or prick of the skin and introducing different types of fungi extracts. If no reaction occurs then mold allergies are not suspected. This type of testing is combined with the patient’s medical history and a thorough physical exam. The doctor can then make a well informed diagnosis.
There are thought to be as many as 100,000 types of known fungi in existence and possibly as many as 200,000 unknown fungi. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America the major known types of fungi that appear to cause mold allergies are Alternaria, Cladosporium (Hormodendrum) , Aspergillus, Penicillium, Helmin thosporium,Epicoccum, Fusarium, Mucor, Rhizopus and Aureobasidium (Pullularia)
Preventing or reducing indoor mold growth can help reduce the symptoms associated with mold allergies. Temperature and humidity will affect the growth and reproduction of mold and if a room is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity is above 70% mold will flourish. But it has been discovered that rooms kept as low as 50 degrees with humidity as low as 48% some molds can still grow. The key is consistency of temperature and humidity as well as air purification and filtration. Consistent cleaning of surface areas will also help reduce the propagation of mold spores.
HEPA filters are effective in trapping mold spores but do not stop the growth of mold. Handling filters loaded with mold spores, bacteria, dust mites, and many other trapped air pollutants can be dangerous and messy.
Destroying the spores and airborne pathogens is ideal. Photocatalytic oxidation is the proven technology that does destroy airborne pathogens that cause allergies, disease and illness. Air purification and filtration using photocatalytic oxidation can significantly reduce the spread of allergens such as mold spores, and the spread of bacteria, and viruses. ZandairTM uses this technology in their air purification products. Please contact us to discuss any questions or comments you may have about air purification and filtration. 7/11