By Carolyn Gorman
YOU'VE PROBABLY SEEN IT GROWING ON BREAD OR CHEESE OR SMELLED IT
ON A DAMP DAY. DID YOU EVER STOP TO THINK WHAT IT MIGHT BE DOING TO YOU?
WHAT IS MOLD?
Mold is a simple plant of the fungus group with no leaves, stems, or
flowers and no chlorophyll or green coloring matter. Molds can appear as
blue, black, green or white and can be microscopic or grow to be over two
feet in diameter.
WHERE DOES MOLD LIVE?
Molds can live anywhere (in water, soil or the air, on plants, and in
man and animals). Molds especially like to live in cool, damp, dark places
such as the refrigerator drip pan, garbage pails, bathrooms, humidifiers,
and central air ducts. They choose gardens, house plants, and compost piles;
and find fruits, breads and cheeses a friendly host.
WHAT DOES MOLD EAT?
Mold cannot produce their own food, thus they are parasitic in nature.
Molds get food by absorbing minerals, sugars and water from the plants,
soil, animals or decaying matter upon which they live.
WHAT IS MOLD IMPORTANT?
Molds are important in medicine, fermentation, fertilization of soil,
and in the production of some foods.
WHAT CAN MOLD DO TO YOU?
Mold can also cause allergy and illness. Some mold cause fungal diseases
of the skin, nails, ears and lungs. Other molds cause allergy symptoms
which can include sneezing, wheezing, joint pain, muscle ache, headache,
fatigue, depression, itching, hives and rashes, and digestive distress;
and mold symptoms can be flu-like in nature.
Molds far outnumber pollens as part of the total airborne allergy count.
There are many different mold offenders, but the most common mold are Alternaria,
Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Sporobolomyces.
HOW CAN WE CONTROL MOLDS?
Create a healthy inside environment for yourself and an unhealthy environment for mold by using:
Wear a Mask
A filtration mask made with cotton or silk material can help reduce
mold exposure when working in the garden or raking leaves. If tolerated,
a 3-M mask with 99.97% efficiency at .3 microns will remove mold.
An Organized Plan of Attack
The following guidelines will help decrease incidence of mold in your
office or home:
Allergy skin testing (scratch or intradermal) or blood (RAST) testing
can aid in the diagnosis of mold allergies.
Several medications are now available to the allergic patient. These include:
Nasalcrom ~ Sodium Chromolyn
Seldane ~ Hismanal
Sudafed ~ Vitamins
Immunotherapy provides the most effective, long-term relief for the
Care should be taken in the use of antibiotics, and they should always
be supplemented with acidophilus.
4-day Rotation Diet
Individuals who evidence mold allergies can be greatly helped by a four-day
rotation diet where foods are eaten only once every four days and food
families every two days. This minimizes contact with allergens.
A low-mold diet includes avoidance of yeast, mushrooms, dried fruit
and products containing vinegar (such as mustard, ketchup and salad dressings).
Cooking and peeling of all root vegetables and roasting of all nuts is
WE CAN WIN & DEFEAT THIS TRICKY OPPONENT WITH ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS
& ALLERGY TREATMENT
WHAT DOES MOLD GROW ON?
Fruit & Vegetables
Wood, Dirt, Soil, & Rock