Sunday 13 March 2022

Making Sure There is No Fungus Among Us


Fungi can be found everywhere; they are the most abundant group of eukaryotic organisms. They are typically viewed as a nuisance, but they are integral to the environment. Fungi help break down organic matter and release nutrients back into the soil so that plants can use them.
However, some fungi can cause major problems for human beings.

How fungus develops inside a home or structure

Either moisture damage or improper
ventilation usually causes fungus development inside a home. Water damage causes mold spores to grow in wet areas such as ceilings, baseboards, walls, or floors. Moisture also encourages airborne mold spores to circulate throughout the house. The presence of water may trigger an allergy attack or make you feel sick if your immune system isn't strong enough against it. It's best to keep humidity levels low during periods of high rainfall because this condition increases the amount of airborne molds. Fungal growth will begin when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, fungal growth will accelerate rapidly once conditions reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where all to check for fungus

1. Under the sink

Beneath the sink (if there is one) or behind the cabinet on the wall under the sink area will provide many hidden places where mold could grow. Make sure your water is turned off before you start looking at the underside of your sink. Use white vinegar to clean underneath your kitchen sink instead of bleach, so you don't end up with color changes as well as odors.

2. Bathroom

Check for excess moisture on the shower/tub surround and floor area. If you have a bathroom with showers or tubs, look for signs of mold growth in these areas. Check vents, exhaust fans, light fixtures, and plumbing pipes to allow mold growth.

3. Kitchen

Keep food containers tightly sealed to prevent the transfer of airborne molds. Look out for cracks in the kitchen countertop or sink where water might collect. Clean up spills immediately. Keep your refrigerator door closed to reduce the accumulation of condensation.

4. Bedrooms

Pay attention to how much heat gets trapped in rooms. Excessive moisture may build up in carpets, rugs, and mattresses if too little heat is circulating through the room. This may result in mold growth.

5. Basement

Get rid of items stored in damp places such as bookshelves, storage cabinets, freezers, or basements. Check basement foundation walls for signs of water leaks. Clean up standing puddles and drains with bleach or a diluted vinegar and water solution.

How to prevent fungus in the house or labs.

Preventing fungus in the house or labs involves keeping the humidity level down. While having dry environments like a basement or garage may seem like a good idea, drying out materials has drawbacks. Here are tips for preventing mold in the house or labs:

  • Avoid washing dishes or utensils in hot water. You can use warm water to wash dishes and utensils.
  • Don’t store items near heating sources or appliances that create heat.
  • Avoid cleaning surfaces or shelves that get wet frequently.
  •  Store products like paper towels away from where they might be splashed with fluids.
  • Do not place heavy objects directly on top of concrete sinks.
  • Never mix household chemicals together unless specifically instructed by a professional.
  • Wash and disinfect gloves after touching potentially contaminated surfaces. Always wear gloves while handling moldy items.

The dangers of fungus and what it can cause (health issues).

1. Chronic Bronchitis

This sickness results in irritation within the lungs and mucous membranes lining them. It leads to coughing spells that often go unnoticed until chronic bronchitis starts affecting other parts of the body. If left untreated, it can lead to the complete blockage of breathing passages. Commonly known as “the silent killer,” it can even affect people who do not show any symptoms whatsoever. Some patients experience shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, headaches, fatigue, and nausea. Several factors contribute to causing chronic bronchitis, including environmental toxins and smoking cigarettes.

2. Allergies

Allergic reactions are caused due to exposure to various allergens present in dust, pollen, pet dander, and insects. These allergens trigger an immune system response which causes immediate nasal inflammation resulting in sneezing, runny eyes, nose, etc. These symptoms disappear soon, but the allergic reaction turns chronic and persists if left untreated. The allergy season is usually during the spring and summer months. Symptoms include stuffiness, sinus infection, asthma, itching, red eyes, running noses, itchy throat, cough, etc. The commonest allergy-causing agents are cigarette smoke, house dust mites, cockroaches, molds, and pollen.

3. Food Poisoning

Frequently referred to as food poisoning or gastroenteritis, this is a condition induced by ingesting harmful bacteria or viruses. Depending upon the type of germ involved, the condition either lasts for a relatively shorter period or can last a longer duration. It can lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in severe cases. Some of the most common food poisoning ailments are Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes, and Vibrio cholerae.

4. Sore Throat/Pharyngitis

A multitude of reasons can trigger sore throats. Among these are viral infections, bacterial infections, allergies, and others. Bacterial infections are most likely to become acute if there is already some form of mucosal damage.


Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Duct Doctor


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