The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that mold can grow anywhere, regardless of indoors or outdoors. Since it is a living organism, it can grow and spread in damp environments. Outdoor mold grows in soil and wet areas, whereas indoor mold grows in hot, humid areas where there is moisture. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, basements, as well as ceilings. These are the spaces that are usually affected by leaky pipes or windows.
Even though many people believe that mold does not pose any threat to humans, it actually has loads of health effects and can cause hay fever due to allergic reactions. Hence, it is important to prevent mold from growing inside and outside your home.
How Mold Affects Humans
Studies show that spending too much time in damp environments where mold growth is common can lead to respiratory illnesses, such as headaches, itchy eyes, and sneezing and coughing. Damp areas usually also have mold break-down, which includes dust mites and bacteria, along with some chemicals and gasses that accumulate on the substances that mold is growing on.
According to a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), spending too much time in mold-surrounded environments can result in nose and throat respiratory symptoms, along with coughing, wheezing, and hints of asthmatic symptoms.
Moreover, these areas have been linked to shortness of breath and the development of asthma in those who were asthma-free before. In healthy children, mold-grown environments cause lower respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath.
Whether or not mold is visible, any damp, humid, or moist area that is capable of mold-growth has shown to have strong effects on one's health. Not only does it cause respiratory symptoms, but long-term exposure to mold has also been linked to memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and trouble concentrating.