Can you separate mold fact from fiction? Take this quick quiz to find out.
False: The term “mold” is applied to a group of filamentous fungi that includes everything from the mold that can formulate on food to toxic indoor molds that grow on surfaces. We’re all exposed to a variety of fungal spores on a daily basis when breathing indoor and outdoor air, with no negative health outcomes*.
However, molds that grow inside can produce toxic elements that can be harmful to some people, especially infants and the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with respiratory conditions such as allergies and asthma, or weakened immune systems*.
True: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that people who are sensitive to mold may experience itchy eyes or skin, wheezing and a stuffy nose. However, people who are allergic to mold or have asthma can experience more intense reactions**.
False: The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) reports that indoor mold simply needs moisture to grow. Excessive indoor moisture that can lead to problems can occur from indoor flooding, roof leaks, storm-driven rain that seeps into window frames or walls, leaking pipes, damp basements and condensation on cold surfaces*.
False: That tell-tale musty smell is a good way to detect indoor mold, but mold doesn’t always smell—think small amounts of mildew on a shower curtain. You should use your eyes as much as your nose to detect mold in your home*.
True: The CDC recommends using an air conditioner during humid months. If you don’t have AC, a dehumidifier can be helpful. It’s also important to keep household humidity at no higher than 50 percent throughout the day**. You can check humidity levels with a tool called a hygrometer. Digital versions are available at home supply stores for about $15
False: The CDC does not recommend testing for household molds to determine their risk to your family’s health. They recommend simply getting rid of any apparent mold, especially if someone in your household shows symptoms of sensitivity**.
False: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that if the moldy area is less than roughly 10 square feet, you can handle the job yourself***.
Click here for the EPA’s tips and tricks to clean up mold.
However, for occurrences of mold larger than 10 square feet, it’s wise to hire a contractor to do the cleanup. The EPA advises consumers to make sure contractors have experience cleaning up mold.
True: Filtrete™ Healthy Living Air Filters are 90 percent effective at capturing mold spores, as well as dust and pollen. Remember to change your filter at least every three months to keep your air quality cleaner and healthier for your family.