Of all of the many safety concerns in the workplace, mold is typically not very high on anyone’s list. But the more we learn about mold, the more we should be concerned.
Toxic mold growing in the workplace can lead to serious health problems. This is why it is important to understand where and how mold can grow and also be able to recognize the effect of mold exposure within your body.
Where and How Mold Can Grow in The Workplace
Mold spores are everywhere. All they need is water and a source of food to grow. Materials like cardboard, paper and wood are perfect food sources for mold. If these materials get wet, mold will quickly grow and spread.
Mold spores grow and germinate into a thick mat of filaments. Within just a few days, spore-producing structures grow from these filaments and begin discharging spores into the air.
Hundreds of millions of mold spores can be released into the surrounding air and if you inhale these mold spores, your health can be adversely affected. People with allergies, asthma, or weak immune systems are at an even greater risk.
The Symptoms of Mold Exposure In the Workplace
There are more than 147 different species of mold that are known to be pathogenic or diseases causing in human beings. This accounts for the wide variety of symptoms experienced by workers who have been exposed to mold.
Allergic reactions may be the first symptoms you see when you have been exposed to mold in the workplace. Constant headaches are reported by many. This is often a symptom of fungal sinusitis––a condition that is known to produce nosebleeds, and later, lesions on the brain. Ear infections, irritated eyes, and eye infections are also very common.
Many people who have been exposed to mold in the workplace report skin lesions and open sores over their entire body. While, asthmatic conditions, and other breathing disorders are also quite prevalent. Some have a productive cough that produces blood and black debris, which can be signs of hypersensitivity pneumonitis and permanent scarring of the lungs.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is also a widespread symptom along with hair loss and Candida albicans––a yeast infection of the mouth or vagina. Furthermore, workers exposed to mold frequently report low-grade temperatures and fevers. In addition, report severe abdominal cramping, nausea, or diarrhea. Weight loss or weight gain is an issue as well.
Finally, workers who have inhaled mold spores are known to develop serious neurological disorders. These can range from memory loss to severe autonomic nervous system disorders and heart problems. Nevertheless, the most severe effect of mold exposure is cancer and even death.
Contact An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been exposed to mold in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that will provide you with the medical diagnostics and medical care necessary to treat your illness along with compensation for any lost income or permanent disability you suffer. For more information, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can assist you with filing your claim for benefits.