Thinking about hiring a mold removal specialist to handle a mold problem is probably a worry about how much it will cost. You may consider trying to remove it yourself. If you have respiratory issues, this could be a huge health risk. However, the cost of professional mold removal is not your biggest worry. The health costs of mold can greatly exceed that.
The health costs of mold are the positive attributes of life that mold takes away when it invades your home. This could be present in the form of an itchy throat, or it could be the exacerbation of a comorbidity (pre-existing condition) that gets much worse due to the presence of mold.
One study found that the health cost of mold was three times that of drinking sugary drinks. This study was out of Australia, and it accounted for health costs in the amount of disability-adjusted life years. Think about that. If you remove all the times you are sick or otherwise disabled, you end up measuring your productive life years only. It’s a bit depressing, but it does account for the quality of your remaining years.
Therefore, mold should be on the minds of health professionals and individuals just like diet, smoking cessation, and obesity. The air you breathe ranks right up there with the food you eat and the water you drink. Basically, anything that is put into your body should be clean, and that includes things inputted through inhalation as well as consumption.
Housing is often considered a public health problem, as homelessness seems to be a causative factor for other illnesses. However, quality housing is an additional consideration. Mold will grow in any moist environment that has improper ventilation. These are two environmental factors that can be monitored in the homes of the vulnerable.
Just like the pediatrician asks questions about the age of your home to ensure your child is not exposed to toxins such as lead, primary care providers should be asking about mold risk. It should be a standard questionnaire including questions about inspecting for mold hazards and if the patient has had any increased respiratory problems.
Education is also important, and if more people were educated about mold and the health costs of it, they would pay more attention to high-risk areas such as basements and attics. They’d also know the importance of hiring a professional when the mold infestation reaches a certain size.