The presence of indoor mold has become over the years a concern for both health professionals and the general population. Indeed, in recent years, more and more studies conducted in North America and Europe have reported a possible link between the presence of indoor mold and various health problems. This article highlights the health risks associated with the presence of mold in public schools.
The majority of the toxic effects caused by inhalation of mold were associated with exposures in industrial or public environment, that is to say, in places where their concentration appears high and where the exposure is repetitive or chronic. High exposure to dust contaminated by molds can cause toxic syndrome associated with organic dust (ODTS). This condition is characterized by a sudden excess fever, with symptoms resembling those of the flu and respiratory problems occurring in the hours following a single, high exposure.
The symptoms of eye, nose and throat irritation in students have often been associated with the presence of a fungal growth in their classrooms. The causal mechanism behind the symptoms experienced or reported has not been established with certainty. The hypothesis generally used is that of the existence of an irritation to fungal particles (eg. Spores, fragments) that come in direct contact with mucous membranes, combined with chemical irritation due to irritating or toxic products (eg. VOC) contained in the spores.
Allergic reactions caused by inhaling fungal spores are a health problem recognized by clinicians for decades. Allergic rhinitis and asthma are examples of allergic diseases, among others associated with exposure to mold. Studies have shown that 5% of school-age children reacted positively to mold extracts tests. Aspergillus fumigatus, which can develop in highly contaminated environments can cause an allergic reaction called allergic aspergillosis.
Immunological reactions (or hypersensitivity) are also possible when exposed to mold and other contaminants. Indeed, chronic exposure in public schools to organic dust and especially to molds may induce the production of specific antibodies (IgG) and cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis syndrome, also known as extrinsic allergic alveolitis. These immunological reactions are particularly dangerous to children because they have a weakened immune system. It is therefore important to invest in a dehumidifier that will help remove mold and other dangerous contaminants by reducing the level of humidity present in the air. In order to make the environment healthier and better for students, we suggest opting for a high-capacity dehumidifier that can extract at least 70 pints per day.