While most common mold is not harmful, many forms can be, especially when it comes to toxic black mold. When mold spores are allowed to proliferate, health problems can arise. In fact, the CDC links indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing and wheezing, with the propensity to exacerbate asthma symptoms, allergies and other respiratory illnesses in both adults and children. Toxic black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) is a much more serious form of mold that can lead to chronic fatigue, headaches, fever, sneezing, rashes, chronic coughing, and irritation to the mucous membranes. It can even be deadly when long-term exposure takes place.
This is a substance comprised of tiny fibers than can cause lung cancer when inhaled over long periods of time, present in anything from insulation and textured paint to ceiling and flooring tiles. Health effects can include asbestosis, an inflammatory lung disease that causes coughing and shortness of breath; mesothelioma, a cancer of the linings in the lungs, chest and abdomen; and lung cancer. Asbestos is only dangerous when the fibers have been agitated and become airborne. That’s why it’s important to have a professional remediation team handle and remove it.
Many older offices, warehouses and commercial buildings contain lead paint on walls, window sills and doors. This dangerous metallic element can make occupants of a building sick through exposure, usually through peeling or chipping pieces that can pose a health hazard. Exposure in children can adversely affect the development of the brain and nervous system, while in adults it can lead to increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage.
Also known as polychlorinated biphenyl, PCB refers to man-made organic chemicals previously used in building chaulking, electrical, heat transfer and hydraulic equipment, cables and insulations, pigments and dyes, and other industrial applications. Exposure can cause cancer, as well as adverse effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system.