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Cancer Risk Due To Mold At Home - True Or False?

Although There is no evidence linking indoor exposure to black mold or any other type of mold with cancer but during my research on lung cancer i found strikingly links which assiciateit with lung cancer.In this post i would be mentioning those. Mold is associated with other health problems, though.

Mold can be found anywhere there’s moisture. Mold spores travel in the air, so spores can find their way inside homes and other buildings. Most of us breathe some in every day without any problems.

The only possible link is this: Mold can cause pulmonary fibrosis (PF), which is scarring in your lungs. If you have PF for a long time, it can make you more likely to get lung cancer. But most of the time, people don’t know how they got PF, and mold isn’t a leading cause. So even this possibility isn’t strong.

If you’re concerned about mold affecting your health in other ways, it helps to know what it is and how to get rid of it safely.

row in your bathroom, basement, and the pile of leaves in your backyard. Basically, if it’s moist enough, it’s a landing spot for black, orange, white, green, brown, and maybe even fuzzy, mold.


Can Mold Make You Sick?


Allergies are the most common health problem that mold causes. You may get symptoms like:


  • Coughing
  • Itchy, irritated eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Wheezing


Mold can also trigger an asthma attack. Or chronic sinusitis, where your sinuses swell up and won’t settle down.

City of Hope scientists have found a toxic fungus previously thought to not be infectious in the sinus tissues of a man with refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia. This is the first time that direct infection of a patient with the black mold Stachybotrys has been recorded. The team's findings published this week in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The most common indoor molds are CladosporiumPenicillium, and Aspergillus.  

Do you have a mold problem


You can detect Large mold infestations  by seeing or smelling. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you cannot rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk.

How can mold effect you?


Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.

Link Between Mold and Cancer?

There are a lot of rumors and sketchy evidence floating around that say mold and exposure to certain mycotoxins can cause cancer.Can mold cause cancer? Absolutely, yes. Will having mold in your home give you cancer? That’s a maybe.This common mold tends to grow on crops: primarily corn, peanuts, and grains. When we eat enough of these moldy foods, or eat animals that eat them, we can get liver cancer. Studies in Uganda, Swaziland, Thailand, Kenya, Mozambique, and China show a strong positive correlation between aflatoxin levels in food and the occurrence of liver cancer.

Eating foods with a lot of aflatoxin is a definite cause of cancer. But what about inhaling aflatoxins? Does having Aspergillus mold growing in your home pose a cancer risk? Here, the research is not so clear.

Stachybotrys chartarum, or Stachybotrys atra, commonly referred to as black mold, has a reputation as “toxic mold.” Black mold produces a toxic compound called satratoxin, which is a type of mycotoxin that may cause illness in some people.

Aspergillus. Some types of this mold make aflatoxins, which can make you very sick, even causing liver cancer. Typically, that’s from eating it, not breathing it in.

The CDC states that there have been rare reports that these molds can cause serious health conditions like memory loss or pulmonary hemorrhage. However, there’s no proven link between mold and such health problems.

Aspergillus fumigatus can cause a serious reaction in some people, especially those with asthma or cystic fibrosis. This condition is called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Symptoms may include:

  • fever
  • cough, possibly with blood or mucus
  • worsening symptoms of asthma


Black mold is not linked to lung or other cancers.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School concluded that there is not a direct link between black mold exposure and lung cancer development. Contrary to popular beliefs, blackmold also does not have “dangerous toxins.” It has similar impacts with other mold types toward people who inhale the spores.

Types of Mold and Their Relation to Cancer

Some of the other most common ones are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Alternaria. Others are:

  • Acremonium
  • Dreschslera
  • Epicoccum
  • Trichoderma


None are associated with cancer.

Mold and Liver Cancer

Another concern toward mold exposure is its connection with liver cancer. Certain types of mold, such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, are dangerous for health.

Can breathe in mold cause cancer? The answer is no.

Mold and Breast Cancer

Mycotoxins are often associated with risks of breast cancer. While they don’t pose a direct threat, mycotoxins may affect hormonal changes, which can be associated to breast cancer risk

Long exposures to environments with mold or fungal spores can cause certain lung disorders because you will have inhaled the particles for an extended period. It can also cause pneumonitis, an inflammation caused by the body’s immune system attacking the lung cells. Once mold particles settle in your lungs, they release toxins that affect the nervous system, skin, and lungs with every second that goes without treatment.

Continuous human exposure could lead to more severe symptoms such as pulmonary injury, neurotoxicity, renal toxicities, immunologic disorders, and cardiac or gastrointestinal conditions.

Many new studies have provided additional evidence that mold likely deserves serious attention. Fisk and Mudarri demonstrated in their June 2007 assessment that 21% of current U.S. asthma cases may be attributable to dampness and mold in homes, with schools, offices, and institutional buildings playing a similar unhealthy role. In a companion meta-analysis of 33 studies also published in the June 2007 issue of Indoor Air, Fisk and Berkeley Laboratory colleagues found that dampness and mold exposures increase the occurrence of a range of respiratory problems by 30–50%.As researchers explore the potential contributions of damp conditions to human health problems, they’ll need to be careful about exactly which test animals they use. Several reports, such as a Harvard study in the October 2006 American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, have shown that different mouse strains vary significantly in their biological responses to a tested fungus. In addition, scientists face the usual uncertainties inherent in extrapolating results from any animal testing to humans. -  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Given the evidence at hand, Health Canada has determined that mold may pose a health hazard, and on 31 March 2007 released brief recommendations for cleaning up mold in residences. The EPA is developing guidelines for moisture control “best practices” in all phases of design, construction, and maintenance, and may finalize the guidelines in 2008, says Laura Kolb, an environmental health scientist with the agency’s Indoor Environments Division.Don’t mess with mold. If you can see or smell it—and especially if health problems are occurring—clean it out, throw it out, or get out.

Should you Get you House Tested for Mold?

If you happen to have mold, the best way is to get rid of it as it can make you sick over time. The best way to do this is to fix the problem that creates dampness in your surroundings. Seeking the help of a professional may be a wise choice if the affected area is bigger than 10 square feet.

Testing the presence of mold

Find companies that provide mold testing services. If you live in Canada, find companies that have mold inspection certifications like NAMRI, NORMI, and American Council for Accredited Certification.

Cleaning the mold

You can clean a small amount of mold with detergent, vinegar, or bleach solution. Make sure to wear goggles, mask, and gloves. Open the window or door for ventilation during cleaning.

Ref Sources:

  • https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
  • https://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm
  • https://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-and-mold#1
  • https://www.lung.org/clean-air/at-home/indoor-air-pollutants/mold-and-dampness
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