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Researchers Find Mold Toxins Can Easily Become Airborne Indoors

New research shows that tiny spores of dangerous molds can actually become airborne and lodge on unexpected places like fragments of wallpaper, leading to dangerous levels of mold toxicity in an enclosed building, Science Alert reports. Scientists believe this may explain “sick building syndrome,” in which tightly sealed buildings become centers of mold growth.

The purpose of tightly sealed buildings originally was to make homes and businesses as energy-efficient as possible. But over the years as more structures became more airtight, indoor air quality began showing that it often is more polluted than the air outside. In actuality, the air you're breathing inside your home can be five times more polluted than the air outside.

Besides mold that can grow in poorly ventilated areas such as bathrooms, other health risks are linked to new carpet installation, remodeling, air fresheners, household cleaners, poorly maintained fuel-burning appliances and more.

Poor air quality may lead to respiratory and heart conditions, decreased cognitive function and high blood pressure, and the majority of this pollution is made of particulate matter so tiny you can’t see it. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 deaths is linked to air pollution.

The good news is there are several things you can do to protect yourself inside a tightly sealed building. While there is no safe threshold for particulate matter and air pollution, monitoring the levels in your home and work place may help identify contaminants and may give you an indication of the effect your changes make on indoor air quality.

Changes include filtering your air in areas where mold is likely to grow, such as in bathrooms or unventilated kitchens, keeping your furnace, air conditioner and other appliances serviced, opening your windows, removing harsh cleaning products and scented chemicals from your work and living areas and decorating with plants.
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