Mold can be dangerous when undetected and has been known to cause allergies. Due to its devastating impact on the immune system, it has been linked to sinus problems and asthma. Still, with these characteristics in mind, can mold cause lung cancer?
Mold has been known to be a trigger for coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. And if you are an individual with an already weakened immune system, mold can worsen these symptoms and illnesses such as pneumonia. However, mold has not been directly linked to lung cancer, and research shows that it would be far fetched to find any link at all.
So, what’s all the fuss about?
Pulmonary Fibrosis, PF, a disease characterized by scarring and damaged lung tissue, causing breathing difficulty, can be caused by mold. As this disease progresses, it can develop into lung cancer. Although mold can trigger PF, it has not been identified as a leading cause of this lung disease. It is a rare disease with fewer than 200,000 cases a year.
The Link to Cancer
Everything from brain damage to skin rashes has been linked to mold. So, it is no surprise that an assumption would be made between mold and lung cancer. However, mold can be linked to cancer. That’s because aflatoxins, a type of toxin produced by molds, has been positively linked to liver cancer. When crops like corn, grains, or peanuts have mold and are ingested, studies have demonstrated that liver cancer can result from the consumption.
Moreover, animals that have eaten moldy food or crops, once consumed by humans, can also cause cancer. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services has listed aflatoxins as the most harmful type of mold, and it is a definite cause of cancer.
There are two types of popular molds you should look out for, called Stachybotrys and Aspergillus, that are considered “toxic” and linked to certain lung disorders. Stachybotrys and Aspergillus typically live in damp spaces and hide in wallpaper, wood, insulation, and tile to name a few.
These are the most common toxic molds that release hazardous toxins, that can negatively impact your health and specifically, your lungs. Aspergillus mold has been linked to serious health problems like bleeding lungs, sinus infection, and sepsis. If you aren’t familiar, sepsis is an infection that can spread throughout the body, ultimately causing organ failure.
Where Can Mold Grow?
Generally speaking, mold and fungal spores are known to cause certain lung disorders, infections, inflammation, and allergic reactions. Mycotoxins or toxic molds are known to affect the lungs, skin, and nervous system, but there is currently no evidence that links mold to lung cancer. With this in mind, the key is to prevent any negative health impact resulting from mold exposure. This can be done by being aware of where mold can grow, which can be anywhere in your home.
But, mold has a few specific places it thrives within your home that you should be aware of. Some of the most popular include showers, basements, corners, and even carpet. Virtually anywhere there is a collection of dampness or water, there is potential for mold to grow. Some ways to rectify this issue include repainting the walls, running the air condition, improving ventilation, replacing curtains, or thoroughly cleaning your bathrooms to keep the molds from coming back.
Take Action Now!
In the end, can mold cause lung cancer? The quick answer is, no. However, as mentioned above, it can cause significant health problems if left unchecked.
A good idea is to check your home for the presence of mold, and take the necessary steps to get rid of it! Since almost every home will get mold, it is important to address the issue before it grows out of control, impacting your health and home. When home cleaning products won’t do the trick, it’s time to call the professionals. Often called, “Industrial Hygiene Consultants”, these guys will take the necessary precautions to remove the mold for good!
We, at Mr. Mold, are always looking out for our customers! If you are looking for more resources or have other questions, give us a call, and we’d be more than happy to help. Until next time, stay healthy!