Molds are microscopic fungi; their spores float in the air like pollen. Molds thrive in damp areas with decaying materials. There are many molds, the most common being Alternaria and Cladosporium.
Outdoor mold spores begin to appear after a spring thaw and peak in July through October. These molds can be found in soil, leaves on the ground and rotting wood.
Indoor molds (mildew) may be found in basements, bathrooms, refrigerators, garbage containers, houseplant soil, carpets, upholstery and even Christmas trees.
Limiting your child's exposure to molds
- Avoid damp and dusty places such as attics and basements
- Regularly clean and ventilate basements, bathrooms and kitchens
- A dehumidifier with adequate capacity may be needed to keep a basement dry. Use a unit with an adequate capacity (at least 40 pints). Empty collected water often or drain.
- Clean cool mist vaporizers weekly. Inspect air conditioner filters weekly.
- Keep houseplants to a minimum and out of the bedroom
- Use window air conditioners with the vent to the outside closed
- Do not use carpeting in damp areas
- Repair leaks in roof, walls and windows
- Vent the clothes dryer to the outside
- Outdoor molds can blow into the home through open windows and doors
- Stirring up piles of leaves during the fall season releases mold and pollens
Environmental control resources
Reviewed by: Allergy Section
Date: May 2004