Mold: Symptoms to Look for if Pregnant or with a Weakened Immune System

By Jesse Scheckner

The presence of mold in your home or workplace is never good, but for pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems or immune deficiencies, it should be especially alarming. 

Microscopic organisms belonging to the fungi family, mold reproduces through airborne spores and can propagate on almost any surface. It most commonly thrives in damp environments and is “very common” in buildings and homes, according to the Florida Department of Health.  

“Southeast Florida is the only locale in the U.S. with a tropical climate,” said Dr. Gary Rosen, Florida-licensed building contractor and accredited mold remediation instructor. “The climate is ideal for mold growth.” 

Common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium, alternaria, penicillium and stachybotrys (also known as “toxic black mold” and “the silent killer”). An array of symptoms and health risks are associated with mold, including respiratory difficulties, fatigue, immune suppression, chronic nasal congestion, sinusitis, eye irritation, rashes, eczema, fever and, in rare instances, death. 

If you have an immunodeficiency such as HIV, SCID or CVID, you face disproportionately greater danger. A 2002 study published by The New England Journal of Medicine found that opportunistic mold, such as aspergillus fumigatus, can spread to and grow inside the lungs—an ailment known as invasive aspergillosis that is significantly more deadly for anyone with a weakened immune system. 

“There is absolutely a direct causational link between mold presence in the home and workplace and a compromised immune system,” said Avigayel Klein, Florida certified mold inspector, remediator and hygienic technologist. “People with already compromised immune systems, therefore, need to act faster than others.” 

Expectant mothers should remain hypervigilant as well. A massive, 8-year study conducted by the University of Southern California followed close to 2,000 schoolchildren from fourth grade to graduation. Its findings: Exposure to polluted air, including airborne mold spores, stunts the development of children’s lungs and may lead to reduced respiratory capacity. 

Another study, concluded in 2012 by the University of Cincinnati, found that mold exposure during infancy drastically increased the chance of children developing asthma by age 7. And risk may actually begin before birth; a 2011 study published by the Journal of Molecular Sciences found that mold toxins disrupt fetal development and increase fetal death in mice. 

“New studies show that not only can indoor mold cause permanent damage to children’s respiratory systems, but mold toxin exposure during childhood increases the chance of developing ADHD,” Rosen said. 

Affordable, effective solutions are available. If you suspect your home may be harming you due to mold and other airborne contaminants, contact a company with state-licensed mold remediation technicians immediately. 

For more information, call 305-763-8070 or visit www.MiamiMoldSpecialists.com.

  • I am 71 yrs old, female, live alone, disabled for 19 yrs from many injuries rec’d in an assault/battery/strangulation/head bashing that lasted 1 hr and 10 min by an unknown. I was left with a TBI w/ substantial cognitive disorder (never diagnosed properly for 15 months AFTER the assault). Also, many injuries to my feet, ankles, legs, knees (while trying to stay upright while being drug 15′ by my throat from spot taken), lots of injuries to C, L and S-spine, then several yrs later T7-12 compression fractures, 4 broken ribs, atelectasis from a dumb trip and fall, my fault with courtyard wall “stopping me” from flying through the air further. The “wall” did the damage. I have been diagnosed with Cushings syndrom (too many steroid shots and Prednisone from asthma, feet injuries), COPD and never smoked nor around 2nd hand smoke but “REQUIRED” to come in to work (Insurance Sales) by controlling ex. Now UNtreated asthma has lead me to have COPD. Diagnosed with ARACHNOIDITIS (spinal TRAUMA) that has gone past CSF spine and now “all toxins” are going into ALL LYMPH NODES w/ need to wear compression stockings up to thighs. Loss of 22 permanent teeth (during strangulation when tongue went out of mouth and assaulter BASHED under my chin, causing me to bite up my tongue badly, cracking teeth. 6 teeth had to be removed to put in 2 bridges from 2 former root canals “fracturing” during the assault. Over the yrs 16 more crowns, bridges and 4 back teeth cracked from assault.
    QUESTION: With all AUTO-IMMUNE DISEASES named above and “water damaged home” tested by Pro Remediator w/ INFRARED CAMERA and AIR SAMPLES sent to a BioLab w/ worst results of: STACHBOTRYS, CHAETOMIUM and CLADISPORIUM molds. The first two were found, remediated, drywall put back, carpet removed and replaced with tile. THEN few months later in same guest bedroom AIR SAMPLE proved CLADISPORIUM w/ INFRARED CAMERA showing water inside upper wall and ceiling 6 weeks ago. Insurance covering mold problem from water intrusion but are dragging their feet on REMEDIATING the CLADISPOSIUM found in AIR SAMPLES. I understand if DISTURBED can cause more problems. YET, I am soooo fatigued, burning eyes, sore throat, many of the symptoms I have read about. The ARACHNOIDITIS causes severe, chronic, excruciating pain in spine and too late for any surgery. I am so tired of fighting the insurance company, roofing company and know the VALUE OF MY HOME has plummeted. My HEALTH has also PLUMMETED. The assault was 19 yrs ago and long-term memory 99% perfect after 10 yrs from TBI but short-term memory seems to be getting worse that was permanently damaged in assault with Brain MRI’s showing ISCHEMIC and NECROSIS 17 yrs ago. Nothing was caught in ER after assault. BIG INFO; When STACHBOTRYS was first found the Roofer came out w/ sales person and both told me “it came through the window above” and NOT their fault. I hired Remediator who followed toxic black mold from built in bench seat w/o a cover down wall to adjacent floor and pulling back carpet, could see tac board was BLACK, followed mold to end of wall and UP wood framing, finding MOLD “ORIGINATED” from an UNsealed scupper/canale we have on flat top, Santa Fe style homes, for drainage vs water gutters on most homes.
    I had helper SCRUB w/ HARD BRISTLE BRUSH and vinegar the STACHBOTRYS when I thought I was liable not the roofer. Room was open and it took her 2 hrs for 2 days to get most of the mold off the side walls inside the bench seat. Remediator pulled up the interior rug inside bench seat to find “S” and had a good couple samples to send to BioLab. This “S” all became airborne throughout my house, 2025 sq ft. or DID IT? Should I move out? Is it okay to stay inside when I seem to be soooo fatigued, more achy than normal and in bad need of a total knee replacement I put off last yr when roofer was not fixing all the interior and exterior damages they caused from waiting 6 months to come out to PATCH my roof vs REMOVE and REPLACE per the claims inspectors written estimate and per my Insurance Policy of Replacement Cost. SHOULD I MOVE OUT, OR IS IT SAFE TO STAY INSIDE THIS HOME THAT SEEMS TO BE A “SICK HOME” and custom built in ’04.

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