The office should be a safe place where people can go without fearing for their health. However, more often, office workers are exposed to different threats that can make them sick. Different viruses and bacteria spread more often in offices because it’s a shared space where dozens of people congregate and interact with one another. The tools in the office can also harbor germs because of the many pairs of hands that touch and use them.
Mold can also be a problem in the office. Mold is a type of fungus that grows and spreads quickly. It needs moisture to survive; particularly if it’s a moist, humid area.
Toxic mold can be a serious threat to your health if it is not dealt with immediately. Symptoms of toxic mold exposure and allergy range from headaches, nausea, and dizziness to more severe reactions that require emergency medical attention. People with allergies or asthma are prone to developing more severe reactions when exposed to mold.
This article will discuss how you can tell if there is toxic mold in the workplace as well as what should be done about it.
Signs of Toxic Mold in the Building
If you are worried that toxic mold may be growing in your workplace, there are some signs to look out for. One of the most common signs of toxic mold is a musty smell. If you notice an unusual odor, it’s best to investigate further.
Another sign of toxic mold is water damage. If the office has been flooded or there is noticeable water damage on the walls or ceiling, there is a good chance that mold is growing as well.
Other indicators of toxic mold growth include visible mold spores, excessive humidity, and water stains. If you see any of these signs, it’s important to take action right away.
Moreover, there likely is mold in the building if several people experience symptoms of sick building syndrome at once whenever they are in the office.
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a term used to describe a range of symptoms that people experience when they are in a particular building. These symptoms can include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.
SBS is thought to be caused by exposure to certain chemicals or pollutants in the air, such as asbestos, formaldehyde, or carbon monoxide. It can also be caused by exposure to mold or poor ventilation.
How to Respond if You Suspect Toxic Mold
If you suspect that toxic mold is growing in your workplace, you should take immediate action to address the issue. The first step is to figure out where the mold may be coming from. Check for any areas that are prone to flooding or have suffered water damage. Also, look for sources of moisture like leaky pipes, malfunctioning humidifiers, and other items that may cause dampness. Many companies are using drone services to check for rook leaks from the top of the building.
Once you have identified the areas of concern, it’s important to take care of them immediately. Clean up any mold and make sure that the area is properly ventilated. You can also check with your landlord or property owner to find out what kind of cleanup procedures they follow when there is mold in a building.
It’s better to vacate the premises until the problem of mold has been resolved to prevent experiencing symptoms that come from exposure. Health should be the priority of everyone.
What to Do After Toxic Mold Exposure
If you think you’ve been exposed to toxic mold in the workplace, one thing you can do is practice good hygiene. Try to avoid touching your face with your hands, wash any items that you used in the area where you were exposed, and shower after working before going home. A nasal rinse can also help alleviate symptoms by removing spores from the nose.
Moreover, those who are experiencing symptoms can take antihistamine and decongestants for sneezing, runny nose, blocked nose, and itchiness. If symptoms persists, visit your doctor.
In addition, you can wear masks (preferably N95) to prevent further exposure to mold spores. Better yet, open the windows to improve ventilation in the office and at home.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to see a doctor and figure out what is causing them. While there is no long-term study on the health effects of toxic mold exposure, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you think your workplace may have a mold problem, take action immediately.