A network of experts in reproductive and children’s environmental health

PEHSU Factsheet: Mold in the Home & Schools > What are health problems related to mold exposure?

What are health problems related to mold exposure?

posted on Aug 26, 2021
  • Allergy (Sensitization): Some people are allergic to molds and may have a stuffy or runny nose, throat dryness, wheezing, difficulty breathing, or dry cough.1 This means someone has a special sensitization and may have developed antibodies to mold. Parents with allergies, skin rashes (eczema), or asthma are more likely to have children who develop these allergies.1,2,3,7,12 There have been some reported associations between prenatal mold exposure and an increased risk of eczema in children.8 For those with such conditions, symptoms may worsen with exposure to mold and usually decrease after the mold is
  • Irritant Symptoms: Some people may experience general irritant symptoms like itchy or teary eyes, headaches, nasal congestion fatigue, or generalized weakness, when exposed to mold or damp spaces, even if they do not have a mold allergy.14
  • Pneumonia: Rarely, some people may develop a reaction in the lungs (hypersensitivity pneumonitis), due to other types of antibodies to mold.1,10
  • Local or Systemic Infections: Sometimes people get minor skin infections from fungi, such as athlete’s foot, which is more related to chronically moist areas in the skin crevices, and not related to water intrusion and mold in a building. A mold infection in the lungs is a very rare reaction that can occur in some people who have weakened immune systems and are more likely to experience infections.