Exposure to mold could result in long-term health issues, experts say

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Exposure to mold could impact your health, and according to an expert, there are long-term consequences of being exposed to it for some time. 

The expert told 22News that mold is becoming a growing issue in the area and has been for the last 10 years. This isn’t surprising since 22News has reported on the environmental problems inside the courthouse in the past. 

Daniel Atkins, president of Nature’s Way, a mold inspection company, said it doesn’t take a lot for mold to grow, all it needs is the right temperature, humidity, and food source. Food sources can be anything from drywall to carpet.

People who think they’ve been exposed to mold are recommended to see a doctor. 

“They can also do a general mold test in the doctor’s office,” said Atkins. “That will tell them that they’re allergic to certain types of molds. And that’s the best way to start to get healed is to know what you are up against and try to get in environments that don’t have that in it.” 

According to the CDC, for some people, mold can cause a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash. People with asthma or who are allergic to mold may have severe reactions. Most recover from it, but some are affected permanently. 

Dr. Paul Salva, a pediatric pulmonologist, told 22News, “Your lungs just swell, and it knocks the living daylights out of you. The triggering dose and the cumulative load that builds over time, so initially you may not have a problem, but if you are around a large enough dose for a long enough time, you are going to have a problem.”

Dr. Salva added that when you have a large building like the courthouse that’s closed off, the mold can spread much more rapidly.

A number of local officials called on the state Wednesday to fix the courthouse, but state officials have not yet responded. 

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