UK – Mold and dampness in the family home doubles the risk a child will develop asthma, British researchers report. Unfortunately, the risk of neurological and pathological was not studied. Studies suggest that autoimmune disease such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia are even more risky. Still, this study linking asthma to mold are a judicious beginning in the endeavor to alert the world about threat of fungal exposure.
“These findings strengthen evidence that exposure to molds increases the risk of developing asthma in childhood,” study author Jouni Jaakkola, director of the Institute for Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Birmingham, said in a prepared statement.
According to the March issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, Jaakkola’s team tracked the health of nearly 2,000 Finnish children, aged 1 to 7, for more than six years. Just over 7 percent (138) of the children went on to develop asthma during the study period. This survey was conducted solely to identify respiratory illness and allergies, not toxicity and dysfunction .
The study identified increased asthma susceptibility in children with a parent with a history of allergies. And it also found that an odor of mold in the home increased the children’s risk of asthma, independent of their parents’ medical histories.
Children who lived in homes with mold odor during the initial phase of the study were more than twice as likely as other children to develop asthma in the following six years, the researchers report.
In addition to Jaakkola, contributing authors included Bing-Fang Hwang of the Environmental Epidemiology Unit at the University of Helsinki in Finland, and Niina Jaakkola of the Department of Health Care Administration at Diwan College of Management in Taiwan.
“This study is important for families everywhere. Anyone with young children in the home should be aware of the potentially harmful effects of long-term exposure to mold and this potential link to asthma in children,” Dr. Jim Burkhart, science editor for Environmental Health Perspectives, said in a prepared statement. Unfortunately, they did not track the more serious aspects of exposure to toxigenic molds.