People who have toxic mold sickness and or allergies need to do their best to avoid mold as best they can. Healing from mold exposure is both a proactive and vigilant process in which you must have a daily routine and protocol you need to follow in order to get well.
I have found that one of the best proactive ways you can remain vigilant is by keeping track of your local outdoor weather, mold spore counts, and allergen levels.
By tracking these levels daily, you can adjust your lifestyle and exposure to minimize your risk of breathing more toxins that can affect your health. After all, all indoor air is from the outdoors so knowing exactly when to open windows or not during high mold count days and to run your HEPA filters on high 24/7 is paramount knowledge in your daily avoidance routine.
The idea of daily monitoring is really simple.
When it is really windy outside and or the spore counts are moderate to high, you open your windows less during the day and you operate your HEPA filters on high throughout the day.
On days when the air quality is bad, I open my windows for about 4-6 hours in 1-2 hour intervals. I then place my HEPA filter right by the open window and another on the opposite side of the room to filter the outdoor air so my family can get enough oxygen and also release the excess carbon dioxide from the air in our home.
To get started with your own daily monitoring routine, here’s a free guide to some free online tool to help you and your loved ones avoid mold.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) – The AAAAIs National Allergy Bureau website has an interactive map that allows you to check the mold spore levels in certain areas of the U.S. and world. For now, they cover most of the United States where you can search in the Western Region, South Central, South Atlantic, Midwest,| Northeast, and also Canada, China, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates.
You can also sign up for email alerts from their local monitoring center.
A pollen count or a mold count is based on the measurement of the number of grains of pollen or mold spores in a cubic meter of the air. The higher the count, the greater the chance that people suffering from toxic mold illness and or allergies will have greater exposure and difficulties in breathing on these days.
For example, here is a screenshot of the outdoor count for my region today which is in San Diego, California which shows moderate spore counts and also the species detected.
Please note that it appears that in many regions, they are not obtaining the spore county daily and I’m not sure why.
The website does not have an outdoor spore count, but you can monitor what is called “Particle pollution,” and here is an example for my area today.
Particle pollution comes from many different types of sources of super small fine particles (2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller) including mold, pollen, power plants, industrial processes, vehicle tailpipes, woodstoves, and wildfires. Coarse particles (between 2.5 and 10 micrometers) come from crushing and grinding operations, road dust, and some agricultural operations.
Particle pollution is connected to a number of health problems, including coughing, wheezing, reduced lung function, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, and also early death.
The last tool I use is from my local San Diego County Air Pollution Control District website. You can see an 8 hour average of local levels of air quality so you can keep track.
Please keep in mind that these tools should be used in addition to your current protocol to help avoid mold the best you can and to remain vigilant in this daily fight!
Moe Bedard is the founder and CEO of Mold Safe Solutions. A full-service Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) company specializing in property water damage, mold inspections, consultations, and mold remediation. If you need help with a project, please call Mold Safe Solutions at 760-818-6830.