In the U.S., if you suffer from a work-related illness, your employer may be responsible. When you arrive in the office, you should have a reasonable expectation of safety. However, if your workplace has a mold problem, you may be exposed to an invisible danger.
Most employees who have mold-related illnesses do not realize it until they take an extended break from work. Once away from the office, your symptoms may begin to subside. Unfortunately, mold-related illnesses can also have serious consequences.
Symptoms of mold exposure
When you inhale or touch mold spores, you may have an allergic reaction. You may experience irritation of the mouth, nose and throat and itchy and watery eyes. Other symptoms may include sneezing and nasal drainage.
In more serious cases, you can develop lung inflammation similar to allergies. The symptoms manifest like pneumonia but do not improve with antibiotics. The symptoms of exposure can make it difficult to continue working. Some symptoms include:
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
In some cases, you may also experience sudden weight loss.
Conditions caused by mold exposure
You can develop asthma due to exposure to mold. People with asthma have inflamed airways that cause chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath and a cough. If you already have asthma, mold can exacerbate it. Adults who do not have asthma can still develop it in the workplace. Generally, asthma improves when you remove yourself from the contaminated environment.
Lung conditions can occur in any work environment with plumbing leaks, humidity, poor drainage or roof leaks.