Bathroom Molds: What You Need to Know

in Overall Health by

Bathrooms need to be clean. Your bathroom is the site of many of your most sensitive hygienic activities. Sinks, showers, toilets, and oral care products all sit packed in a tight, white space, their shiny surfaces promising clinical cleanliness. But it’s not so simple. Water and regular human activities provide steady sources of bacterial immigration, and swarms of nasty microorganisms make even the most spotless bathroom a fertile breeding ground for disease and other filthy invaders.

Molds are among the most dreaded—and most common—lifeforms that squat unwanted in the average American restroom. Molds are capable of breeding toxic elements that can have big, bad consequences for you and your family. It’s a gross business. Molds look bad, smell bad, and generally make your home unpleasant. Here’s what you need to know.

What Molds Are

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), molds are part of a system of “hundreds of species of bacteria and fungi.” Molds thrive in warm, damp spots. Like bathrooms. They are difficult to control completely, but careful monitoring can keep them at bay. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), molds affect air quality, and the best way to stay mold free is watch your air quality. Molds can grow anywhere. They look filthy, often appearing black, green, brown, or other icky, sickly hues. They’re usually pretty easy to spot.

What Molds Do

Molds haunt your house’s most intimate spots. They look bad, smell bad, and foul up your bathroom. And the problems are not just cosmetic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), molds can play a significant role in aggravating respiratory conditions, risk of infection, and generally higher effects of many health problems. People with suppressed immune systems should be extra careful around molds, since they are already more susceptible to infection than most other people. CDC recommends taking care of all molds as you see them. Most common bathroom molds are not serious enough to warrant expert intervention. Household cleaning tools should do the job.

And although rare, seriously dangerous molds do exist. Notify your landlord or local health authorities if you see anything beyond the usual molds.

You Can Prevent Molds

Don’t rely on experts to keep you safe (remember that even the Navy recklessly and regularly used toxic products in its ships, according to Belluck & Fox). Again, CDC recommends dealing with all molds. There is no reason to ignore a mold. Spray your molds and clean them off before things get too gross. Molds are biological organisms, after all, and less mold means fewer opportunities to spread.

Keep your bathrooms dry. Use a vent. Be vigilant in removing the fungi that inevitably will develop. Your home will look better, feel safer, and generally have that cosy, clean atmosphere. You and your family will rest easy knowing that infection rates, respiratory conditions, and the assorted health problems associated with molds are kept to a minimum. Your bathroom should be shrine to clean living. Scrub that tub, spray those tiles, and weed out that excess filth. Things just look better without mold.