Additional Mold Resources
Florida Department of Health (FDH)
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) was established in 1996. Yet, public health concerns began in Florida as early as 1888 with the creation of the Florida State Board of Health. In 2007, the first-ever State Surgeon General was established to spearhead the efforts of DOH, thereby designating a health officer to oversee all matters of public health. The Surgeon General’s role is to be the state’s leading advocate for wellness and disease prevention.
Florida’s DOH is comprised of a state health office in Tallahassee, with statewide responsibilities: Florida’s 67 county health departments, 22 Children’s Medical Services offices, 12 Medical Quality Assurance regional offices, 9 Disability Determinations regional offices, and 5 public health laboratories. The 67 county health departments (CHDs) have a total of 355 sites throughout the state, providing a variety of services from large to small.
F-DOH reports to the state legislature, the Executive Office of the Governor, all residents and visitors in the state, and the federal government. DOH is responsive to priorities identified by the Governor and the legislature in determining services, associated funding, and delivery mechanisms. Annually, the state legislature passes a budget, approved by the Governor, and creates or amends laws that direct the Department’s actions. The Department’s total budget for fiscal year 2012-203 was $2,8 billion. The DOH has a total of 16,550 full time employees.
According to the F-DOH, you should be worried about mold in your home. There will always be mold in your home in the form of spores and pieces of mold cells (fragments). The presence of cell fragments and mold spores in the air is normal. However, one should not let mold grow and multiply indoors as this can lead to health risks. When this happens, your level of exposure can increase, thereby increasing the risk of potential health problems. Building materials, household goods and furnishing may also be damaged. Mold needs to eat to survive, and it’s perfectly happy feeding on the materials in your home, if you allow it.
There are four different kinds of problems that arise from exposure to mold: allergic illness, irritant effects, infections, and toxic effects. For people who are sensitive to molds, symptoms such as nasal and sinus irritation or congestion, dry hacking cough, wheezing, skin rashes or burning, watery or reddened eyes may occur. People with allergies to molds may have more serious reactions, such as hay-fever-like symptoms or shortness of breath. People with chronic illnesses or people with immune system problems may be more likely to get infections from certain molds, viruses and bacteria. Mold will trigger asthma attacks in persons with asthma. Headaches, memory problems, mood swings, nosebleeds and body aches and pains are sometimes reported in mold complaints, but the causes of these physical symptoms are not yet understood. The toxic effects of certain molds are not well understood, and are currently a controversial topic in the medical and scientific community. There is evidence of specific long-term toxic effects from eating foods with mold toxins. Unfortunately, very little is known regarding the actual heath risks from breathing in or skin contact with mold toxins. Allergic disease is now considered the most likely health problem related to mold exposures. Research on these concerns is on-going.
Certain molds produce mycotoxins. Such molds are common and sometimes referred to as “toxic molds”. If you think you have a mold problem in your home or workplace, it is not essential to determine its species. You need to consider all molds the same when it comes to health risks and removal. Indoor mold growth is best to be removed no matter the type or species, or if it may or may not produce mycotoxins.
To visit the Florida DOH click here:
- What is mold?
- Molds and problems
- How we test for mold
- How mold samples are analyzed
- Various mold types
- Mold Resources