Not only unhealthy for your lungs, mold may play a role in depression risk, says a study in the American Journal of Public Health. In surveying nearly 6,000 European adults, researchers found a connection between living in a moldy home and suffering from depression.
"Depressed people are probably less likely to take good care of their homes, which partly explains the link," says epidemiologist and lead study author Edmond Shenassa. but that mold may weaken the function of a brain region responsible for regulating emotion. Mold-related health troubles, like wheezing and fatigue, might also influence depression risk, says Shenassa. "If you're sick from mold, and you feel you can't get rid of it, that may affect your mental health," he notes.
Controlling moisture is key to keeping your home mold-free, says University of Washington environmental and occupational health microbiologist J. Scott Meschke, Ph.D. Fix leaks as soon as possible, and check the Environmental Protection Agency's mold guide (at epa.gov/mold) for help with tackling other mold problems.
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