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Black Mold – Levels Of Severity, Effects On Health, And Necessary Precautions

Black mold is basically a kind of fungus that can be found in moist and humid areas. You can find these deadly creatures in any part of your house especially washroom, basements and kitchen. Black mold can seriously affect one’s health, as they produce spores which contain mycotoxins. Prolonged exposure to these spores can lead to severe health problems or ultimately death.

Once these creatures start taking birth in your house, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop their growth. This is because they spread at an alarming rate and can invade your entire house. You can still avoid its exposure if they are found outdoors, but if they grow inside your house, you have no other option than to live with these harmful creatures.

Black mold is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. It is in green and blackish color and can grow on damp places like damaged walls, floors, basins and organic products. There are many different species of black mold and each of them produces mycotoxins of varied severity. The level of severity will depend on various factors like moisture, food source and temperature. The presence of all these factors can make the situation worse.

It is needless to say that these fungi can severely affect one’s health. First of all, exposure to black mold can weaken your immune system. You will develop allergies and experience irritation in eyes throat and skin. Some will even start suffering from diarrhea. In extreme cases, consistent exposure may result in death of the person. There are some forms of mycotoxins that can have a greater impact on animals and pets than on humans.

Due to its increased severity and health issues, many companies have come up with high formula products to get rid of mold. They have produced mold killing sprays, detergents and even paints. By using these products, you can kill away these creatures and wash off the affected places. Some people use products like bleach and ammonia. However, bleach has its own certain limitations. First of all, it cannot reach in to the tiniest corners of your house, where molds have been nesting.

Secondly, bleach cleans the place temporarily, but it does not prevent future growth of black mold. Moreover, bleach is unfit for human health which further adds to the problem. In such cases, natural black mold killing products would work best because they do not cause harm to human health and can reach every corner of the house where molds are hiding. They are also free from all sorts of side effects and also prevent mold from growing in the future.

As The US emerges from a long recession, managing the growing cost of healthcare remains an ongoing concern. The Affordable Health Act will eventually assure the availability of healthcare insurance coverage to over 30 million more Americans. This landmark legislation will improve access to a previously uninsured or underinsured group of Americans.

Health and Healthcare disparities is broadly defined as worse baseline states of health and relatively worse clinical outcomes associated with certain diseases in certain population groups. The affected groups may be distinguished by race, ethnicity, culture, gender, religion and age. The costs to treat the diseases which result from Health and Healthcare disparities represent one of the recognized areas of unnecessary and arguably avoidable healthcare delivery costs. Specifically, in certain instances both prevention and more cost efficient management of chronic disease states can significantly reduce healthcare costs. A chronic disease is defined as a long lasting or recurrent medical condition.

Some common examples include diabetes, hypertension, asthma and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, our current healthcare system may be better equipped to manage intermittent and episodic disease occurrences and not the demands of chronic medical conditions In a study published by Weidman et al from The Urban Institute,the authors estimated that in 2009, disparities among black health  African Americans, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites will cost the health care system $23.9 billion dollars. Medicare alone will spend an extra $15.6 billion while private insurers will incur $5.1 billion in additional costs due to elevated rates of chronic illness among these groups of Americans. Over the 10-year period from 2009 through 2018, the authors estimated that the total cost of these disparities to be approximately $337 billion, including $220 billion for Medicare.

In the same study, the authors estimated the total healthcare costs secondary to racial and ethnic health disparities in chronic disease treatment (diabetes, hypertension, stroke, renal disease, poor general health) in African Americans and Latino Americans residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be $700 million. The Urban Institute. A study entitled The Economic Burden of Health inequalities in the United States by LaVeist et almeasured the economic burden of health disparities in the US using three measures: (1) direct medical costs of health inequalities (2) Indirect costs of health inequalities (3) Costs of premature death Their findings revealed:

The combined costs of health inequalities and premature death in the US among African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans were $1.24 trillion
Eliminating health disparities for minorities would have reduced direct medical expenditures by $229.4 billion for the years 2003-2006
Between 2003 and 2006, 30.6% of direct medical expenditures for African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics were excess costs due to health inequalities.
Cultural competence (CC) refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures. CC comprises four components: (a) Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview, (b) Attitude towards cultural differences, (c) Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and (d) cross-cultural skills. Developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures. CC has been increasingly recognized as an important, overlooked and underappreciated factor in delivering healthcare to an increasingly diverse America. US census estimations project that by 2050, over 50% of Americans will be non-white. Over 50% of children will be nonwhite by 2025. It seems intuitive to that the interface between patient, healthcare system and healthcare provider is a critical point in the delivery of healthcare. To this end, The Office of Minority Health in the Department of Health and Human Services has issued mandates and recommendations to inform, guide and facilitate the creation of cultural and language appropriate services. (CLAS Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services). Implementation of these guidelines within systems and agencies and among individuals can enhance CC and ultimately improve clinical outcomes.. The Center for Health Improvement and Economic Development was one of several parties which advocated for statewide guidelines regarding the cultural competency CME (continuing medical education) requirements for initial licensure and relicensing of physicians in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To accomplish this goal, we set forth to educate and inform the various stakeholders regarding the intrinsic value of CC as a critical determinant of improving healthcare outcomes and a direct result of a utilitarian argument of social justice in the United States. The Center also recognized the importance of making a compelling business case in the current economic climate Partnering with the Gateway Medical Society, the Pennsylvania State Legislative Black Caucus (PSLBC) under the leadership of State Representative Ronald G. Waters and the Center for Health Improvement and Economic Development-a townhall format meeting was organized and planned in Pittsburgh. Local legislators including State Representatives Jake Wheatley, Tom Preston and Daniel Frankel were in attendance.

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