Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants and, in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). In-haling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral substance that can be pulled into a fluffy consistency. Asbestos fibers are soft and flexible yet resistant to heat, electricity and chemical corrosion. Pure asbestos is an effective insulator, and it can also be mixed into cloth, paper, cement, plastic and other materials to make them stronger. Once asbestos fibers are in the body, they never dissolve, and the body has extreme difficulty expelling them. Over extended periods of time, trapped asbestos fibers can cause inflammation, scarring and eventually genetic damage to the body’s cells.
Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood.