Mold dangers and prostrate cancer awareness

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, September 18, 2018:

The 2018 school year got off to a bumpy start around Pennsylvania with multiple schools closing or delaying their start after discovering mold in the buildings. In each case, the mold was remediated and, once air quality samples confirmed it was safe, the buildings and schools opened.

Why does it seem that there were more closures and mold findings this year? Is it because of the wet weather conditions or are building managers getting better at finding mold?

Mold is almost everywhere; mold spores are a regular part of the soil and are normally quite harmless. According to the CDC website, molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species exist, but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores.

So, if mold is everywhere, when does it become dangerous? Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.

The only way to control mold growth inside buildings is to control humidity. We all know, that has been difficult to do, particularly this summer.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss mold and its impact is Rich Roush, Cumberland Analytical Laboratories, Inc.,and Dr. Mohammad Y. Ali, an Infectious Disease physician and public health practictioner with Geisinger Holy Spirit.

September is National Prostate Health Month. Despite being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, prostate cancer receives little media attention. The rate of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is very similar to the rate of women diagnosed with breast cancer, and the mortality rates are also similar. Joining us to discuss the disease are Kristine Warner, executive director of the Pennsylvania prostate cancer coalition, along with prostate cancer survivor Mike Rotz.