Could my damp basement cause allergic reactions?

A high humidity level can lead to mold growth

Published: March 27, 2014 12:00 PM

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Watch out for mold in your basement.

Q. My basement is damp and musty. Could that be what’s making me sneeze and wheeze? 

A. Yes. High humidity and a musty odor point to mold in the basement. And inhaling mold on house dust or mold spores floating in the air can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. A dehumidifier can help dry out your basement by pulling moisture from the air and dripping it into a tank. Setting the humidistat to a humidity level below 50 percent helps prevent mold, mildew, and dust mites from breeding. Our dehumidifier buying guide and Ratings will help you find the right dehumidifier.

If you’re still concerned about mold or other indoor allergens, check Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs for recommendations about antihistamine drugs used to relieve allergies and inhaled steroids for asthma symptoms.

—Doug Podolsky

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