Do You Have a Book Allergy?

Mold and Your Book Allergy

If you find that stepping into the library prompts your allergies to flare, you could have a book allergy and may need to beware.

For people who are allergic to books, mold contained within the pages is likely to blame for the reaction. Mold is one of the most common allergy triggers and when you come into contact with it, it can lead to a variety of severe allergy symptoms.

Further, it's not only books that can be big havens for mold spores. You can also find mold lurking throughout your home. It has a particular fondness for burrowing in dark damp places such as in humidifiers, around your sink and shower tiles, beneath your refrigerator and in your basement. Then of course, mold also grows within damp piles of clothes and papers.

Taking Control

If you're struggling with sensitivity to mold and the related book allergy symptoms that typically go along with it, there're some essential ways to minimize your exposure and put your symptoms to rest.  Please review the suggestions that can help make your mold and book allergy easier to handle on a regular basis.

  • Ban books from your bedroom. When you want to read, it's important to do so in another room so the mold doesn't linger near where you sleep.
  • Eliminate any other dust collectors, such as rugs, curtains, collectibles and stuffed animals.
  • Vacuum and dust often and rely on a HEPA filter to trap allergens and keep them from the air you breathe.
  • Minimize the number of books you own. Donate ones you've finished with to a library or shelter to limit opportunities for mold to grow.
  • Store the books you want to keep tightly packed in a cool, dry place.
  • Use a dehumidifier in your basement, attic and anywhere where dampness or leaks are apt to happen.
  • Check the humidity in your bedroom and other places where you spend the most time. If you can keep the level below 50 percent, you'll be able to minimize the dust mites and mold you'll get.
  • Use an air filter to remove allergens from your room.

It's also worth noting that even if you don't think you're prone to a reaction to mold, over time, with repeated exposure to this allergen, it can cause you to begin to experience symptoms.

Look for New Reads

If older books in particular cause you to cough and sneeze, consider borrowing new paperbacks or hard covers at the library and then returning them as soon as you've finished reading. This can help to control your worst book allergies.





University of Michigan Health System

Virginia Commonwealth Medical Center