Toxic mold levels lead to Chicago air quality alert

September 13, 2012 (CHICAGO)

And dangerous amounts of it, according to Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist, at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Dr. Leija takes the allergy count for the Midwest every morning.

Thursday's mold count was at 60,000, which is above the threshold of toxic levels for those with mold allergies.

"The temptation today is to open the windows and let the cooler air in, but for allergy sufferers, the air is not fresh but loaded with toxins," Dr. Leija said in a statement. He said the high mold count could mean "headaches, congestion, and runny noses to those with sensitive respiratory systems."

Dr. Leija recommends allergy sufferers stay inside in the air-conditioning, rinse their sinuses with saline solution and wash their hair before going to bed at night to help ease their irritation.

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