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Early exposure to mold in house dust may prevent allergies later in life. A study of babies under age 1 showed that those exposed to high levels of a protein contained in fungus were less likely to wheeze or be sensitive to allergens compared with those living in cleaner environments. Molds grow in bathrooms, garbage pails, mattresses, damp basements and old foam-rubber pillows and release microscopic spores that are easily inhaled. Exposure to these common allergens in infancy may trigger a protective response in the baby's immune system.