No one likes mold. It's unpleasant to look at (especially inside your home), it can have a great impact on the quality of your indoor air, plus it can have dangerous health effects.
Depending on the type of mold and the health status of your family members, exposure to mold can cause some serious health risks. Your home is your safe place. That's why it's important to keep your home clear or mold, and ensure it is a healthy environment.
Mold can be black, white and really any colour in between, but the truth is, there is no such thing as "toxic mold".
There are somemold species that are "toxigenic," that is they produce "mycotoxins." Mycotoxins are metabolites produced bymolds that are capable of harming other living organisms.Molds evolved these metabolites as part of their strategy to battle bacteria (and each other). One of the most famous of these mycotoxins is a compound we call penicillin. Penicillin is produced by themold Penicillium (one of the supposedly "toxicmolds") and is essentially harmless to non-allergic humans in the concentrations encountered in our day-to-day lives.
Over 100,000 mold species have been identified over time. Mold reproduces by creating spores from 2 to 100 microns, too tiny for the naked eye to see, in a variety of shapes. Molds then release reproductive spores which begin to spread and can trigger allergies and asthma attacks.
Once a mold spore lands on a damp spot, it can begin grow. Whether it lands on wood, paper, carpet, foods or other surfaces, the mold can reproduce.
The biggest threats to a healthy home include:
It may sound like a delicious vegetable but this mold means business. Aspergillus spores can be found in air conditioning units and in damp areas.
It is generally believed that the amount of airborne spores of Aspergillus spp. in indoor air is higher than outdoors at any given time. In the home, the amount of spores in the air is significantly increased when cleaning is carried out mechanically, for example, when carpets are vacuum cleaned.
Aspergillus fungus can be an issue for those with a weak immune system or lungs by causing infection, plus it can trigger common allergy symptoms in others.
Cladosporium is one of the most common types of mold. It appears in areas with moisture, humidity and water damage (both indoors and outdoors). In an indoor environment you may find cladosporium on " gypsum board, acrylic painted walls, wood, wallpaper, carpet and mattress dust, HVAC fans, and wet insulation in mechanical cooling units". Learn more.
Although this is a non-toxic mold, it has the ability to trigger allergic reactions in those who with allergy sensitivities and asthma.
Strachybotrys atra, also known as stachybotrys charatrum, is an infamous indoor toxic mold. It can produce mycotoxin and can cause animal and human mycotoxicosis. Although it goes back "black mold" its appearance can be greenish-black.
Black mold can cause serious health effects. Some symptoms include respiratory problems, skin inflammation, hemorrhage, irritation of the mucous membrane, damage to internal organs, tiredness, nausea, immune system suppression and mental impairment (Moldpedia.com).
This mold can grow on fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. They grow best when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding.
If you spot mold in your home it's a good idea to consult with an expert to ensure it's not endangering your family. To prevent mold spores from spreading in your home, use an air purifier for mold and damp spaces.
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