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Common Molds


It is important to understand that we are exposed to molds everyday and most common molds will not cause severe health problems, but can cause hay fever like symptoms. Common outdoor and indoor molds include Cladosporium and Penicillium. Though typically not good for a person in large doses and/or for extended periods of time, these mold are typically nothing to be alarmed about, but should be avoided if possible.  Further, if you have large amounts of these molds in an indoor environment it is a sign of a water intrusion or humidity problem that should be looked into and any visible mold should be removed.


Toxic Molds and Mycotoxins (Health Concerns from Exposure)


However, some molds are extremely toxic and long-term exposure can cause a devastating impact on a person's health. Molds which have the potential of producing extremely toxic mycotoxins include Stachybotrys, Fusarium, Trichoderma, and Aspergillus.

1) Stachybotrys Charatarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra)

Stachybotrys more commonly known as Black Mold is a greenish-black mold that produces mycotoxins including roridin E, satratoxins G and H, sporidesmin G, verrucarol, and other macrocylic trichothecenes.

Human exposure to trichothecene toxins can cause cold & flu symptoms, sore throats, headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, local hair loss, generalized malaise, dementia, and gastrointestinal disorders as well as stress the immune system. More severe symptoms caused by stachybotrys mycotoxins include "bloody noses, coughing up blood, severe headaches, dizziness, fibrous growth in the lungs", Pakinsonís like shaking, and problems with concentration. For those that are already weak or compromised including the very young and elderly, exposure to these toxins especially if combined with cigarette smoke can be fatal.

Stachybotrys grows on materials with high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth, but keep in mind that even after water damage is contained poisonous spores can still exist. These spores can cause health problems and if exposed to moisture can start growing again.

2) Fusarium, Trichoderma, and Aspergillus

Though stachybotrys is probably the worst of the molds to be exposed to, numerous health problems have been linked to exposure to fusarium, trichoderma, and aspergillus. Additionally, it should be recognized that like many other harmful toxins, the full impact of long-term exposure is not known. It is thought that long term exposure to mold is similar to long-term exposure to cigarette smoke or asbestos fibers in that some people will have no more than a mild cough after years of exposure, while others will development cancer or another severe illness. Overall, if possible it is best to avoid exposure to all toxic mold.


This Website is designed to provide basic information about mold.  For specific information contact an expert in your area.  This site reviews different types of molds, the importance of mold environmental testing, signs of exposure to toxic mold, potential causes of mold infestations, detection of mold and water infiltration problems, proper remediation of toxic mold, and links to other resources on toxic mold infestations and exposure.  This website is not intended as specific medical, legal, or remediation advice.  It is highly recommended that readers consult their own experts including medical doctors, remediation experts, and legal professionals for specific advice on any mold problem they have.


Molds Testing Exposure Contamination Detection Remediation Resources



 

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