Some genus of mold that are regularly encountered by humans may not have any effect on healthy individuals. However, continuous exposure to mold, toxic or not, can cause or worsen certain conditions. They commonly cause issues in individuals with asthma, immune compromised, young children, elderly, and include symptoms such as hay fever or other allergies. Many common indications of exposure to mold can include sneezing, itchy eyes, headache, nose bleeds, cough, congestion, and aggravation of asthma. Every individual is different and depending on the amount of exposure, more serious health issues can occur. If you feel you may be suffering symptoms of mold exposure, it is very important to discuss your situation with a medical professional as soon as possible.
How does mold exposure happen?
Mold release spores, similar to seeds, that are released into the air and into our breathing zone. Inhalation of the spores, directly touching moldy materials without gloves, or unintentionally eating moldy food can expose an individuals to mold. In addition, certain mold species can produce a secondary metabolite called Mycotoxins. Mycotoxins may cause illness in people. It is important to advice with a medical professional if you have been exposed to mold or Mycotoxins.
What are some of the different types of mold?
Stachybotrys is highly cellulolytic. This mold is commonly categorized as the black toxic mold. This mold commonly releases a Mycotoxin known as Trichothecenes. Indoors it is commonly found in water damaged environments and will grow on anything that is porous or semi porous.
Aspergillus is an international fungus that can be found worldwide. This mold is often secluded from dirt and vegetal materials, especially in temperate and sub-tropical areas, like Florida. Aspergillus spores are commonly dispersed through the air.
Penicillium is a close relative of Aspergillus genus and is commonly grouped together with the mold during analysis. This mold genus is most commonly found in earths, cellulose and semi porous materials foods, such as grains, and compost piles. Inside Penicillium is commonly found growing on porous or semi-porous materials like wallpaper, carpet, organic substances, and is also known to grow within fiberglass duct insulation.
Cladosporium is also another type of mold that can be commonly found throughout the world. It is normally isolated from food, plant fragments, leaves, soil, fabrics, wood and other building materials. Cladosporium is a mold, frequently found in air samples in both the indoor and outdoor environments.
Where is mold found?
Mold grows very easily in areas where water or dampness (basements, attics, bathrooms) is present. With so many different types of mold species, they all have their own ideal food sources. Molds commonly grow on porous or semi-porous materials like carpets, wood, paper, drywall, ceiling tiles and food. In situations where excess moisture or water exists indoors, mold growth is likely to occur. It can get worse if the source of the water or moisture problem remains undiscovered or is ignored.
What does mold need grow?
Molds need three main environmental components to grow; water, temperature and food. The most important of the three is water. Mold can grow almost anywhere water damage, high humidity, or dampness exists. In order to prevent mold growth, removal of the source of the water or moisture intrusion is necessary.
What is Stachybotrys chartarum?
Stachybotrys chartarum (also rffered to as Stachybotrys atra) is a species of mold that has been related to health problems in people. It commonly is a greenish-black colored mold. It grows on materials that are high cellulose –examples include ceiling tiles, cabinetry, floors, drywall, glues and adhesives for wallpaper and plaster walls. It needs and environment that is constantly moist or wet, usually caused by excessive humidity, leaks, and condensation or flooding. It is important to advice with a medical professional if you have been exposed to mold.
How do I know if Stachybotrys chartarum is present in my home or business?
With over 100,000 types of known species of molds, it is impossible to tell the type of mold just by visually looking at the growth. Stachybotrys can be certainly recognized by specially trained professionals (mycologists) under a microscopic.
How does Stachybotrys chartarum cause health issues?
In most cases, inside levels of airborne Stachybotrys are low. Depending on the situation and the person, most molds, can cause health issues at high levels. The reactions may include, but are not limited to sneezing, coughing, rashes, wheezing, eye irritation, aggravated asthma, headaches and nosebleeds. Other symptoms may include brain fog or difficulty concentrating and lyme disease like symptoms (fatigue, muscle aches, headaches). In many cases, the symptoms dissipate once remediation and mold remediation has been complete.
There have been white paper studies that connect Stachybotrys with lung diseases in babies who are less than six months old. Pulmonary hemosiderosis is a rare illness that causes the lungs to bleed. In regards to situations of pulmonary hemosiderosis, the exposure to Stachybotrys came from extremely contaminated properties, where the babies were constantly exposed for a long time. It is important to advice with a medical professional if you have been exposed to mold.
What should you do if mold is present in your home, apartment, or business?
If you believe there is mold in your indoor environment, it is highly recommended you call a Certified mold inspection company that will investigate and perform the necessary analysis and testing. A mold inspection company should also be able to provide you with a detailed report and protocol outlining their investigation, the results, and the necessary guidelines that a licensed and certified remediation company will follow to remedy the issue. The most effective way to treat mold is to correct underlying water damage and clean the affected area according to industry standards and guidelines.
Can my health and my family’s health be impacted? If so, should we see a medical professional?
If you or your family is experiencing symptoms that you feel are due to being exposed to mold, it is highly recommended to speak with a medical professional. When speaking with the medical professional make sure to discuss in detail about all of the symptoms experienced, as well as, when, how, and for how long you were exposed.