Is Mold Dangerous?
There is only one correct answer to this question: yes, mold is dangerous. So which types are dangerous? Actually, nearly all mold can be dangerous to certain segments of the population. Though some mold, such as those referred to as ‘black mold,’ can lead to fatalities, the fact is that nearly all mold that grow inside your home can be dangerous because they can lead to health problems, particularly in individuals with immune deficiencies. For decades, we have had clear scientific evidence that exposure to mold growing indoors can lead to wheezing, coughing, and respiratory illnesses, even in people who are otherwise healthy. However, in those whose immune systems already are compromised due to such illnesses as asthma, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), or in those who are elderly, exposure to indoors mold can lead to severe illness. Certain mold’ spores can even cause brain dysfunctions such as confusion and depression. Following is more information regarding the dangers of indoor mold from companies that specialize in mold remediation in New Jersey.
Mold are microscopic fungi. To date, we have identified more than 1500 types of mold species, and this number is growing. Mold spores can grow indoors because they cling to host surfaces such as foods, bathroom surfaces, carpets, and more. The most common means mold have of growing indoors is via water damage, such as flooding or from leaky pipes and wet basements.
The term ‘toxic mold’ actually is a misnomer. The fact is that the mold itself is not toxic; the mold’s spores can be. Some mold produce compounds known as ‘mycotoxins,’ and it is these substances that can be toxic. The better term for these dangerous mold is ‘toxigenic.’ When people speak of ‘dangerous’ mold, they typically are talking about Stachybotrys chartarum, also referred to as Stachybotrys atra. The spores of Stachybotrys chartarum can be fatal. If you see a black or blackish green mold growing in your home, it is important to seek out a reputable mold removal service immediately in order to have an inspection done and, if necessary, have mold removal performed. The spores of Stachybotrys chartarum can lead to such serious health problems as asthma attacks, severe respiratory illnesses, confusion, depression, and even death.
Not toxigenic, but still dangerous
Even mold that are not the ‘black mold’ type can be dangerous. Some of the most common types of mold that grow in homes that are not considered toxigenic include Absidia corymbifera, Alternaria, Chaetomium, and Penicillium. All of these types of mold typically occur indoors following water damage. Additionally, they can all lead to serious health issues such as coughing, wheezing, asthma, allergic reactions, fatigue, to name just a few.
Absidia corymbifera mostly is found in compost, soil, and plant matter. It can grow and thrive indoors on carpets, which is why ditching carpets for area rugs is a good idea, particularly if the carpet has been placed in a wet basement or in any other area that tends to see a lot of moisture, such as in a bathroom.
Alternaria is ubiquitous outdoors. However, it also can be quite prevalent indoors, especially in moist areas of your home such as in the bathroom under sinks, around shower stalls, and also in leaky pipes.
The spores of Chaetomium typically are discovered due to their musty odor. Chaetomium can grow on window frames, carpets, and drywall. Chaetomium is another type of mold that typically grows in buildings that have sustained water damage in floods, rainfalls, or other water-related events.
Penicillium is prevalent in homes, particularly those that have sustained water damage. This type of mold typically is found on insulation materials, wallpaper, mattresses and other furniture items, and on carpeting.
The most important step you can take to prevent dangerous mold from growing in your home is to control moisture. If the humidity levels in your home are too high, consider investing in a dehumidifier. Repairing all leaks and areas where moisture is seeping into your home is another factor in eliminating the potential of mold growing inside your home. For more information on mold inspection and the different types of mold, as well as mold remediation, contact a mold removal service near you.