Mold Can Be Found Everywhere In Nature
Mold and spores are present everywhere in nature and are a common component of household and workplace dust.
However, when spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Some generate toxic liquid or gaseous compounds, called mycotoxins, which are harmful or lethal to humans and animals when exposure is high enough.
The most infamous species, S. chartarum (also known as S. atra) is known as "black mold", and is frequently associated with poor indoor air quality that arises after fungal growth on water-damaged building materials and is often implicated as a potential cause of "Sick Building Syndrome".
Exposure to the mycotoxins can have a wide range of effects depending on the length of exposure and the volume of spores inhaled or ingested.
Symptoms can manifest as chronic fatigue or headaches, fever, irritation to the eyes and mucous membranes of the mouth nose and throat, sneezing, rashes and chronic cough.
In severe cases of exposure or cases exacerbated by allergic reaction, symptoms can be extreme including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding in the lungs or nose.
Growth in an indoor environment is typically related to an indoor water or moisture problem.
Leaky roofs, building maintenance problems, or indoor plumbing problems can lead to growth inside homes, schools, or office buildings.
For significant growth to occur, there must be a source of water (which could be invisible humidity), a source of food, and a substrate capable of sustaining growth.
Common building materials, such as plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding provide an excellent food source for colony growth.
The first step in solving an indoor problem is to identify the problem and stop the source of moisture.
Next is to remove the growth with a detergent solution designed for its removal.
Common remedies for small occurrences include:
- Non-porous building materials
- Household cleansers - especially bleach
Significant growth may require professional remediation and removal of affected building materials.
Mold growth in your home can have devastating health consequences for you and your family. Keep moisture out of your home and be on the look out for any signs of growth and you can have peace of mind.
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