Every house has mold. If mold is not visible in a living area, I bet there is mold in your cellar. Knowing that mold is inside the house, you should be aware that mold can spread in living parts of the house with mold spores. You should always be aware of the possibility that your house may get infected by mold, and because of that, you need to be on alert and always watch for those dark spots on the wall. Thankfully not all mold types are dangerous to a healthy human. But if you are having any kind of respiratory problem mold spores which mold release in the air may trigger your symptoms.
Mold Effects on Human Health
Mold should be removed from the house if it is not because of health then because it is ugly and makes your house dirty. Most of the time, mold is also causing some kind of health problems, and we can put the mold in three different categories.
This mold type affects people with Asthma, allergies, or any other respiratory problems. All kinds of mold can cause, and because of that, all molds can be categorized as allergenic mold. Some researches indicate that around 25% of humans are allergic to mold. However, the rest of the population has no symptoms when breathing air infected with mold spores.
Pathogenic mold has powers to infect and cause serious diseases. Usually, people with a suppressed immune system are affected. Small children and older people may also be affected by pathogenic mold because of a weaker immune system.
Fear from all mold is coming from toxic molds. Toxic molds are rarely found in a house, but because of the extremely dangerous type of mold, you should always be on the alert that the mold you see is maybe toxic. Toxic mold is releasing mycotoxins, which are one of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet. Not only is this toxic mold dangerous to all humans but also to all living things on the planet earth. Mycotoxins are found on mold as well as on mold spores, which means that you should immediately remove yourself from the room with toxic mold. Breathing such dangerous mold is dangerous, and even if you do use some kind of breathing filter like gas mask touching the mold can have the same consequences. Because of such danger and high toxicity, it is best to leave toxic mold removing process to professional mold busters.
There are over 100 000 mold species on the planet, most of them are, but some of them are so dangerous that it can be used as a bioweapon. You can never know with what mold type you are dealing with unless you do the mold test.
The Most Common Household Mold Types
From over 100 000 mold species, the only dozen of them are found in the house. But this does not mean that the other 100 000 cannot be found in the house, it all depends on the house type, light source, water source, and other sources needed by some mold.
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Alternaria is a common house mold which in most cases will only trigger allergic reactions. In some cases breathing Alternaria spores may lead to Asthma. Alternaria is also pathogen, which means that people with a weak immune system; older adults, infants, AIDS patients can get infections. Alternaria has 299 species in the genus, and not all of them are pathogenic. You can recognize Alternaria by the fluffy texture of dark green or brown color. Some Alternaria species are capable of releasing mycotoxins and that way this mold can be toxic.
Aspergillus is one of the most common molds found in the house. This mold has a few hundred subspecies, and some of them can produce mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are dangerous to animals and humans. Common Aspergillus mold that doesn’t produce mycotoxins can still cause some respiratory problems in patients suffering from breathing problems; however, a healthy human should not have any issues with this mold. This mold loves carbon, sugar, salt, and is mostly found on bread or other sources rich with the food they desire. Some types of Aspergillus can also grow on low carbon sources like damp walls.
Aureobasidium is yeast like fungus mostly in black color found in soil, water, and air. But it can also grow on potato in which case it will be pink unless the colony is old then it turns to the original black color. This mold is not dangerous, but people who have lung problems should not be exposed to the Aureobasidium spores for a longer period because that can lead to acute problems.
Bipolaris is a fast growing mold mostly found on grass and in house plants. It can also be found in soil covered with plants. Spoiled vegetables are also a good source for Bipolaris to grow. The color of Bipolaris ranges from white to black color. White color is often starting of the colony while the old colonies turn to black color. Like all common mold, Bipolaris can also influence your respiratory system. Stuffy and running nose, sinus problems, and coughing are some of the symptoms that can be present because of Bipolaris mold.
Chaetomium is a dark mold commonly found on the wall, but it can also be found in soil, air, and plants. There are around 95 species in Chaetomium genus, and all of them are common and not that dangerous to people. However, infections are possible if a patient with a weak immune system is inhaling Chaetomium spores. Allergic reactions are also possible at sensitive people.
Cladosporium is one of the largest fungi genera containing over 700 species. Cladosporium is one of the most common outdoor and indoor molds. Outdoors this mold loves to hang on plants which provide food for it to grow and spread. Indoors mold can grow on wet surfaces or on spoiled food. Cladosporium is not really dangerous mold and is very often not pathogenic to humans, they don’t produce mycotoxins but in some cases can produce VOCs which can be linked with bad smell.
Fusarium is an interesting mold which is, in most cases, harmless. But some of the Fusarium species can release mycotoxins which then can infect humans and animals. The rest of the species are not dangerous, but people with a weak immune system may feel some symptoms. Fusarium is also used as food in the production of meat substitute (Quorn). Quorn is delicious food which vegans and vegetarians love to eat since it provides a good dosage of proteins derived from Fusarium.
Penicillium is probably the most famous fungi which we can thank for antibiotics. However, it is not a secret that some people are allergic to penicillin, and they can’t even use antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. On the other hand, some of the Penicillium species are used every day at cheese production. And on the other side of good and evil is the species of Penicillium which release mycotoxins.
Stachybotrys Chartarum is also called black mold or toxic black mold, which is one of the most dangerous molds you can have in the house. Black mold likes soil and grain, but it is mostly found in old damp buildings with cellulose-rich material. The good news is that even if you do get infected by black mold, not all of it is releasing mycotoxins and mold over time lose the power to release mycotoxins. Nonetheless, you should immediately appoint a professional mold removal company if you are infected with black mold.
Serpula Lacrymans is a specific fungus that grows on dry wood. By habiting a dry wood, the wood is decaying at a rapid speed, which can be extremely dangerous because a whole house can collapse if the foundations are based on wood. Serpula Lacrymans also release mold spores, and because of that, it is potentially allergenic mold. Mycotoxins release is not well researched, and at this point, it is unknown if some of the species are capable of releasing mycotoxins.
Trichoderma colonies are mostly found on wood, but the presence of this mold can also be found on soil. This mold is often found outdoors in nature, but since many houses are built with wooden parts its presence can be found in the house as well. In the house, it is potentially toxic because it produces small toxic peptides. Trichoderma is also used in medical purposes in immunosuppressant medicine that prevents organ transplant rejection.
Ulocladium is mostly found on spoiled food or plants. However, it can also be found in damp areas of the house from where it can spread to other food sources. Ulocladium releases spores in the air, which may cause respiratory problems and people with a weak immune system can also get infected with this fungi because some species are pathogenic. You can recognize Ulocladium by brown, black or grey color and cotton-like texture.
As you can see, most of the mold species listed here are dangerous in the way or another to humans. All mold species release spores because of that they are more or less causing problems to patients with respiratory problems. Some of the mold species are extremely dangerous, and it is best you hire some professional help to remove them from the house.