If you suspect you have mold in your home or office, you're probably wondering, "is it dangerous?" Molds are not all created equal. Some are relatively benign and are even used in pharmaceuticals.
Unfortunately, there are a number of molds that are considered toxic to human beings. Many of these are found in buildings that have sustained water damage. It is impossible to identify most of these molds by appearance alone, which is why proper mold inspection, testing, and identification is so important.
Below are some of the most common, toxic molds found in water damaged buildings.
Often referred to as "black mold,"
Stachybotrys is one of the most dangerous
types of mold found indoors. Inhalation
can cause flu-like symptoms as well as
digestive distress, impaired memory,
headaches, severe respiratory damage, and more. Children and those with
CIRS or compromised immune systems
are especially at risk. This is also
one of the types of toxic mold
to produce mycotoxins.
Aspergillus is one of the most
common types of toxic, indoor mold.
It can be found as a result of water
damage, but also on decaying plant matter, carpet, and stored foods and spices. Spores can be tracked in from outdoors on shoes, clothing, and pets.
Inhalation of Aspergillus can cause a serious pulmonary condition called Aspergilliosis. This is also a
mycotoxin producing mold.
Fusarium is commonly found on wallpapers, inside of humidifiers, in basements, and in houseplant soil. Inhalation of Fusarium can cause a weakened immune systems, keratitis, asthma, respiratory distress, and ocular infections. It has also been linked to gastrointestinal illnesses and some others that can affect the female reproductive system. This type of mold
produces harmful mycotoxins.
Chaetomium is most often found in
water damaged buildings. It can be
found in soil and houseplant debris, but
thrives in dark, wet areas like drywall, beneath wallpaper, baseboards, and
carpet. It is known for causing skin and
nail infections as well as red, watery eyes,
and breathing difficulties. Chaetomium is also associated with neurological
damage, certain autoimmune diseases, and it's mycotoxins can
Penecillium is commonly found in
buildings that have sustained water damage, but also on building materials and in dust in indoor environments. If inhaled, it can cause respiratory distress, bronchitis, and many other allergy symptoms.
Penecillium is another of the carcinogenic mycotoxin producing molds.
Cladosporium is often found in kitchens and bathrooms, on painted walls, behind wallpaper, and under flooring. Most species of Cladosporium are not as dangerous as some of the others mentioned, but continuous exposure to can lead to sinusitis, asthma, chronic allergies, and in rare cases pulmonary edema and emphysema. Most species of cladosporium do not produce