Mold is present almost everywhere – both indoors and outdoors. It can enter a residential or commercial space through the air or be carried indoors on clothes. It is a fungus that is fed by moisture and is an organic food source. Some mold is not harmful including mold in the foods we eat (mushrooms, yeast) and mold used to make medicine (penicillin). Other types of mold can be very hazardous to your health.
Indoor mold is commonly found in places like attics, basements, crawl spaces and storage areas. Since mold is fed by moisture and is an organic food source it can really happen anywhere. This can be around a roof leak, leaky pipes or as a result of seasonal flooding. Even high indoor humidity can encourage mold growth.
Black mold is a common type of mold. Although many types of mold can be black in color, black mold is a specific type known as stachybotrys. Other types of mold include aspergillus, chaetomium, cladosporium and penicillin.
Mold Related Illness
Mold spores can easily become airborne and inhaled into the lungs. Inhaling mold spores into the lungs can produce mytoxins that contribute to a variety of health problems. Those with lung and respiratory problems, children and senior citizens are particularly susceptible to developing mold related illness from mycotoxins. Even if you are not in an at-risk population, you aren’t out of the woods. Mold related illness can happen in healthy people as well as pets.
Mold exposure can develop into serious illnesses. There are many symptoms of mold related illness including:
- Breathing problems
- Asthma attacks or asthma-like symptoms
- Lung infections including pneumonia and bronchitis
- Sinus problems
- Chronic sinus infections
- Sore throats
- Fatigue and depression