Mold Information

Airborne spores that cause dozens of kinds of mold mildew to grow are present at all times in indoor and outdoor air. Mold needs three basic conditions to thrive; reasonable temperature, a food source, and water. Because mold can use most anything as a food source, the main factor in controlling its growth is moisture. Moisture control is the key to mold control. In nature, mold plays an important role in the decomposition of organic material and in making nutrients available to plant life. In the home, uncontrolled mold growth may cause serious health concerns in sensitive persons as well as damage the structural integrity of the building.

Mold spores can be allergenic, causing hay fever-like symptoms. Certain individuals with chronic respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression may be at increased risk for infection by opportunistic pathogen molds such as Penicillium marneffei and Aspergillus fumigatus. When inhaled, mold spores may germinate, attaching to cells along the respiratory tract and causing further problems in those with weak immune systems. One example is Stachybotrys chartarum which has been associated with “sick building syndrome.”

Type of Mold

Alternaria a large spore mold that can deposit in the nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract causing an allergic response.

Commonly found in house dust. Many species produce mycotoxins which may be associated with disease in humans and some animals. Found in building materials and in fall leaves and other decomposing matter (like compost piles).

The most commonly identified outdoor fungus that can easily enter into the house through the HVAC and other airflow entryways. The indoor species can grow on textiles, wood and other porous, damp areas. Both indoor and outdoor species are triggers for hay fever, and asthma symptoms.

Mold that can cause keratitis, endophthalmitis, cutaneous infections, mycetoma, onchomycosis, sinusitis, pulmonary disease, endocarditis, catheter infections, and septic arthritis.

Common mold known to cause allergies, hay fever, and asthma. Species may be found growing on wallpaper, wallpaper glue, and decaying fabrics in buildings or homes. It is also found in carpet and in interior fiberglass duct insulation. Some species can produce mycotoxins.

This isolate has been reported to cause human infection, including aortic homograft endocarditis. (inflammation of membrane that lines in the interior of the heart.)

A toxic blackmold that produces airborne toxins (mycotoxins) that can cause serious breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and bleeding in the lungs.

A filamentous fungus that is widely distributed in soil, plant material, decaying vegetation, and wood. Trichoderma infections are opportunistic and develop in immunocompromised patients, such as neutropenic cases and transplant recipients, as well as patients with chronic renal failure or chronic lung disease. Peritonitis, pulmonary, perihepatic, and disseminated infections have so far been reported.