What Type Of Mold Can Make You Sick?
If you have ever looked around inside a damp basement or another area where moisture is often present, chances are you have noticed mold here and there on occasion. If so, this does not necessarily mean the mold that is present will automatically make you sick. Unfortunately, there are many types of mold that can lead to illness. If you’re wondering which types can make you sick, here are a few of which you should be aware of.
Commonly known as black mold, Stachybotrys is usually thought to be the most dangerous type of mold. Usually black in color, it may also appear as either grey or dark green. When it’s present, you will also notice a strong musty smell in the area. Very harmful to children since their lungs are still developing, common symptoms associated with being made sick by black mold include diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, memory loss, headaches, and even lung damage. Since black mold is so dangerous, it’s ideal that you work with a professional such as 1-800-BUSY-DOG. A professional is necessary to take care of this problem considering the risk of the mold. Additionally, mold spores are challenging to recognize before it fully develop and thus may be a bigger underlying problem.
Black mold is mainly found in soil and grain but can also be found in water-damaged buildings. It tends to grow on materials such as fiberboard, plasterboard, paper, and anything wooden. When it comes to black mold in the home, it is commonly found in bathroom walls, cabinets underneath kitchen or bathroom sinks, and wooden furniture in damp dark places like a basement.
Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and South Carolina are among the worst states when it comes to mold, especially black mold. Interestingly, dry states such as Nevada and Arizona also have high rates for mold occurrence, which may seem backward, considering mold typically grows in damp places. However, any home that has water damage, for example, can be incredibly susceptible to mold.
A type of mold not as dangerous as black mold, Aspergillus spores are usually found in the air you breathe each day. It is most commonly found outdoors as it typically grows on decaying leaves, compost, plants, trees, and grain crops. There are more than 180 strains of Aspergillus mold that are different colors as well. The symptoms affect people differently. Most of the strains of aspergillus are harmless, however, depending on the person. However, it can be more dangerous to you if your immune system is already compromised from a preexisting health condition. If this mold impacts your health, the result will be allergy-like symptoms such as sneezing and watery eyes, and perhaps a serious lung infection.
Serious sickness caused by this mold is typically called aspergillosis. This infection is much more likely to develop in people who already have conditions such as asthma, cystic fibrosis or previous lung disease. Additionally, people who have low levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight off infection and heal itself. It is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another. Unlike most mold and fungi, aspergillus grows well in hot and dry conditions. Temperatures of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, for example, is where the mold tends to grow the best. Additionally, it will grow in temperature between 54 and 118 degrees.
If your home has sustained water damage and you have called to help with mold remediation, it’s probably because your walls, baseboards, and other areas contain a type of mold called Chaetomium. It is most commonly found in soil, plant debris, and compost. Anything including cellulose can make it grow and spread quickly. Which also makes it difficult to contain.
Next to black mold, Chaetomium is perhaps the type of mold that causes the most severe health problems. Thriving in dark, wet spaces such as basements, this type of mold will not only trigger allergic reactions such as watery eyes and clogged sinuses but can also result in neurological problems and even lead to autoimmune diseases. The most common effects include allergies, asthma, hay fever, dry throat, nose bleeds, headaches, and even seizures. In some cases, it can be deadly.
The Chaetominum appears in colonies and has a white cotton-like appearance. As the colony matures, it turns to a grey or olive color. Once mature, it can become airborne to spread. While airborne, spores can land on any material which seems damp and has cellulose such as drywall or wood, which is ideal for breeding.
A mold with which you may not be very familiar, Fusarium mold spores are found in HVAC systems, underneath carpeting, and inside drywall or insulation. In some instances, it can also be found outside in soil. While you likely will not suffer any ill effects from Fusarium exposure, that is not true for everyone. In people who are already immune-compromised, there is the risk of developing Fusarium keratitis, a very serious eye infection.
It typically only affects soil and plants. It can cause a range of infections in humans and has even been used as an agent of biological warfare. Unfortunately, billions of dollars of barley and wheat crops in the U.S. have been lost to root rot, which is a common occurrence of fusarium. It can be removed on your own if it affects less than ten square feet, however, it is ideal to work with a professional.
Should you notice mold, remember that the mold you see is probably the tip of the iceberg, since there is likely much more inside walls and ceilings, underneath floors, and in many other areas. To keep you and your family healthy, trust the cleanup to a mold remediation company.