There are more than over 10,000 known species of mold in existence. Many of these mold species are toxic while others are not. Additionally, many will cause allergic reactions to humans. It is necessary for a mold removal professional to understand what type of mold you have and how high the airborne levels are inside of your home for them to be able to determine an effective mold remediation protocol for your particular situation. Every home requires a different set of mold remediation measures to be taken as every case is unique to itself. This is why it is important for a the company that you choose to perform mold remediation services in your home to have a clear understanding of the effects that each type of mold can have on your health.
Below is a list of some of the most common species of mold that is typically found within a building structure along with a detailed explanation of what the possible health effects that they tend to have on humans.
Aspergillus: There are approximately 200 known species of this very common strain of mold, some of which are toxic to humans
Aspergillus mold is considered to be one of the most potent species known! It is also extremely difficult to differentiate from Penicillium when under microscopic analysis. Many species of Aspergillus are actually quite dangerous to our health. The fact is that 16 of these species are etiological agents of human disease. Luckily, these diseases are less likely to occur in a person with a normally functioning immune system. The potency of Aspergillus is based on the strain and the food source that it has to grow. Aspergillus is commonly found in soil, compost piles, plant debris and stored grain, as well as in water-damaged buildings.
Penicillium: Similar to Aspergillus, There are approximately 200 known species of Penicillium mold, some of which are toxic to humans
The toxins in Penicillium type mold varies by species. A wide number of organisms have been placed in this category, which makes it extremely difficult to differentiate from Aspergillus and from one species to another when placed under a microscope. Penicillium can be found in aerosol samples, carpet, wallpaper, and interior fiberglass duct insulation. Penicillium easily grows on a variety of different substrates and can be a strong mycotoxin producer. Human pathogenic species P. Marneffei is well known for its ability to cause disease in immune compromised individuals.
Chaetomium: There are approximately 80 known species of Chaetomium mold. Many have been found to be toxic to humans
Unlike Aspergillus and Penicillium, Chaetomium mold is easy to identify when placed under a microscope. It consists of large lemon-shaped ascospores and large, round, oval or flask shaped perithecia with straight and/or wavy filamentous appendages. Chaetomium mold has been found to be highly allergenic and occasionally responsible for systemic or cutaneous phaeophyohomycosis. It readily digests cellulose based building materials like drywall and is frequently isolated from decomposing plant materials, especially woody or straw-like materials. In is commonly found in water damaged buildings.
Cladosporium: There are approximately 500 known species. Many have been found to be toxic to humans
Cladosporium is commonly found in outdoor air. In water damaged buildings it is common to see this type of mold at very high levels. It will easily sporulate and go airborne within a building structure making it of great concern to humans. Cladosporium can also cause disease in humans. One species is able to cause chronic subcutaneous infection. Cladosporium type mold is both ubiquitously and problematic as well. It also will cause asthma to those living in the Western Hemisphere.
Stachybotrys: There are approximately 15 known species of this very dangerous and toxic strain of mold
Stachybotrys mold is the most toxic form of mold which exists. Many people call it Black Mold as it is a dark fungus that grows very aggressively on cellulose based building surfaces like drop ceiling tiling, insulation backing, wallpaper, and of course drywall. The spores of Stachybotrys type mold will produce highly potent and quite toxic mycotoxins. This makes Stachybotrys the most dangerous mold that exists. Humans can take this type of mold in through coming into physical contact with it (through the skin) by inhaling it, and by ingesting it. This will cause very dangerous health issues to those who are exposed to it. A small list of Stachybotrys related symptoms include a burning sensation in the mouth and nasal passages, headaches, chronic cough, flu like symptoms, fever, dermatitis, rhinitis, nose bleeds, and a general feeling of being run down. Your family doctor might even mistake it for limes disease. Inhalation of the conidia species may also cause pathological changes pneumomycotoxicoses), while the Satratoxin species is easily absorbed in humans and in high doses or chronic low doses can actually cause death. There has been a lot of public talk about Stachybotrys chartarum (atra) since the recent infant deaths in Cleveland, Ohio from pulmonary hemosiderosis, which may be associated with contamination of residences with this fungus.
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