Which Types of Mold are Hazardous to Human Health?
Mold spores are natural to the environment, but in some cases, they may be dangerous when inhaled. Large concentrations of specific types of mold spores can be problematic for individuals with conditions such as asthma. Some strains of mold spores are also hazardous to the public, regardless of preexisting conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most dangerous types of mold spores, as well as why they pose a threat to human health.
Stachybotrys Chartarum (Stachybotrys Atra)
This type of mold is extremely common in buildings and homes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will grow where there is any moisture in an indoor environment. Stachybotrys chartarum is characterized by its greenish-black color. It typically thrives in areas where there is a large amount of humidity, and it is often found near sources of water (e.g., leaks, floods). Scientific evidence has not linked this type of mold to acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage, despite a number of theories. However, the mold should still be removed from an environment due to its effect on mold-sensitive individuals.
When stachybotrys chartarum creates mycotoxins, it falls into the category of “Black Mold,” which can be toxic to humans. “Black Mold” can cause a wide range of health complications, including respiratory problems, nausea, skin inflammation, and even death. Professional assistance is required to remove “Black Mold.”
Chaetomium can be found on a number of items containing cellulose, including paper and plant compost. This fungus is defined as a toxin by experts, and it can potentially cause DNA damage. Medical evidence has shown that chaetomium can be linked to permanent neurological damage of the myelin sheath as well.
This hydrophilic mold requires wet conditions in order to thrive. It is typically located in areas that are isolated from plants and grains. Damp wallboards and water reservoirs, such as those found in humidifiers, are ideal for this type of mold. Fusarium can cause a non-transmittable infection in humans, especially in those who have a compromised immune system.
Aspergillus is a common mold that exists both indoors and outdoors. These spores can be inhaled every day without incident, but some individuals who have weakened immune systems may be more likely to develop health problems. Allergic reactions and lung infections are common in individuals who are exposed to aspergillus and have a sensitivity to the mold.
This group of molds, also known as zygomycosis, is also hazardous to individuals who have compromised immune systems. It can cause a fungal infection within the body once it’s inhaled, or it enters the skin through a cut, scrape or burn. Most commonly, it irritates the sinuses and lungs in those who inhale it regularly.
Although many people can live with mold without showing any negative health complications, it’s still worth identifying any growth to learn more about the risks. For more information on how to safely remove mold from your building, visit the CDC website. Here, you’ll find information on how to properly clean up mold from your property.