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TOXIC MOLD FAQ

TOXIC MOLD EXPOSURE

What are molds?

Molds are microscopic fungi that need plant and animal matter in order to grow. It is estimated that there are greater than 100,000 different species of fungi that exist across the world. These thinly spun threaded organisms produce spores that then allow them to spread themselves to different locations. Spores can be spread in the air, through water, or even among insects.


Is mold exposure bad for humans? 
 
Toxic mold exposure can be dangerous and even fatal for susceptible individuals. However, the majority of molds pose little or no health risks to humans. Household molds exist in colors such as red, green, blue-green, brown and black.  In fact, there are only two types of household molds that are toxic---Stachybotrys and Memnoniella.

What are some of the common indoor molds?

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

What does household toxic mold grow on?
Toxic mold is often found in damp, moist, or wet places in or around a house or building. Stachybotrys typically grows in damp environments on materials that are high in cellulose and low in nitrogen content. Examples include wallpaper, cardboard, ceiling tile, cellulose insulation, and wood. If the black mold is growing on materials that do not contain cellulose, it is probably not Stachybotrys

What makes Stachybotrys toxic?
Stachybotrys mold spores produce a poisonous substance called mycotoxin. Specifically, these are known as trichothecenes. When these spores are inhaled and ingested by a human, they can cause many unpleasant, and even very serious, symptoms and conditions.

How can mold exposure affect people?
Sensitized individuals (people who are prone to the effects of toxic mold exposure) may exhibit symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, or wheezing. Individuals with serious allergies to molds may show signs of fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

Can Stachybotris cause disease? 
Stachybotrys is thought to be responsible for a potentially fatal condition called acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage. This has only occurred in infants and individuals with impaired immune systems.  However, the spores can also cause problems for asthma sufferers, as well as allergies and certain kinds of lung diseases. Stachybotrys is also thought to be at least partially responsible for causing adverse health effects such as headaches, lung infections, fevers, abdominal pains, diarrhea and skin rashes. 

Where are molds found?
Molds are found in virtually every ecological niche and are found outside in nature and in homes and buildings. They are most prevalent in areas that have moist or wet climates. They are often found indoors in humid spaces such as basements or showers. Some authorities believe as many as 50 percent of all homes may have some level of Stachybotrys infestation. 

What can be done to lower toxic mold exposure?

  • Individuals who are prone to the effects of mold should stay away from problem areas---humid, wet conditions.
  • Indoor humidity levels should be kept below 40%.
  • Air conditioning and/or a dehumidifier should be used during humid months.
  • Adequate ventilation should be maintained.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Bathrooms should be cleaned with anti mold products.
  • Moist indoor areas (bathrooms, basements, etc.) should not be carpeted.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

How do I know if I have a mold problem?
The presence of large mold manifestation can usually be seen or smelled.  Smaller infestations may require professional cleaning or testing in order to detect.

Mold Exposure Information from Toxic Mold Lawyers!

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