Types of Mold
Types of Mold
While not all are allergenic or toxic, here’s a few common harmful indoor molds:
Mycotoxins are the poisons produced by molds. The EPA states that mycotoxins can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin – all with harmful effects. Here are a few examples of the most harmful mycotoxins produced by indoor molds:
Aflatoxin – a strong carcinogen
Trichothecene – the most harmful mycotoxin
Fumonisin – contaminates grains and foods
Ochratoxin – linked to urinary tract tumors
A Hidden Threat
People often question if mold actually poses a threat, since it is always present in our outdoor environment. Extensive research shows that mold becomes dangerous to humans when it’s contained within a building or living space. Poor air circulation and indoor moisture allows the concentration of mold to reach dangerous levels. Concentration levels not typically seen in an open air, outdoor environment.
It’s also vital to understand that 60% of homes that contain dangerous concentrations of mold show no visible signs of mold growth. This is because mold typically grows in the dark and damp areas of your home – such as a crawlspace, inside walls, underneath carpet or in the attic. Residents typically smell a mold problem before they see one, because growing mold spores produce an unmistakably musty odor.
A common misconception is that newer buildings are immune to mold contamination. A poorly built new home is just as susceptible to mold growth as a 60 year old home. In our experience, we’ve seen mold in home six months after their completion. Usually these problems are a result of inadequate foundation work, improper storing of building materials, poor ventilation systems and building design flaws.
It’s also worth noting that the air flow design of buildings has changed dramatically because of the energy crisis in the 1970s. Buildings constructed after the 70s typically are more air tight to minimize the inward and outward flow of air. While this lowers energy costs, it also keeps fresh outdoor air from entering the building and replacing old, stale air that likely carries dust and mold spores.