Are there harmful and non-harmful molds?

There are only a few molds that can cause infection in healthy humans. Some molds cause infections only in people with compromised immune systems. The biggest health problem from exposure to mold is allergy and asthma in susceptible people. There are more than 100,000 types of mold. Good information has been developed for only a small number of these molds, at least in terms of their effects on human health. Most people tolerate exposure to moderate levels of many different molds without any apparent adverse health effects.

Some molds produce powerful chemicals called mycotoxins that can produce illness in animals and people. Scientific knowledge about the health effects of these toxins on humans is quite limited.

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