Molds photographed using a microscope.
Are your indoor mold levels higher than those outside?
 
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What if I have mold?
Mold facts
Mold is a substantial scourge of the fungus family: a parasitic plant lacking chlorophyll, rigid cell walls, with true stems and roots. It is composed of thread-like hyphae (threadlike filaments forming the mycelium of a fungus). Mold is actually microscopic fungi, so that by the time there are enough of them to see, you have a substantial infestation. Being parasitic, these microscopic fungi live on plant and animal substances, produce spores (for reproduction). Airborne spores float in the air and in water and can be easily ingested or inhaled, causing a variety of ills.

Airborne mold spores pervade the ecosystem indoors and outdoors. Health can be at serious risk if there are elevated levels of mold spores (indicating substantial grown)indoors in a closed system, as compared to an outdoors, where the spores can blow harmlessly away.

Dangerous indoor molds are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys. Mold sampling and mold lab analysis are required to identify specific mold species.

Molds can cause illness, especially in humid conditions where they grow especially well. Respiration problems due to inhalation of black molds is critical. The black mold known as "Stachybotrys" is the infamous among mold investigators as one of the most lethal agents. Symptoms such as allergies, runny nose, nausea, itchy irritation, sinusitis and even cancer has been traced to mold exposure and/or ingestion.

"Mycotoxins" are a byproduct of mold; and that is where the toxin originates.

If you find your home houses black mold or mildew, take steps to rid your habitation of mold. Sustained mycotoxins exposure (day in/day out in your own home) can cause multiple symptoms; and if you don't see the mold, that is, if it is growing behind the walls, then you may develop unexplained illnesses.

If you have heavy water damage, such as from a flood or leak, you need to call in a mold inspector and develop a plan to eradicate the problem. You can usually smell the mildew when you first enter, but residents are often inured to the scent.

Moisture and warmth are ideal conditions for mold spores gestation and growth. If any water seepage exists, mold can grow in very tiny places. Limit the humidity in your home and you will go a long way toward controlling mold.

If you have a mold allergy, remove carpeting. Hard floor surfaces are easier to clean and are easier on the compromised systems of individuals with allergic sensitivities.
Written By:  ab 
Date Posted: 2007-06-26  

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