Mold Threatens Health

Mold spores in a context where mold is not actively growing are generally not a problem in and of themselves for all but the most sensitive individuals.  If they were, we'd all be in trouble because mold spores are everywhere.  The trouble really begins when high humidity, condesation or some form of dampness activates mold spores indoors where they become concentrated.  That is when some types of molds can have great potential to cause harm or signifant discomfort.

Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants and potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).  Inhaling or touching mold may cause allergic reactions.  Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptons such as sneezing, runnny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).  These reactions can be immediate or delayed.  Mold can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic to mold.  In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, sinuses and lungs of both allergic and non-allergic people.  Occupants of homes and businesses with mold are at elevated risk for both respiratory infections and bronchitis.  Mold can be particularly harmful to individuals whose immune system is compromised because they are susceptible to systemic fungal infection or opportunistic fungal infection where the mold begins to grow on living tissue within the body. 

Common species of dangerous mold include Aspergillus and Stachybotrys.  These molds often appear as fuzzy green, white or black blotches such as these that we found in this attic.  A disease called Aspergillosis can occur when the occupants of a structure like this one become infected with this mold by breathing it in.  Forced hot air systems located in damp basements or infested attics can efficiently spread these dangerous molds throughout a structure, threatening all of its occupants.