Molds Explained

 

This is a research paper that was published in 2012 in Journal of Environmental and Public Health. We are one of the coauthors.

A Water Damaged Home and Health of Occupants

Mold is everywhere. Because of mold, fallen leaves in the spring decompose, we have cheese and mushroom to enjoy. However, too much mold is not a good thing. Some of the common indoor molds are listed below:

 

Aspergillus

They are often found in compost piles, soil, plant debris and water-damaged building materials.  16 out of 175 species of Aspergillus are known etiological agents of human disease.

Alternaria

It can be often found on decaying wood, plants, food and soils.  In indoor environment, it can be found in dust, carpets, and damp areas like shower and window frames.  Infection with Alternaria is rare.

Chaetomium

In water damaged buildings, Chaetomium is often found in sheetrock and other cellulose rich materials.  It is allergenic. 

Cladosporium

Cladosporium can be airborne easily and travel long distance.  It can be commonly found in dirty refrigerators, especially in reservoirs where condensation is collected, and on damp window frames.  It discolors paint, paper and textiles in humid conditions.  

Curvularia

Curvularia has been reported to be allergenic.  It may cause corneal infections, mycetoma, and infections in immune compromised hosts. 

Fusarium

It can be found in soil worldwide.  Some species like F. oxysporum, F. solani and F. moniliforme are considered pathogenic.  It only survives in extremely wet environments like humidifiers. 

Paecilomyces

It decomposes food items.  It causes mycoses in animals.  It may cause keratitis, endocarditis and pneumonia in immunocompromised patients.

Penicillium

It is often found in aerosol samples, wallpaper, and carpet. It is a potential mycotoxin producer.

Stachybotrys

It can be found in water-damaged building materials like sheet rock, wall paper, and ceiling tile.  It can produce extremely toxic mycotoxins.  Dermatitis, cough, nose bleed, cold and flu symptoms, headache can be a result of exposure to these mycotoxins thru inhalation, ingestion or dermal exposure.

Trichoderma

It grows and spread quickly.  It is aggressive, and kills other fungi with its toxins. 

Ulocladium

It can often be found on water-damaged building materials like gypsum board.  It is very allergenic.