Mold is a bigger problem than many people think it is. Many people associate mold with basements and bathrooms where conditions are ripe for mold to grow, but mold can grow anywhere. It can be found anywhere in your home if leaks are present.
How Many Different Types of Mold Are There?
American homes can harbor 1,000 types of mold and are classified based on how they affect humans and other living things.
1. Allergenic molds. These are the least dangerous molds and will only cause problems for people that have asthma and allergies to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have allergies to mold than adults.
2. Pathogenic molds. These molds can cause infection and are a big problem for people that have suppressed immune systems. When these people are exposed to these molds, they can have a reaction that resembles bacterial pneumonia.
3. Toxigenic molds. These molds produce mycotoxins that can be very bad for your health and have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. When a person inhales, eats or touches these types of mold, the toxic chemicals can easily enter the body.
5 Most Common Indoor Molds
1. Aspergillus. This mold id most often found in climates that are very damp and warm. It can be found in dust and produces mycotoxins that can lead to lung infections.
2. Alternaria. This mold can cause allergic reaction and is most commonly found in the nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract.
3. Penicillium. This mold can be found in decaying fabrics, on wallpaper, carpet, insulation and can cause allergies and asthma. Some of these molds can produce mycotoxins like the common antibiotic penicillin.
4. Cladosporium. This is a common outdoor mold that makes its way indoors to grow on textiles, wood and other materials that are damp and porous. This mold triggers asthma and hay fever symptoms.
5. Stachybotys. This is the scary one we hear about. The extremely toxic “black mold”. This mold produces mycotoxins that can cause serious breathing problems, bleeding of the lungs and a host of other health problems. The good news with this mold id that it is less common in homes than the other four types of mold. Unfortunately, it isn’t rare and can grow on paper, but not on linoleum, tile or concrete.
What is Mold Illness?
Mold illness is an inflammation within the body that is caused by an immune system that has gone crazy. Any type of mold exposure can lead to mold illness. Allergies to mold are the most common problems with mold exposure, but mold can cause health issues without experiencing allergic reactions. Mold can lead to infections and toxic reactions. Symptoms associated with mold exposure can be flu-like. It can also cause skin infections and pneumonia.
Signs of mold illness include weakness and fatigue, numbness and tingling, aches and pains that are unexplained, headaches, brain fog and memory problems, eye irritations, asthma and sinus problems, digestive problems, night sweats, excessive throat, increased urination and a metallic taste in the mouth.