Fungus Among Us: Understanding Molds

fungi

FungusMold is essentially a kind of fungus, like mushrooms are. Reportedly, there are around 100,000 to 400,000 fungi types, and scientists have determined that over a thousand of these grow in homes across America undetected. Molds can be classified into three distinct groups based on human responses to exposure:

• Allergenic Molds

While these don’t normally cause life-threatening symptoms, they are very problematic to asthmatics and allergic individuals — children are especially vulnerable to allergenic molds. The problem is determining which ones you’re sensitive to.

• Pathogenic Molds

These molds can cause infection and are especially risky for people with compromised immune systems. Some of these can cause an infection that is similar to bacterial pneumonia called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. For instance, Aspergillus fumigatus can develop inside the lungs of people with suppressed immune systems and cause severe symptoms.

• Toxic Molds

These extremely dangerous molds are capable of producing mycotoxins that can cause severe health effects — immunosuppression and even cancer — on virtually anyone. These chemical toxins grow on the surface or within the spore of a mold and can be easily contracted through direct contact, inhalation, or ingestion. For instance, one of the most dangerous carcinogenic compounds around, aflatoxin, can foster on grains and nuts, and other food types.

What You Can Do

When you suspect that you have a mold infestation in your house, the first thing to do is mold testing. Salt Lake City specialists can verify your suspicion. In the event that you do have a mold infestation, the next thing to do is to be rid of the problem — easier said than done since mold spores are extremely hard to destroy with your usual cleaning agents and the like.

If your infestation is significantly sizeable, or if testing shows that you have black mold or other similarly hazardous types of mold, professional remediation is recommended. Removing mold on your own, without the proper tools and precaution can be equally dangerous as letting the mold fester since spores will inevitably disturbed and consequently sent airborne during your attempts to clean it. While this won’t come cheap, it’s better than having to spend thousands of your hard – earned money on extra cleanup expenses or hospitals bills for the whole family.