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Most Common Types of Toxic Mold Found in Homes

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| 2012 May 08 |
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Most Common Types of Toxic Mold Found in Homes

The term “toxic mold” and its meaning is often misunderstood. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), mold that’s referred to as toxic mold is not toxic on its own. However, this species is capable of producing chemical substances called mycotoxins, which are harmful to the human body.

There are over 100,000 species of mold, according to scientists’ research. Some species are harmless but others produce mycotoxins that are so dangerous that they can be used for biochemical warfare.

Common Types of Toxic Mold

1. Stachybotrys. Stachybotrys is otherwise known as black mold and is one of the more harmful toxic mold species. Black mold is usually found inside a house. The mycotoxins that this species of mold produce can cause the lungs to bleed, which is fatal to animals and infants. The problem with black mold is that it’s hard to detect; it usually develops behind walls and under ceilings and is resistant to regular air sampling.

Types of Toxic Mold in Ottawa
There are several types of mold, some being more dangerous than others. Pictured is Stachybotrys, otherwise known as toxic black mold.

2. Memnoniella Memnoniella, also referred to as black mold, is similar to Stachybotrys and has the same effects. Memoniella differs in that when viewed under a microscope, its spores are released in chains, whereas the spores that Stachybotrys releases are in clumps.

3. Aspergillus Aspergillus are gray or green flecks and appear on wooden surfaces. Aspergillus, with 20 species in total, is dangerous, because it will often cause allergies, leading to serious asthmatic reactions, hay fever or lung infections. Every Aspergillus species produces mycotoxins, which are a health hazard, especially for those individuals with compromised immune systems.

4. Penicillum There are many species of Penicillum – some beneficial and some harmful. Some species of Penicillum are used when producing cheese and medicine. Similar to other molds, Penicillium causes allergies, and it’s especially troublesome for people that already have a weak immune system.

5. Alternaria. Alternaria is one of the most prevalent toxic molds and includes many species. Asthma and hay fever are among the conditions one might suffer or suffer worse from when he or she has inhaled Alternaria spores.

There are several mold species. Some are difficult to clean and some are tricky to detect. However, it’s important to find and identify all mold in your home, as mold can seriously threaten your health and the health of your loved ones. The safest, most efficient way to detect mold is to have a professional mold inspector visit your home and carry out mold testing.