Every homeowner knows that keeping their household clean is one of the most important measures they can take to ensure the health and well-being of themselves and their loved ones.
One of the biggest threats on this front comes from a particularly nasty fungus known as Aspergillus sydowii. It is pathogenic in nature, meaning it can negatively affect the health of those who are exposed to it in various ways.
Let’s take a closer look at this hidden menace and see just what it’s all about, what it’s capable of, and exactly what you can do about it.
What is Aspergillus sydowii?
Aspergillus sydowii is a species of mold that is typically found in soil. It is the predominant fungus found on wheat and can contaminate food.
Colonies of A. sydowii are blue-green with reddish-brown shades.
A. sydowii has been found in sea water in the Caribbean and has been shown to cause aspergillosis in sea fans. Occasionally pathogenic, it can cause several diseases in humans including aspergillosis, onychomycosis and keratomycosis.
A Closer Look at Aspergillus sydowii
This is a species of fungus that takes on a blue-green, reddish tinged coloration when grown in a pure culture.
It is found in various regions of the world, where it has had varying effects on local conditions. In China, for example, it’s one of the vital components used in their wine-brewing processes.
In the seas off the Caribbean coasts, it has had less of a helpful impact, being the cause of the condition found in sea fans known as aspergillosis.
Little is known about how exactly it made its way into the ocean, as the fungus doesn’t reproduce in such marine environments, although some pointers indicate that it was brought into the water in the feces of one of the sea fan’s predators, the flamingo tongue snail.
Another widespread belief as to its origin in the water is as a result of dust storms in Australia carrying of the fungus spores and depositing them in the ocean, where they wreak havoc on the sea fans therein. Sea fan populations in these affected waters have been heavily affected by the widespread infections.
Does Aspergillus sydowii form mold?
The answer is a definite yes. As part of the Aspergillus genus, sydowii is one of the over 200 types of mold formations to be found all over the world.
The severity of the diseases, conditions, and allergies caused by these various molds may vary, but they are of all cause for concern among the various health organizations worldwide tasked with keeping people safe from such threats.
Mold can form in various places within your home, although it favors areas that are exposed to moisture in general.
If you’ve ever seen some slimy looking black patches on the curtains in your shower, patches of fuzzy white stuff in your basement or attic floor, or a reddish-orange film on the surface of your kitchen drain, then you’ve seen mold in your home.
Mold reproduces by creating tiny spores that are light enough to be carried in the air, which is how they get to us as we breathe in the air they are present in.
What are allergy symptoms caused by Aspergillus sydowii?
We are usually exposed to various types of mold spores in the air outside every day in small quantities, and this will usually be harmless to us.
When we come into contact with certain types of mold, however, our bodies might ‘overreact’ to their presence in such a way as to cause us discomfort and possible illness – this is basically what an allergic reaction is.
Should you be allergic to the Aspergillus sywodii spores, you might experience a reaction characterized by one or more of the following symptoms; a running nose, constant sneezing, skin rashes, reddened eyes and such.
For more seriously allergic individuals, the effects might be even more hard-hitting and may include shortness of breath, tightening of the chest, nausea, or even asthmatic attacks in people who live with asthma.
Particularly sensitive individuals to the irritant effects of molds such as the Aspergillus sydowii are children and infants, the elderly, those with lung conditions, as well as people with a weakened immune system caused by such conditions as cancer, liver disease, or HIV.
While the more severe effects of this mold are rare occurrences, it’s always better to keep you and your loved ones on the safe side when it comes to these things.
What are health effects of Aspergillus sydowii to human body?
While the allergic reactions we’ve mentioned might not seem to be too threatening in themselves, as a homeowner you must remember that certain strains of mold can cause diseases all on their own, regardless of whether you’re allergic to them or not. Aspergillus sydowii is one one of these types of molds.
It has been credited as being the cause of three main health conditions, and there is the possibility of serious consequences in some instances. They are as follows:
- Onychomycosis – this is an infection that attacks the toenails, fingernails, or both even though it is most common in the toenails. It leads to a yellow or white discoloration of the nail, increased thickening of the nail, and the possible separation of the entire nail from the base.
- Keratomycosis – this is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the infected person’s cornea. The cornea is the external part of the eye covering the pupil. It has to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible or it may spread within the eye, leading to possible sight damage or even require a surgical replacement of the entire cornea in question.
- Aspergillosis – this is the most dangerous form of mold infection one may encounter. Aspergillosis comes about when the spores become so prevalent in an environment or home that they are inhaled in sufficient quantities to begin growing and producing spores in a person’s lungs. As you might imagine, this is the last thing you could possibly want to happen. If left to progress, aspergillosis might lead to such serious conditions as tuberculosis, chronic coughs, permanent lung damage, sinus inflammation, among others. Nasty business. In fact, 5% of all asthma sufferers encounter a battle with Aspergillosis of varying severity in their lifetimes.
Where can Aspergillus sydowii appear in your house?
Just as with any other type of mold, the Aspergillus sydowii will tend to grow in areas with a bit of moisture or dampness such as basements, attics, stuffy rooms, heating ducts, and ventilation airways.
Keep an eye out for any suspected mold growth in your home, especially should you see it spreading rapidly, as this means that it is producing a heavy rate of spores into the air in your home.
How to treat and remove Aspergillus sydowii?
While it’s always nice to be able to keep your home in good condition by ourselves, special care must be taken when it comes to mold.
Should you spot a patch of mold early (before it spreads to more than the size of a handkerchief), you might successfully deal with it yourself with some cleaning products and a tough-bristled brush.
If, however, you notice that the mold has developed rather quickly (you didn’t notice it last week, for instance), or if it’s in a hard-to-reach area, you might be better off leaving the job to professionals.
You don’t want to risk inhaling a large dose of spores in the process. A good mold removal service will be able to get rid of the potentially harmful mold effectively and thoroughly, getting rid of any hidden bits you might miss on your own.
They will also be able to advise you on just how you can prevent any future buildup of mold in your particular home environment.
We all deserve to feel safe in our own homes, and molds such as those of the Aspergillus sydowii can pose a hidden threat to us unless we’re vigilant. Be sure not to attempt any mold removal activity unless you are certain the inhalation risks are minimal. Your safety should always be your number one priority.
To test your home for Aspergillus sydowii, contact Mold Busters for a complete list of our mold testing and mold removal services.