By: - Updated: August 30, 2018


Nowadays, there are over 100,000 different types of molds all over the world. Some of them are harmful only to the environment while others can also be dangerous to a person’s health when exposed to it. In this article, we will be looking at Chaetomium and its effects.

You can normally find Chaetomium in soil, air, dung, and plant debris. Chaetomium species are initially cottony and white in colour but turn greyish-green as they mature. They grow quickly, feeding off of any materials that contain cellulose such as paper, fabrics and drywall.

The most common species include C. atrobrunneum, C. funicola, C. globosum and C. strumarium.

Chaetomium is highly destructive and can cause infections in humans. However, as with most molds, you can prevent infections with proper cleaning and maintenance of your indoor environment.

If you discover a mold problem in your home, you should seek professional mold remediation as soon as possible. And to prevent the mold from growing back, consistently keep the relative humidity inside your home under 50%.

What is Chaetomium?

Chaetomium is a dangerous type of mold that is commonly found in soil, dung, air, and plant debris. It is characterized by a strong smell that is dusty and thrives in drywalls that have water damage.

What are Chaetomium species?

There are over 90 species of Chaetomium but the most common ones are C funicola, C atrobrunneum, C strumarium, and C globosum.

How does Chaetomium mold appear?

Chaetomium is a common species of fungi with an ever-present distribution. Its colonies tend to grow rapidly and have a cotton-like appearance with white color in its early stages.

Colonies that become mature turn from white to grey to olive in color. Although its heat tolerant spores are capable of surviving temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit up to 6 hours, the mold tends to appear mostly in compost that is not managed properly especially in its second phase where ventilation is insufficient.

The lack of oxygen when compost temperatures become higher than 142 degrees Fahrenheit allows compounds that are produced in anaerobic conditions to form. These compounds are normally toxic to the growth of spawns but are used by the olive green mold.

Is Chaetomium mold toxic?

Chaetomium is found in various substances that contain cellulose such as plant compost and paper. Several species of this mold have been reported to play a key role in the decomposition of materials made of cellulose.

These fungi can easily dissolve the cellulose fiber contained in materials such as paper and cotton and thus lead to the breaking apart of the materials themselves. This process is even faster under slightly wet conditions.

Though although Chaetomium is indeed toxic, it still ranks second or third when compared to other toxic molds such as Aspergillus or Stachybotrys.

Where can you find Chaetomium mold in the house?

In houses, Chaetomium is mostly found in areas that have been damaged by water such as a damp or leaking roof, a damp basement, leaky pipes, or areas around the sink. It can also be found in the outdoor areas of a home on soil, decaying plant matter, or animal dung.

It is more common indoors than outdoors and can be recognized by its musty smell. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to identify any type of mold by using sight alone. If you suspect you have a hazardous mold in your home, you may need to hire a certified mold removal expert such as Mold Busters to perform tests on it.

If the tests reveal that you have Chaetomium mold growing in your house, it usually means that you have a chronic moisture issue in your home.

In order to make your home safe again, you will need to determine where the excessive moisture is originating from and fix it in addition to removing the mold. The good thing about hiring a mold removal expert is that they ensure that this is done properly and that no mold can regenerate.

What are Chaetomium mold health effects?

All mold types normally lead to negative health effects if not dealt with on time.

  • Chaetomium mold causes health issues such as skin and nail infections.
  • In some cases, it can produce mycotoxins which can be very dangerous to people who have weak or compromised immune systems.
  • There is also some evidence which suggests that people who are exposed to this type of mold may be more vulnerable to permanent neurological damage of the myelin sheath. This is also why autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis have also been linked to the exposure of Chaetomium mold.
  • Just like other types of fungal exposure, Chaetomium can also lead to permanent brain damage.

What are Chaetomium mold symptoms?

Some of the symptoms that are as a result of exposure to Chaetomium include memory loss, balance issues, nose bleeds, dermatitis, acid reflux, rhinitis, cough, headaches, cold and flu symptoms, bleeding lungs, seizures, internal lesions, fever, and general malaise.

Symptoms that are more visible include the thickening and discoloration of the nails which can also make them become brittle or crumble easily. The area around the nail may also be tender or painful and there may also be an unpleasant smell.

How to remove Chaetomium mold?

Chaetomium mold can be very hazardous to your health and therefore needs to be removed as soon as possible. The longer it remains in your house the more likely it will spread to other locations thereby making cleanup more extensive and expensive.

Additionally, the longer this mold continues to stay in your house, the more likely you or your family members will start to experience health issues related to Chaetomium exposure.

Chaetomium mold tends to grow in places that are difficult to see such as inside walls, under carpets, and inside air conditioning ducts. In order to ensure that all the areas which have the mold in them are located and removed from your home, the best thing to do is to call a mold removal expert to inspect your home.

An experienced mold removal expert will locate all the areas in your home that contain molds and correctly advise you on what needs to be done next. One of the best mold removal experts that is our company, the Mold Busters. Additionally, our experts can give you answers to any other questions you may have about molds and also give you an estimate of how much it will cost to have the entire mold in your home removed by a professional.


Chaetomium is a toxic type of mold that needs to be removed as soon as possible. Additionally, once the mold has been removed, the cause of excessive moisture in your home needs to be identified and corrected as soon as possible. A mold removal expert can also help you with finding the cause of excess moisture in your home.

The places where you are likely to find excess moisture include under sinks, under toilets, around water appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, and leaky roofs. If you can’t do the work of mold removal fully by yourself, we highly recommend hiring a mold removal expert so as to get the job done completely.