Types of Household Mold
Wondering what the most common types of household mold are?
Not all mold is the same, although some may think it is. There are actually over 1.5 million types of mold in the world, only 100,000 of which have been identified. Knowing what type of mold you’re dealing with will give you an idea of the level of health risk it poses.
At its core, mold is a fungus, similar in nature to mushrooms and yeast. The purpose of mold is to consume and recycle dead organic matter. Each type of mold has properties which give it a specific biological importance, falling into the categories of: allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic.
Here is an overview of the most common types of household mold, and the health risks posed by each.
The 3 Main Types of Household Mold
Allergenic molds are an irritant to those with allergies or asthma, but are not known to lead to any life-threatening complications. Children are most susceptible to symptoms caused by exposure to this type of mold.
Pathogenic molds are known to lead to infections that can be of particular concern to those with a weak or compromised immune system. This type of mold is also known to cause a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis; which leads to bacterial growth in the lungs of those with weak immune systems.
Anyone and everyone is susceptible to the potential sickness caused by toxic molds. This is because they produce mycotoxins, which exist on the surface of the mold spore and can easily enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or simply coming into contact with the skin. One of the most potent carcinogens in the word is a toxic mold called Aflatoxin, which grows on peanuts and grains.
You cannot always determine which of the types of household mold you’re dealing with by sight or smell. In order to know for sure, it’s recommended that a sample is taken and gets sent to a lab for full analysis. In cases where mold is not visible to the eye, you can use an indoor air quality test to determine if there are any harmful mold spores in the air. Environment Innovative Technologies is happy to offer each type of testing kit, which also includes the cost of having the samples sent to accredited labs where the type of mold is then identified.
The most common types of mold identified by testing kits include:
- Alternaria: This type of mold causes allergic responses due to its presence in one’s nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract.
- Aspergillus: Where you find house dust you may find this type of mold. It’s also found in warm, damp environments and produces poisonous mycotoxins. Lung infections can be caused by this type of mold.
- Cladosporium: This type of mold wants to exist outdoors, but occasionally finds itself manifesting indoors on wood, textiles, and other damp surfaces. Exposure to this type of mold can trigger symptoms related to hay fever and asthma.
- Penicillium: This is a common household mold, most often found on wallpaper, old fabric, carpet, and fibreglass duct installation. Exposure to this type of mold can trigger allergies and asthma.
- Stachybotrys: More commonly referred to as “black mold”, breathing the mycotoxins caused by this type of mold can lead to serious breathing difficulties and lung complications.
If you’re concerned there’s mold in your home, take the guesswork out of which type it is with one of our home testing kits. If you’re dealing with something as serious as black mold you’re going to want to know right away. Order one of our testing kits with 48-hour turnaround time.
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