No one likes mold. Most people don't like it because we know it's bad for us but we really don't understand why.
Mold is a type of fungus: a plant-like organism that does not use photosynthesis to produce food, but instead obtains it directly from its surroundings. Molds can display themselves in a variety of colors, such as the familiar green covering, often seen on bread or fruit, but this is due only to the reproductive part of the organism — the fungal equivalent of flowers and fruit. The main part of the fungus consists of a network of thin, transparent filaments known as hyphae, which is much less visible.
These fungi can grow on a variety of materials, including soil, decaying plant parts, food, fabrics, and damp walls. They reproduce by releasing huge numbers of tiny spores, which are very tough, and can withstand drying and freezing.
The type and severity of health effects that result from mold exposure is widely variable among different locations, from person to person and over time.
Although difficult to predict, exposure to mold growing indoors is most often associated with the following allergy symptoms:
Long-term exposure to indoor mold is certainly unhealthy to anyone, but some groups will develop more severe symptoms sooner than others, including:
Some indoor mold is capable of producing extremely potent toxins (mycotoxins) that are lipid-soluble and readily absorbed by the intestinal lining, airways, and skin. These agents, usually contained in the fungal spores, have toxic effects ranging from short-term irritation to immunosuppression and cancer.
More severe symptoms that could result from continuous human exposure to indoor mycotoxigenic mold includes:
If you have or think you might have a mold problem
Mold is a type of fungus: a plant-like organism that does not use photosynthesis to produce food, but instead obtains it directly from its surroundings.
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