15 Jan / 2017

Toxic Mold Infestation Part I: Attack of the Mycotoxins

Ever heard of the lingering summer cold? In many cases, it’s not a stubborn virus. Instead, it’s really a toxic mold infestation releasing mycotoxins that corrupt home air quality. The symptoms of this “cold” will never go away, regardless of how much vitamin C you pump into your immune system. Without properly cleaning out mold, especially in crawl space areas, home occupants can suffer from poor air quality indefinitely.

Ideal Conditions for Mold

Mold grows in damp areas where organic matter can be consumed. Generally, elevated humidity and warm temperatures are breeding grounds for a plethora of harmful mold species. Crawl spaces, attics, and air pockets between floors or walls, are perfect spots for mold to grow. As the mold metabolizes the organic matter, metabolites are released, known as mycotoxins.
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Attack of the Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are particularly dangerous to humans. Effects range from simple cold symptoms to mycotoxicosis, the scientific name for mycotoxin poisoning. Congestion, cough, eye irritation, respiratory problems, sore throat, and sneezing fits can all manifest themselves as a reaction to mycotoxins in the air. These pesky mycotoxins can also cause problems for asthmatics, exacerbating an already sensitive respiratory system.

Most indoor mycotoxins are produced by the following types of mold: Alternaria, Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys. These molds form on various substances from wood, paint, furniture, clothing, insulation, and carpet. Especially if your home tends to be both warm and damp, be on the lookout for various types of mold in your crawl spaces and attic areas in order to keep dangerous mycotoxins at bay.

Stay tuned for the next installment where we will discuss aspergillus mold and penicillium mold, where they form, how they affect humans, and most importantly, how to get rid of them. For information regarding crawl space cleaning, contact us today!