Mould, Health Hazards, Mycotoxins
Mould has certainly made its way into people's homes and places of work as well as the headlines recently. Many people still don't fully understand the health hazards of fungal exposure. The term toxic mould is somewhat misleading as it exudes an idea that certain molds are toxic, when actually certain types of moulds produce secondary metabolites that produce toxins. The correct term is mycotoxins. Airborne mycotoxins can definitely destroy one's health. Sometimes, people are unaware that they are breathing mould spores and mycotoxins until they are very sick. Certain people have minor allergic reactions to the non-toxic mould, but once you leave the affected area they most likely recover with few serious side effects. However, if they have been exposed to the dangerous moulds such as Stachybotrys or Chaetomium, they could suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more. Mould can be found wherever there is moisture, oxygen, and something to feed on. Mould grows in our homes and places of work in moist warm areas like damp basements, closets, and bathrooms, even after the moisture has dried up. Also, mould can grow in places where fresh food is stored, refrigerator drip trays, house plants, humidifiers, garbage pails, mattresses, upholstered furniture, or foam rubber pillows. The worst place that mould can grow, however, is inside wall cavities and flooring, wherever there may be cellulose materials they can feed on, such as wood, ceiling tiles, or plasterboard, even if they are not visible, and they have sustained water damage at one time or another. This is very common if there has been bad ventilation, a plumbing leak or damaged roof.