19June

Does all mold have to be black to be toxic?

I am often asked by clients isn’t black mold the only mold that is toxic?  The short answer is no!  Molds come in a variety of looks shades and colors.  Molds grow based on water activity and water activity is caused by variety of water intrusion events.   Such as, Liquid pooling water from a flood caused by ground water, a bursted pipe or leak.   Mold also can grow due to diffusion or water vapor caused by evaporation of water.    Stachybotrys the mold that gets all the notoriety and media attention is black and generally is considered a high water activity mold.    Some species of Stachybotrys can produce a very potent mycotoxin called Trichothecene.  However, molds like Aspergillus and Penicillium are generally the primary and secondary colonizing molds in a water intrusion environment and do not require a lot of water activity.   Aspergillus and Penicillium can typically grow in high relative humidity environments.   such as sub grade environments like basements and crawl spaces and water impacted areas that are not properly dehumidified.  These molds many times are not black and can look white, gray, green and almost colorless.   Some species of Penicillium and Aspergillus can produce mycotoxins call Aflatoxins and Ochratoxins.

It is the molds that are not black that ninety percent of the time are missed and as a result, can linger in the impacted environment potentially influencing the ambient living areas of the home or work environment causing adverse health issues to the occupants.   A comprehensive mold assessment from a certified and qualified mold inspector is your best defense to ensure your home or workplace is within a normal fungal ecology.  For more information about potential mold issues within your home or workplace visit www.findingthemold.com.



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