Interesting Facts About Mycotoxin

What are Mycotoxins?

Health professionals, Doctors and Scientists have learned that molds can produce secondary byproducts, called mycotoxins. These toxins can be considered poisonous and carcinogenic to humans. Essentially, mycotoxins is the defense mechanism used by certain molds to defend their territory from other molds. Until now there has not been an easy method to make the distinction between the molds producing poisonous byproducts and other, less harmful molds.
Mycotoxins have been proven to be a serious health hazard. The presence of mycotoxins in schools, homes or offices can result in serious health effects. Mycotoxins in work and school environments can lead to lawsuits and lost productivity. Protect yourself, your employees and family and have mycotoxin testing done today.

Where are mycotoxins found?

Since mycotoxins are a by-product of mold, it is most likely to be detected in environments conducive to mold growth. Such as homes or businesses with water activity, improper climate control and high relative humidity.

If I have a mold problem does it mean I have mycotoxins?

No, not all molds produce mycotoxins. It is important to have the home or office tested for both mold and mycotoxins to verify if they are present in the envrionemnt.

Is black mold the only toxic mold?

No. Black mold is usually the easiest to notice, however molds can be seen in many shades, shapes and grow in different environmental conditions. The only way to be certain if the mold in the home or business is producing mycotoxins is by having CMI perform an inspection and testing of the environment.

What are some types of Mycotoxins?

Aflatoxins – are produced by certain Aspergillus species of mold. Common species of Aspergillus that produce Aflatoxins include:
Aspergillus flavus
Aspergillus bombycis
Aspergillus ochraceoroseus
Aspergillus nomius
Aspergillus pseudotamari
Aspergillus parasiticus.

Ochratoxins – are mycotoxins produced by some Aspergillus species and some Penicillium species. Common species that produce Ochratoxins:
Aspergillus ochraceus
Aspergillus alliaceus
Aspergillus auricomus
Aspergillus carbonarius
Aspergillus glaucus
Aspergillus melleus
Aspergillus niger
Penicillium verrucosum

Trichothecenes – constitute a family of more than sixty metabolites produced by a number of fungal genera, including:
Stachybotrys
Fusarium
Myrothecium
Phomopsis
Trichoderma
Trichothecium

How can mold affect your health?

Symptoms may occur among exposed humans and animals. The likelihood of developing adverse effects following exposure depends on such variables as:  toxin type and purity, dose, and duration of exposure. (CDC)

What are symptoms of mycotoxins?

Immediate reactions to mycotoxins can include:
Skin exposure in some situations could lead to:

• burning pain
• redness
• blisters

Oral exposure may lead to:
• vomiting
• diarrhea

Ocular exposure might result in:
• blurred vision
• Inhalational exposure might cause:
• nasal irritation
• cough

Once in the body, symptoms can develop that might include
• weakness
• ataxia (uncontrolled muscle movement)
• dizziness
• hypotension (low blood pressure)
• coagulopathy (loss of ability for blood to clot)
• cancer
• death
(CDC)

Each case is different depending type of mycotoxin, and duration of exposure. It is important to advise with a medical professional if you have been exposed to mycotoxins.

Mycotoxin Remediation

There are currently no standards or industry guidelines stating the most effective way to remediate and clean mycotoxins.

Most mycotoxins from toxic mold in houses usually end up embedded in the carpet. There is no way to remove all mycotoxins from carpet and the only option is for the carpet to be removed.

It takes at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour or fire at 900 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes to destroy trichothecene mycotoxins.

Studies have shown ozone can elimante certain mycotoxins. However, ozone is not safe for humans and can cause other issues within the property.

Under Doctor recommendation, the best cleaning methodology after the mold has been properly remediated is to use an Ammonia based solution,

Mycotoxin Symptoms

Symptoms may occur among exposed humans and animals. The likelihood of developing adverse effects following exposure depends on such variables as:  toxin type and purity, dose, and duration of exposure. (CDC)

What are symptoms of mycotoxins?

Immediate reactions to mycotoxins can include:

Skin exposure in some situations could lead to:
• burning pain
• redness
• blisters

Oral exposure may lead to:
• vomiting
• diarrhea

Ocular exposure might result in:
• blurred vision

Inhalational exposure might cause:
• nasal irritation
• cough

Once in the body, symptoms can develop that might include
• weakness
• ataxia (uncontrolled muscle movement)
• dizziness
• hypotension (low blood pressure)
• coagulopathy (loss of ability for blood to clot)
• cancer
• death
(CDC)

Each case is different depending type of mycotoxin, and duration of exposure. It is important to advise with a medical professional if you have been exposed to mycotoxins.

 Mycotoxin Prevention

As with any potential indoor pathogen, in order to prevent the issue you need to resolve the source. Mycotoxins like Trichothecenes, Ochratoxins and Aflotoxins are produced by cetain mold species. Therefore if the environment, diet and lifestyle are kept free of mold it can help prevent the chances of mycotoxin exposure.

Please click here for more information on Mold Prevention.

Schedule an inspection appointment for Mycotoxins today!
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