Most information about sources and health effects of biological pollutants is based on studies of large office buildings in the U.S. and Canada. These surveys show that 30% to 50% of all structures have damp conditions which may encourage the growth and buildup of biological pollutants which was corroborated by a similar OSHA study of indoor work environments.
This is also congruent with a joint study conducted by the EPA and Berkley National Laboratory that concluded: "Building dampness and mold raised the risk of a variety of respiratory and asthma-related health outcomes by 30 to 50 percent."
The toxin produced by Stachybotrys chartarum is the most deadly. It has been tied to diseases as minor as hay fever, to those as serious as liver damage, pulmonary edema, and in the most severe cases, brain or nerve damage and even death.
It has also been linked to severe illness in infants. Those with compromised immune systems, small children, and the elderly are highly susceptible to illness when they come in contact with this species of mold. Some symptoms associated with exposure to Stachbotrys include:
- respiratory issues
- nasal and sinus congestion
- eye irritation
- sore throat.
- hacking cough
- chronic fatigue
- central nervous system issues
- aches and pains
These mold families have been connected to illnesses such as nail fungus, asthma, and also infections of the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Additionally, Fusarium may cause gastrointestinal illnesses, and even illness which affect the female reproductive system. Chronic cases of Cladosporium may produce pulmonary edema and emphysema.
The least serious of the toxic mold groups, the Aspergillus mold family consists of over 160 species. Only 16 of those cause illness in humans, none of which are fatal if treated.
Toxic molds are all very dangerous if allowed to grow inside and can manifest on hidden surfaces, such as wallpaper, paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, and underneath carpet.
Contact Us immediately to test any mold colony you may find and never try to determine the type of mold on your own. If exposed, please consult with your family physician.