Toxic Mold in the House
Almost all molds are obnoxious to humans. However, most molds grow outdoors and their spores and gases are diluted by the wind and are not detectable by smell, taste or irritation effects in healthy non-allergic individuals. However, when these same outdoor environmental molds from your neighborhood begin to grow on a wet, damp, flooded or moist material, in a confined space in your house, their spores and off-gases reach levels that our body finds irritating, repulsive or toxic.
How Do Toxic Molds Get in Your House?
Molds in your house come from two places. They came in as dormant spores on the original wood, sheetrock when the house was built. They also come in every day from your neighborhood through open windows and doors, on your clothes, hair, pets, packages, shoes, etc. This includes the least irritating molds as well as the most irritating and most toxic molds – they all live in the soil, plants, leaves, lawns, gardens and forests of your neighborhood and blow into your house.
Once mold spores get in your house, they settle out like dust and stay dormant (like a seed) or dry out and die or get picked up and tossed out by dusting, washing, vacuuming and filtering. The remaining "background" mold spores lie dormant on or in your walls, rugs, attic, basement, etc.
These mold spores only become a contamination problem when they become wet and begin to grow inside a building. The wetting is usually due to a pipe leak, accident, builder negligence, normal wear and tear, leaks or flooding or negligent building maintenance.
Stachybotrys Chartarum, the most recently publicized toxic mold, is only one of probably a dozen or more local environmental mold spores lying dormant in your house – in rugs, walls, attics and basements.
Toxic Mold From Russia To Cleveland
Stachybotrys Chartarum (the cellulose-loving toxic mold) was reliably reported to have killed thousands of horses when they ate moldy hay (cellulose) which had become wet from rains (in the Russian Ukraine). The same toxic mold is strongly suspected in killing 10 infants and causing illness to many others living in houses with wet, moldy walls in Cleveland, Ohio, in the early 1990′s.
Toxic Mold Today or Toxic Mold Tomorrow – In Your Damp House
So, if you find mold growing in your house or building, black will often be the dominant color, but there will more than likely be a half-dozen or so other dark molds mixed in, on and around the dominant mold. A wide-range of molds will grow on moist wood, wallboard, rugs, glue, wallpaper, etc.
As mold grows and the area becomes wetter or dryer, the dominant mold may change – so, if it’s not toxic today, it may be toxic tomorrow or vice versa – so don’t wait to make a plan to safely clean it up.