September is National Indoor Toxic Mold Awareness Month

Purpose: to inform, educate, and raise awareness about adverse health effects due to the exposure of indoor molds and mycotoxins

What are molds?

Molds are microscopic organisms that produce enzymes to digest organic matter and mold spores to reproduce.  In nature, molds play a key role in decomposition of leaves, wood and other plant material.  They need moisture to grow.

What are mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins are toxic vapors produced by mold spores when they grow and have serious health effects on humans and animals.  They are so poisonous that they have been used as a biological weapon of war.

How do you get sick from mycotoxins?

They enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or contact with the skin and can result in a multitude of symptoms including, but not limited to:  dermatitis, cough, rhinitis, nose bleeds, cold & flu-like symptoms, headache, general malaise and fever.

How can exposure to indoor mold and mycotoxins affect my health?

Mycotoxin exposure can lead to toxic injury that may include illnesses affecting the skin and the nervous, vascular, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, urinary and immune systems; they can also include the formation of cancers and can be life-threatening.

Can mold grow inside the human body?

Yes.  Certain species (body temperature molds) can live and grow inside, causing recurring infections and numerous health problems as well as death.

Should I use Bleach to clean mold?

No.  Bleach combined with certain mycotoxins and VOCs can create neurotoxins and brain tumors.  OSHA does NOT recommend using bleach in mold remediation.  Consult the EPA for proper safety equipment when removing mold.  If mold growth is over 10 square feet, recommendation is to contact a professional who is experienced in cleaning up mold; a reputable qualified Mold Remediation Company.