Don’t panic! Mold is one of the most prolific forms of life on Earth, and you’ve been around it for as long as you’ve been alive. It reproduces through a process known as sporulation in which spores are released and get blown through the air to settle wherever they may land. If that happens to be on a food source, and there’s enough water present, it will grow. With the exception of very tightly controlled artificial environments such as clean rooms and surgery rooms, mold spores are present in every bit of air we breathe. These spores can be a health irritant or allergen for some people, as can mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by fungi, often to defend themselves against other fungi competing for the same food source. Stachybotrys Chartarum, often referred to as black mold or toxic black mold, is one of many species that can produce mycotoxins. The two most common indoor molds in our area are Aspergillus and Penicillium, which are also known to produce mycotoxins. These substances have been known to cause itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, trouble breathing, skin rashes, and other allergic responses in some people.
What should you do if you’ve discovered mold in your house?