I heard about toxic molds that grow in homes and other buildings.Should I be concerned about a serious health risk to me and my family?
The hazards presented by molds that may contain mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces.
There are very few case reports that toxic molds (those containing certain mycotoxins) inside homes can cause unique or rare, health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss.
These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxic mold and these conditions has not been proven.
A common-sense approach should be used for any mold contamination existing inside buildings and homes.
The common health concerns from molds include hay-fever like allergic symptoms. Certain individuals with chronic respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression may be at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment. For the most part, one should take routine measures to prevent mold growth in the home.
How common is mold, including Stachybotrys chartarum (also known by its synonyn Stachybotrys atra) in buildings?
Molds are very common in buildings and homes and will grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. We do not have accurate information about how often Stachybotrys chartarum is found in buildings and homes. While it is less common than other mold species it is not rare.