Got Mold? Get the Test.
"Mold" and "fungus" have many connotations, most of them unpleasant: musty odors, damp basements, moldy carpets, water leaks, soggy drywall, athlete's foot, and poisonous mushrooms, among others.
Fungi comprise a vast world of organisms, perhaps as many as 300,000 species. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines funguses, or fungi, as "types of plants that have no leaves, flowers or roots."Fungi include such seemingly unrelated substances as poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms; organisms that can cause athlete’s foot, fingernail infections, and some types of pneumonia; molds found in cheese, peanut butter, mulch, hay, grains, and spoiled foods; and the black material growing in bathroom grout.
MOLD REMOVAL QUOTE
Testing for common indoor mold species
Molds and other fungi grow easily in damp indoor environments. People who spend time in such environments sometimes complain of respiratory effects, headaches, and other physical symptoms. In addition to visible or hidden mold, damp spaces likely harbor mold break-down products, dust mites, bacteria, and chemicals, gasses, and particulate matter released from the materials on which molds are growing. Given the difficulties in mold testing for all of these elements, hard evidence of precise cause-and-effect can be elusive.
a heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, and is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials such as brake linings: asbestos was used for pipe insulation,
Not to be confused with the lung disease caused by asbestos, asbestosis. See below for history of asbestos.
Water Damage Disaster
Mold Prevention Tips
People with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mold.
If you or your family members have health problems after exposure to mold, contact your doctor or other health care provider.
Controlling moisture in your home is the most critical factor for preventing mold growth.
If you plan to be inside the building for a while or you plan to clean up mold, you should buy N95 masks (or a respirator with a higher protection level) at your local home supply store and wear one while in the building. Make certain that you follow instructions on the package for fitting the mask tightly to your face. Even if you go back into the building for a short time and are not cleaning up mold, you need to wear an N95 mask.
After natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, excess moisture and standing water contribute to the growth of mold in homes and other buildings. When returning to a home that has been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and may be a health risk for your family.
People with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mold.
People with immune suppression (such as people with HIV infection, cancer patients taking chemotherapy, and people who have received an organ transplant) are more susceptible to mold infections. People with a weakened immune system, especially people receiving treatment for cancer, people who have had an organ or stem cell transplant, and people taking medicines that suppress the immune system, should avoid cleaning up mold. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
You can do it. We can help.
Dehumidifiers for rent, Air Scrubbers for rent, fans for rent, and protective outer wear, and full/half facial masks.
Humans & Pets
Mold 101: Affects on human health
Mold is a non-scientific term for many types of unwanted fungi found both indoors and outdoors. Active mold growth requires moisture. Actively-growing mold damages the material it lives on, thereby impairing structural integrity. In addition, mold is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections.
Some of the health effects found in animals and humans include death, identifiable diseases or health problems, weakened immune systems without specificity to a toxin, and as allergens or irritants. Some mycotoxins are harmful to other micro-organisms such as other fungi or even bacteria; penicillin is one example. It has been suggested that mycotoxins in stored animal feed are the cause of rare phenotypical sex changes in hens that causes them to look and act male.
Mycotoxicosis is the term used for poisoning associated with exposures to mycotoxins. Mycotoxins have the potential for both acute and chronic health effects via ingestion, skin contact, inhalation, and entering the blood stream and lymphatic system. They inhibit protein synthesis, damage macrophage systems, inhibit particle clearance of the lung, and increase sensitivity to bacterial endotoxin.
The symptoms of mycotoxicosis depend on the type of mycotoxin; the concentration and length of exposure; as well as age, health, and sex of the exposed individual. The synergistic effects associated with several other factors such as genetics, diet, and interactions with other toxins have been poorly studied. Therefore, it is possible that vitamin deficiency, caloric deprivation, alcohol abuse, and infectious disease status can all have compounded effects with mycotoxins.
Asbestos; the History...
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals, thin fibrous
crystals, with each visible fiber composed of millions of microscopic "fibrils" that can be released by abrasion and other processes.
The minerals are chrysotile, amosite,
crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite.
Asbestos has been mined for over 4,000 years, but large-scale mining began at the end of the 19th century, when manufacturers and builders began using asbestos for its desirable physical properties.
Some of those properties are sound absorption, average tensile strength, affordability, and resistance to fire, heat, and electricity.
It was used in such applications as electrical insulation for hotplate wiring and in building insulation.
When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibers are often mixed with cement or woven into fabric or mats. These desirable properties led to asbestos being used very widely until the late 20th century.
Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious and fatal illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Mold, fungus, microbes, black mold
Black bread mold
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici
Buildings are another source of mycotoxins and people living or working in areas with mold increase their chances of adverse health effects. Molds growing in buildings can be divided into three groups — primary, secondary, and tertiary colonizers. Each group is categorized by the ability to grow at a certain water activity requirement. It has become difficult to identify mycotoxin production by indoor molds for many variables, such as (i) they may be masked as derivatives (ii) they are poorly documented and (iii) the fact that they are likely to produce different metabolites on building materials.
Some of the mycotoxins in the indoor environment are produced by Alternaria, Aspergillus (multiple forms), Penicillium, and Stachybotrys. Stachybotrys chartarum contains a higher number of mycotoxins than other molds grown in the indoor environment and has been associated with allergies and respiratory inflammation. The infestation of S. chartarum in buildings containing gypsum board, as well as on ceiling tiles, is very common and has recently become a more recognized problem. When gypsum board has been repeatedly introduced to moisture, S. chartarum grows readily on its cellulose face. This stresses the importance of moisture controls and ventilation within residential homes and other buildings.
The negative health effects of mycotoxins are a function of the concentration, the duration of exposure and the subject's sensitivities. The concentrations experienced in a normal home, office or school are often too low to trigger a health response in occupants.
In the 1990s, public concern over mycotoxins increased following multimillion-dollar toxic mold settlements. The lawsuits took place after a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Cleveland, Ohio, reported an association between mycotoxins from Stachybotrysspores and pulmonary hemorrhage in infants. However, in 2000, based on internal and external reviews of their data, the CDC concluded that because of flaws in their methods, the association was not proven. Stachybotrys spores in animal studies have been shown to cause lung hemorrhaging, but only at very high concentrations.
One study by the Center of Integrative Toxicology at Michigan State University investigated the causes of Damp Building Related Illness (DBRI). They found that Stachybotrys is possibly an important contributing factor to DBRI. So far animal models indicate that airway exposure to S. chartarum can evoke allergic sensitization, inflammation, and cytotoxicity in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Trichothecene toxicity appears to be an underlying cause of many of these adverse effects. Recent findings indicate that lower doses (studies usually involve high doses) can cause these symptoms.
Some toxicologists have used the Concentration of No Toxicological Concern (CoNTC) measure to represent the airborne concentration of mycotoxins that are expected to cause no hazard to humans (exposed continuously throughout a 70–yr lifetime). The resulting data of several studies have thus far demonstrated that common exposures to airborne mycotoxins in the built indoor environment are below the CoNTC, however agricultural environments have potential to produce levels greater than the CoNTC.