THE SHORT ANSWER
Common Health Symptoms from Mold
The most common dangerous molds are aspergillus, chaetomium, cladosporium and stachybotrys.
Health symptoms include... wheezing, cough (with or without blood), headache, stuffiness, and even unexplained weight loss if you have aspergillus.
Coughing, cold and flu symptoms, rhinitis, nose bleeds, acid reflux, and memory loss can all result from a chaetomium infection. As well as balance issues, dermatitis, headaches, seizures, internal lesions, and fever.
For cladosporium, In one allergy clinic, over 50% of patients' allergy woes can be contributed to cladosporium. It has been shown to inflame asthma, and in chronic cases, it can cause pulmonary emphysema and hair loss.
Exposure to stachybotrys and its toxins can suppress your immune system, causing difficulty of breathing, sneezing, asthma attacks, chronic sinus infection, depression, and fatigue. Extended exposure can lead to bleeding in the lungs and damage to the liver and kidneys.
A MORE IN-DEPTH ANSWER
All molds must be respected, but not all molds have devastating effects on your health. In this post we intend to discuss some of the more common mold species, their descriptions, and their potential effect(s), and the symptoms of mold on the human body. Depending on an individual's sensitivity, some mold species require a licensed mold remediation company.
Aspergillosis is a disease caused by aspergillus, a common mold (a type of fungus) that lives indoors and outdoors. Most people breathe in aspergillus spores every day without getting sick. However, people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to aspergillus. There are different types of aspergillosis. Some types are mild, but some of them are profoundly serious.
There are many symptoms of allergic reactions to aspergillus, and many of them are similar to asthma. These symptoms include wheezing, cough (with or without blood), headache, stuffiness, and even unexplained weight loss. Individuals with a penicillin allergy are usually more susceptible to the symptoms of aspergillus. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of aspergillosis, contact your medical professional immediately.
Chaetomium is reported as being one of the most common types of mold found in water-damaged or damp homes. This mold can be found on many different types of materials, including wallpaper, drywall, door and window trim, paper, baseboards, carpets, cardboard, and furniture containing cotton. Because Chaetomium loves damp paper so much, it is a constant concern in libraries and book and paper archives.
Chaetomium mold produces an enzyme called cellulase, which breaks down the cellulose in materials, literally destroying them. Sometimes it is also found on food, especially whole foods that contain significant sources of fiber; foods such as whole-grain breads and pastas, quinoa, and brown rice.
This type of mold is also sometimes found growing outdoors on decaying plant matter, in soil, or on animal dung. It is much more commonly found indoors than outdoors, usually resulting from a water damage problem.
When you find mold in your home you will not be able to identify it by just looking at it. Some homeowners choose to have the air quality in their homes tested to see what kind and how much mold is present. All kinds of mold are potentially hazardous to your health and need to be removed from indoor environments. Some homeowners choose to test their homes for mold to ascertain health risks. Sometimes they want to find out if mold is present, or maybe they have had mold removed by a professional and want to make certain that has been successfully remediated. There are several reasons a homeowner will test their homes for mold.
If mold tests reveal you have Chaetomium mold growing in your home, it means you may have a potentially dangerous mold problem. If you have this kind of mold in your home, it suggests you have or have had, a chronic moisture problem. This type of mold is usually found in homes with leaky water lines, a leaky roof, a constantly damp basement, or a home that has suffered a major water loss of some type. If you want to remove the mold and make your home safe again, you will need to determine the source of the excessive moisture and remedy it before remediating the mold. Otherwise, you will just end up with the mold redeveloping again.
Cladosporium is the mold most frequently encountered in both outdoor and indoor air. It is frequently found in elevated levels in water-damaged environments. It can appear as very dark green, gray, or black and have a powdery appearance. Cladosporium has over 30 species and the spores are easily made airborne.
In one allergy clinic, over 50% of patients tested positive from Cladosporium. It has been shown to be a common cause of asthma. In chronic cases, it can cause pulmonary emphysema or cause hair loss.
You have probably heard the horror stories about black mold in indoor environments. Stachybotrys is that dreaded black mold. While many molds are black in color, when people think about the dangerous black mold, they are referring to Stachybotrys. It is probably the most dangerous to you and your family's health.
While many molds appear to be dry, Stachybotrys is slimy and sooty in appearance. Stachybotrys takes longer to develop than other molds and it requires more water/moisture over a longer period of time than other types of mold. Materials with a high cellulose content, like wood, paper, and cardboard are favorite food sources for this toxic black mold. Stachybotrys is a slow-developing mold; if you did not see it yesterday but you do today, chances are it is not stachybotrys. It usually takes one to two weeks for a colony to develop as opposed to the one to two days for most other molds. Once stachybotrys starts it will become the dominant mold and it will usually crowd out other types of mold.
Exposure to stachybotrys can cause numerous health problems. The toxins tend to cause suppression of your immune system. These health problems include breathing difficulty, sneezing, asthma attacks, chronic sinus infection, depression, and fatigue. Symptoms can range in severity from mild to very severe. Extended exposure to stachybotrys can eventually result in bleeding in the lungs and damage to the liver and kidneys. If you have an air quality test conducted by a licensed mold remediator and stachybotrys shows up in any amount, it needs to be remediated as quickly as possible.
This article was intended to give you an explanation of some of the more common mold types found in indoor spaces. Again, all molds need to be respected, but some are more dangerous than others. Some people have reactions that are more serious than others. The reaction you may have depends on your genetic makeup, the type of mold encountered, and the length of exposure.
If you suspect you have mold in your indoor space, contact a licensed mold remediator to conduct an air quality test. You'll be glad you did.