Mold-related health effects
Mold has a necessary place in our environment. Without it we’d be overrun with debris, such as fallen leaves.
However, there are times when mold can be a problem for us. This includes when mold invades our indoor environment, including homes, schools, or workplaces. When mold enters these environments we can suffer from adverse physical symptoms ranging from respiratory problems (sneezing, runny nose, or asthma) to headaches and memory loss.
The media likes to blame “toxic mold,” also known as “black mold,” for mold-related illnesses. Stachybotrys chartarum is the mold claimed to be the “killer mold,” but this particular mold, although possessing many mycotoxins (a chemical released by the mold that has the potential to cause illness in humans and/or animals), is no more toxic than, let’s say, Aspergillus niger or Trichophyton rubrum, which can also be found in homes.
According to research, approximately 10 percent of the population is allergic to mold. Children younger than age 5, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, such as chemotherapy patients, can be severely and even fatally affected by exposure to mold. Susceptibility varies with the quantity of mold present and length of exposure.