Is mold dangerous? The simple answer is yes, but as with most things, the issue is a bit more complicated than that. There are specifically three types, or categories, of mold: allgergeic, pathogenic and toxigenic.
An allergenic mold is exactly what it sounds like. It is any type of mold that specifically impacts allergy sufferers. Cladosporium, the most common variety of indoor mold, is an allergenic mold. It does not have pathogenic or toxigenic qualities, but if you have mold allergies, you will want to stay away. If you have a mold allergy and you breathe in a large quantity of active allergenic mold spores, you may suffer symptoms like rashes, coughing, congestion, sneezing, itching and flu-like symptoms.
A pathogenic mold can cause infections and illness. Even if you have no mold allergies, you may suffer serious health repercussions as a result of excess exposure to pathogenic molds. The sinuses and respiratory system have the greatest impact, since airborne spores and chemicals pass through the airways. If you begin to suffer sinus infection or respiratory infection in a mold-affected environment, you should leave the environment or contact a mold expert.
Toxigenic molds are the most dangerous molds. You may sometimes hear them referred to as toxic molds, although “toxic mold” is a misnomer. The mold spores themselves are non-toxic, however when they became active, they release “mycotoxins,” toxic substances like Aflatoxin B1, which (according to the Environment Protection Agency) may cause certain cancers like kidney cancer and liver cancer.
Unfortunately, you cannot tell (just by looking) whether any mold fits the allergenic, pathogenic or toxigenic description. For that, you will need to contact a mold removal expert, who can properly sample the mold and determine the spore. Since you cannot tell just by looking, you should treat all mold as potentially dangerous.
All information on this website is intended for research purposes only, and is in no way intended as a substitute for professional consultation or inspection. Information is gathered from a variety of sources including government websites and mold remediation websites, and may not always be accurate. Any mold removal effort is done at your own risk. "Mold and Mildew Remedies" bears no responsibility in the event of illness or structural damage. Always contact a professional mold remediator for best results.