Mold is not only a nuisance when it comes to destroying the dynamics of your home, including the tiling, framework, carpets or ceiling; it is also very hazardous to your health and is the cause of several ailments and allergies.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows from spores floating in the air. It needs three essential environmental components to thrive; temperature, water, and food. The most important of the three is water.
There are more than 100,000 species of mold recognized today which can survive even under the most extreme conditions on earth. In the US alone, there are over 1000 mold species commonly known.
They usually live in wet areas. Molds include all the species of microscopic fungi. On the contrary, microscopic fungi which grow as single cells are called yeasts.
Foods are refrigerated to prevent the growth of mold since many mold species can’t grow until it attains the temperatures 5°C or even higher. But, they can remain dormant and start to flourish when placed in the right temperatures.
Mold release many spores, similar to the seeds, into the air and also into our breathing zone. Inhalation of spores, directly tough moldy substances without gloves, or accidentally eating moldy food can expose a person to mold.
Besides, specific mold species can produce a secondary metabolite known as Mycotoxins. Mycotoxins may cause infections in people. It’s advisable to seek medical assistance if you inhale or ingest Mycotoxins or mold.
Molds cause biodegradation of the natural materials that can be unnecessary when it becomes damage to property or food spoilage. They also play crucial roles in biotechnology and food science in the production of various beverages, foods, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, and enzymes.
Certain molds can cause some diseases of humans and animals: disease may occur due to the pathogenic molds growth within the body, allergic sensitivity to mold spores, or the effects of inhaled or ingested toxic compounds (mycotoxins). Below are more interesting facts about molds that you probably didn’t know.
1. Exposure to extreme levels of molds can lead to severe health problems, like cold and flu-like symptoms, respiratory and sinus problems, fatigue, headaches, memory loss, and trouble concentrating. Individuals who are susceptible include those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, young kids, and other sensitive individuals.
2. Mold needs an organic food source, like sheetrock, cloth, or wood, and a source of moisture to grow. Mold can start to grow if an organic material which remains wet for over 48 hours. The way to prevent the growth of mold indoors is to control the moisture indoors.
3. Do you get all sneezy when you’re decorating your fresh Christmas tree? The Christmas trees hold a high amount of mold spores. If extremely allergic to various substances, it will be safe if you go for a little more plastic.
4. When it comes to getting rid of mold, you possibly thought a little of bleach could fix the problem. In fact, it isn’t advisable to put bleach on mold. The bleach might destroy the mold, but dead mold is just as hazardous to animals and humans as live mold.
5. Mold does not require light to grow that is why it is common to find mold in the dark, poorly lit parts of the home.
6. Stachybotrys, a type of toxic mold, is rare and often found only in homes which have been flooded or have other adverse and prolonged water damage.
7. The growth of mold in a home isn’t limited to those with water damage and flooding – any prolonged exposure to moisture like a lawn sprinkler, condensation, steam (from an unvented shower in a bathroom) or periodic leaking left to itself will also encourage the growth of mold.
8. Infants born during mold season are three times more likely to develop asthma and some other allergies. However, the tricky thing is, mold season varies from one season to another!
9. Penicillin, a common antibiotic, is made from a form of mold known as Penicillium. The antibiotic has saved several lives. Most people believe that mold is only harmful to humans, but it assists us quite a bit.
10. Molds are also used to produce soy sauce and soybean paste in a process which involves fermentation.
11. While most people think that the color of mold tells whether it’s harmless mold or bad mold, this isn’t always true. Any color of mold can have safe or harmful characteristics.
12. Cyclosporine is a drug used to assist transplantation patients by suppressing organ rejection. The pharmaceutical companies use a mold known as Tolypocladium inflatum to manufacture this drug.