The Fungus Among Us; Home Clean Home

moldsYou might think that your home offers refuge from all possible allergy irritants. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. What we call indoor mold is actually 50 to 100 different types of problematic fungi. Below is a list of some common allergenic mold types you may encounter inside your home:

Alternaria – This mold is typically found on soil, plants, wood and food. Alternaria grows rapidly, and generally displays a flat shape and fluffy or woolly appearance. It has a grayish/white color on one side that eventually darkens to olive brown or greenish black. The other side has either brown or black coloring. Alternaria can cause allergic reactions, hey fever, sinus infections and even trigger the development of asthma.

Arthrinium – Arthrinium is another fast-spreading mold, as within a couple of days it can grow to 3 to 9 cm in diameter. They have a texture that ranges from woolly to cottony. Arthrinium colonies are usually white with brown spots. This fungus can cause hay fever, allergic reactions and asthma.

Botrytis – This is a parasitic fungus that feasts on weakening or dying plant tissues. Like other fungi on this list, Botrytis spreads rapidly. Botrytis colonies tend to have woolly textures and white coloring, which turns into gray and then brown over time. You would most likely find Botrytis on houseplants, fruits and vegetables. A person exposed to significant amounts of this fungus could develop allergies, hay fever, asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Cladosporium – This front of this mold has a dark green/black color, whereas the reverse side is black. The texture of Cladosporium ranges from powdery to velvet-like. This mold usually grows on rotting plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, plant and textiles

Stachybotrys chartarum – If your house has flooded or sustained water damage recently, you stand a good chance of finding Stachybotrys inside your home. This mold prefers to grow on water-damaged building materials like sheet rock, paper, ceiling tiles, insulation backing and wallpaper. Aspergillus – Aspergillus is a group of roughly 200 species of molds, 16 of which are infectious to humans. Among this list are Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger.

Aspergillus fumigatus – This is the most infectious species of Aspergillus. It can be found in the decomposing matter of plants and animals. Good examples of such an environment are compost heaps. People who inhale spores from this mold may develop serious allergy-like symptoms.

Aspergillus flavus – Aspergillus fumigatus is the second most infectious type of Aspergillus. It usually grows and nourishes itself on dead plant and animal tissue.

Aspergillus niger – While Aspergillus niger is the third most infectious form of Aspergillus, it is actually the most common version of the mold found in nature. This is due to its ability to grow on a variety of objects, ranging from dead leaves to stored grain to compost piles. When it enters the human body, Aspergillus niger can cause fungal balls to develop inside the lungs. This may cause the afflicted host to cough up blood, a condition known as hemoptysis.

Written by Michael Harris

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If you are moving to the Katy Independent School District and looking for information on properties available for sale, please call Michelle Sturdevant at 713 572-5308.  
Michelle Sturdevant Realty Group


Categories: Houston Real Estate News, Real Estate Advice for Buyers

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