Have you spotted a brownish, greenish blob of slime in your bathroom’s corners? Or maybe there are orange and red streaks that are making you worried. Before thinking of how to eliminate the unsightly mold, you need to know their types. The most familiar bathroom fungi include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys (also referred to as black mold).
Many varieties of mold appear to have a green or dark brown appearance. Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys, is the most dangerous fungus common in bathrooms. The fungus is dark brown, almost appearing black. Penicillium mold is also common and it is sometimes blue, yellow, or even green.
Different types of molds may look similar and thus challenging to differentiate them. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend testing mold types, it advises that all fungi be treated the same way. They should all be seen as potential health risks.
Do Bathroom Molds Cause Illness?
While mold could be relatively harmless, it can sometimes irritate, especially to those who are asthmatic. People with existing respiratory or allergic conditions could also be affected by exposure to environments prone to mold. A person affected by bathroom mold is likely to experience cough, runny noses, or scratchy throats.
Small amounts of mold in the environment cannot pose health risks to people with proper immune system function. However, in large quantities, mold spores can lead to illness in all people.
Stachybotrys (referred to by many as black mold) releases mycotoxins that could pose serious health problems. These toxic substances can cause:
1. Mold poisoning
2. Pains and aches
3. Memory loss
5. Mood swings
How To Control Bathroom Molds
You can control bathroom fungus by using the following tips:
1. Open the bathroom windows when showering
2. Use exhaust fans to drive out moisture and not into the attic
3. Use area rugs and take water out after washing. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, which can be an attraction to mold
4. Look for any leaks around tubs and basins and ensure they are repaired
5. Do not leave wet clothes or towels on the floor or in the laundry hamper
What Are The Effects Of Mold On Human Health?
Mold can be toxic with a long-lasting effect on human health. But the extent of risk depends on the type and how much exposed one is. Certain groups of people such as the aged, children, pregnant women, and those with pre-existing conditions are more vulnerable to mold. There are certain health conditions and illnesses associated with mold that include:
Some people are sensitive to mold, while others can become allergic to it due to prolonged exposure. Symptoms of mold sensitivity include;
1. Sore throat
2. Nasal and chest congestion
3. Sore, watery, or dry eyes
4. Skin irritation
5. Sneezing, coughing, and wheezing
Mold exposure is known to cause respiratory conditions besides being risky for those with existing lung illnesses. One may experience shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, and upper respiratory tract problems. For those who are more susceptible, one can develop asthma, which is also a respiratory illness.
Healthy children can also develop asthma and other diseases due to mold exposure. You can also experience more intensified symptoms and asthma attacks.
People who have pre-existing lung conditions like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) or weak immune systems are more likely to feel the effect of mold. Mold exposure can make such people develop lung infections.
Chronic And Severe Conditions
Some mold types produce mycotoxins that may be absorbed by the airways, intestinal lining, and the skin. Prolonged exposure to these toxins will lead to deadly and severe conditions. Some of the illnesses associated with mycotoxins include:
1. Pulmonary bleeding
2. Liver and kidney conditions
3. Pulmonary fibrosis that scar the lungs
5. Immune and blood disorders
6. Digestive and heart conditions
7. Toxic nervous system
Types Of Harmful Molds
|Mold Type||Harmful Effects|
|Allergenic||Produce allergies and allergic reactions like asthma|
|Pathogenic||Affects people with acute illness|
|Toxigenic (toxic mold)||Produce toxic substances that lead to deadly health conditions.|
Some Different Types Of Molds That Are Found At Home
Knowing the type of mold infesting your home is crucial, as this will help you understand how to eliminate it. The following are the common types:
Alternaria mold is among the most common types of allergic molds in the world. It has a velvety texture with brown or dark-green hairs. This mold grows in damp areas such as showers, leaking sinks, and bathtubs. The species is also common in places with water damage at home or in a building.
Exposure to Alternaria mold leads to asthma-like symptoms in areas such as the nose, mouth, or upper respiratory tract. This type of mold spreads fast, and it is, therefore, necessary to remediate it immediately you spot it.
This type of mold is allergenic, and it grows on painted wooden surfaces or behind wallpaper. The mold is usually brown, pink, or black but turns darker brown with age.
Aureobasidium mold can cause infections of the skin, nails, and eyes. People need to avoid touching the mold directly due to its potential to cause skin rash (dermatitis).
This type of mold is common in American households. It has over 185 species that appear in various colors, and it creates long chains on the surface. The mold has flask-shaped pores that are long and which form thick layers or walls. Aspergillus is allergenic and can become more dangerous depending on the species and the affected environment.
Exposure to this mold leads to effects such as lung infections, asthma attacks, and respiratory inflammation. Some of its species can also produce carcinogenic aflatoxins.
This mold is toxigenic, and it evolves in its appearance over time. It begins as a tiny moist mold and changes into a fine powdery substance. The fungus is usually orange, pink, white, or grey and grows in household systems or areas like cooling coils, drain pans, and window sealants.
Exposing yourself to the mold is risky since it can cause bone marrow diseases. It can also affect the immune system as well as other organs. The mold is carcinogenic and capable of impairing brain function.
Acremonium mold grows together with other types such as Stachybotrys, which produces dangerous and unpleasant mold problems.
Cladosporium mold is an allergenic type that can grow in both cold and warm environments. It thrives in indoor substances like carpets, fabrics, and upholsteries. You will also find this problem inside cupboards and floorboards. The mold has a suede-like texture and is brown or olive-green.
Exposing yourself to this mold causes allergic reactions to the nose, skin, throat, and eyes. You can also get asthma, lesions, skin rash, sinusitis, and lung infections. Although Cladosporium does not have toxic properties, you should never handle it directly as it can cause lung and skin irritation.
This mold is common in water-damaged buildings and homes. It has a cotton-like texture and changes colors from white to grey, brown, and then black. You will find this mold in the basement, damp or leaking roof, or sink. Its musty smell will help you to recognize the mold.
The health effects of chaetomium mold include nail and skin infections. This mold sometimes produces mycotoxins that are dangerous to people with weak immune systems. You can control the mold by repairing water damage in your home since it grows chronically in moist conditions. Chaetomium is found in the basement, leaky pipes, and the roof.
Ensure that you cut off moisture at the source to prevent the reoccurrence of this mold.
Stachybotrys mold is commonly referred to as nefarious black mold. It is a toxigenic mold that is known to cause allergic reactions. The mold is black or greenish with a slimy texture. This type of mold grows in wet and damp areas whose humidity levels are high. You can find the mold on cellulose materials like cardboard, paper, woods, wicker, or hay.
Stachybotrys is also known as toxic mold since it produces mycotoxins that have severe health issues. Its exposure symptoms may include fatigue, depression, breathing difficulty, and sinusitis. A victim may also experience dull pains and aches in the mucus membrane and have a burning sensation in the airways that will tighten the chest. Nose bleeds, persistent coughs, painful headaches, and fever are also symptoms associated with Stachybotrys mold.
A mold problem can be a big menace in your home, especially if left uncontrolled. It is necessary to know how to identify the different types and where to find them. The majority of the mold types are harmful to your health if exposed to them for long.
It would be helpful if you did everything possible to eliminate mold from your home. It is also advisable to dry your bathrooms and other places where water is commonly used.