Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Toxic and Health Effects of Mold - Stachybotrys

Very large doses of certain molds, whether inhaled or ingested, can result in poisoning caused by toxins, called mycotoxins, in the mold cells. It is not clear whether an individual can receive a high enough exposure to mold growing indoors to experience these toxic effects.One particular type of mold that has been recently highlighted in the media is Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra). Stachybotrys is a greenish-black mold that grows on materials with high cellulose content (drywall, wood, paper, ceiling tiles) that are chronically wet or moist. It is one of several molds that can produce mycotoxins under certain environmental conditions. The health effects of breathing mycotoxins are not well understood, but we do know that most molds can present some health risks, such as allergic reactions. Therefore, any mold growth in a building should be cleaned up, regardless of the type of mold.

For additional information on this issue see Questions and Answers on Stachybotrys chartarum and other molds on the National Center for Environmental Health website.


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