|Mold Inspection Information: Types of Mold |
There are approximately 100,000 genera of mold species known today, with approximately 80 genera suspected of causing some form of illness. Only a fraction of the 80 genera are considered toxic. Molds are organized into three groups according to human responses: Allergenic, Pathogenic and Toxigenic.
Allergenic molds do not usually produce life-threatening health effects, and are most likely to affect those who are already allergic or asthmatic. The human system responses to allergenic molds tend to be relatively mild, typically producing only scratchy throats and rashes.
Pathogenic molds usually produce some type of infection. They can cause serious health effects in persons with suppressed immune systems, although a normal, healthy individual can probably resist infection by these organisms regardless of dose. In some cases, high exposure may cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis (an acute response to exposure to an organism).
Mycotoxins can cause serious health effects in almost anybody. These agents have toxic effects in ranging from short-term irritation to immunosuppression and possibly cancer. Therefore, when toxigenic molds are found further evaluation is recommended.
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