Find all about mold here. The article highlights all important things to know about mold, common examples of molds and their occurrence, and how they can be prevented or removed.
Have you ever experienced that moment of dismay when you open your fridge expectantly, only to find that your favorite tasty ice cream is covered with a hairy gray substance or a blackish layer? It is most likely to be mold or mould - a type of fungi that deteriorates food amongst others. Mold affects food and is also seen on house walls or other moist or dark places in buildings. However, mold has its place in the ecosystem with its contribution.
Mold is a living organism that resemble fungi-like protists. These fungi appear like they are neither plant nor animal.
Mold is heterotrophic, meaning it cannot make its food as plants do, and mold must gain nutrients from other organic substances. However, unlike animals, mold does not really 'eat' its food, and it must absorb nutrition from other organisms. To do this, mold secretes enzymes that break down the food substance into smaller organic molecules that can be absorbed. If you've ever grabbed a piece of moldy fruit, you may have felt the soft and mushy area that has essentially been digested.
Mycelium molds are a vast group of thread-like structures called hyphae, and are observed on food surfaces and other affected damp surfaces. It appears like a grassy lawn. Like individual blades of grass making up a lawn, many hyphae make up a mycelium, which explains its 'hairy' appearance. It is also important to note that mold is multi-cellular.
Is mold a living thing?
Mold is a living organism that belongs to the Fungi family. Mold acquires energy from digesting other substances and reproduces via spores, living organism status.
Mold mostly reproduces through asexually produced spores, although some types of mold also produce spores sexually. These spores are invisible and are carried through the air. Once these spores come in contact with a favorable environment (dark, moist), they start to grow quite rapidly!
There are three main classifications of mold, depending on its how hazardous they are to our health:
1. Allergenic: Causes an allergic reaction such as eye irritation, skin irritation, or asthma.
2. Pathogenic: Can cause disease, and it's often hard to pinpoint this type.
3. Toxigenic: Produces substances that are toxic and can lead to dangerous or deadly health conditions.
There are more than 100,000 types of mold. The common examples of mold, and where they are usually found are explained below.
Stachybotrys Are green to black and sticky to touch. This fungus is found in damp places throughout the home. Bathroom ceilings, wet carpets, laundry rooms, and basements are often home to black mold. Commonly referred to as "black mold", Stachybotrys can cause severe illness.
No one likes to see mold in their homes! It is useful to understand this fungus, and to enable its prevention or effective removal when it shows up.
1. Is it mould or mold?
It means the same. Americans spell it like mold, whereas the British spell it as Mould.
2. What does mold do to a person? Is mold harmful to humans?
People who have touched, inhaled mold or mold spores may have allergic reactions such as a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash, and itching (dermatitis). Molds can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic to molds, causing wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.
3. Can you get sick from mold in your house?
In some cases, mold in homes can make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Mold exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs, irrespective of vulnerability to allergies.
4. What kills mold?
5. Can mold grow in your lungs?
The mold spores can colonize (grow) inside lung cavities from chronic diseases, such as sepsis, tuberculosis, emphysema, or advanced sarcoidosis. The fungus fibers might form a lump by combining with white blood cells resulting in blood clots.
7. How do you stop mold from growing?
Following measures prevent mold growth:
9. Is there a mold detector?
There are a handful of test kits offered available for detecting mold. The kit detects airborne mold spores. Samples must be sent to the lab for analysis, with results expected in 5-7 days.
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