While mold is a natural part of our environment, its presence in elevated levels in buildings across Florida is not. Mold typically will not grow in a home or building unless there is a moisture problem or elevated humidity levels, but due to leaking roofs, broken plumbing or problems with the HVAC system it does occur all too frequently.
When conditions are right, mold will begin to grow indoors and release spores into the air. Exposure to mold can trigger asthma, allergies or cause infections in people with weakened immune systems. Some molds are also known to produce potent toxins.
A mycotoxin is a toxic secondary metabolite produced by some types of fungi. Some molds can produce several mycotoxins, and other molds produce mycotoxins only under certain environmental conditions. Mycotoxins may cling to the surface of mold spores and others may be found within the spores.
More than 200 mycotoxins have been identified from common molds, and many more are probably yet to be discovered. Some of the molds that are known to produce mycotoxins are commonly found in moisture-damaged buildings, including: Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys atra.
Helping Floridians understand problems due to mold and mycotoxins is Orlando-based Advanced Building Assessment. Eric Osking, M.S., CIEC, President of Advanced Building Assessment, is an expert on microbial issues in indoor environments. “A number of symptoms and human health effects attributed to the inhalation of mycotoxins have been reported,” stated Mr. Osking. “More research is needed about the human health effects from inhalation exposure to mycotoxins, but one thing is for sure, people should not be living, working or going to school in indoor environments with high concentrations of mold.”
Advanced Building Assessment has sponsored an educational video about mycotoxins that can be seen at:
To learn more about indoor air quality (IAQ), environmental or property insurance related inspection services, please visit http://www.BldgInspect.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (407) 371-5237.
About Advanced Building Assessment, Inc.
Advanced Building Assessment is a leading provider of environmental consulting, home inspection and public adjuster services for clients across Florida.