PRLog - Aug. 13, 2012 - PEORIA, Ariz. -- As much of the country has suffered from a prolonged drought, farmers are being warned to be on the lookout for a fungus known as Aspergillus. Some species of the fungus can produce a fungal toxin called aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen which may be more prevalent this year due to the extreme growing conditions.
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This fungus is not only a concern for farmers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Aspergillus is a common fungus that can be found in indoor and outdoor environments.”
There are many different species of Aspergillus, but the species of greatest health concern may be Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus flavus. Other species include Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus nidulans, and Aspergillus niger.
In addition to its ability to produce fungal toxins, known as mycotoxins, it is also a dangerous microbial pathogen for people with weakened immune systems. The infection due to this fungus is known as aspergillosis and it can be deadly.
“Exposure to Aspergillus spores is a major concern for people living and working in buildings that have suffered from water damage or elevated humidity levels,” reported Bruce Jacobs, CIH, President of IAQ Index, a leading mold and indoor air quality (IAQ) test kit provider. “Susceptible people who are immuno-compromised should avoid exposure to this fungal contaminant. Even healthy people, exposed to high levels of mold in indoor environments, can suffer from allergies and mold is a known asthma trigger. IAQ Index offers a test kit to help identify fungal contaminants in indoor environments with an easy to use kit that provides straightforward answers.”
To help educate the public about aspergillosis and Aspergillus, IAQ Index supports an online video that can be seen at:
To learn more about indoor air quality or other indoor environmental concerns, please visit IAQ Index at http://www.IAQIndex.com, email info@IAQIndex.com or call (888) 259-3883.
About IAQ Index
IAQ Index was developed by a Certified Industrial Hygienist with decades of experience dealing with indoor air quality issues. IAQ Index was developed as a health-based, easy-to-understand, air quality index that is calculated from data generated for various parameters commonly measured during IAQ surveys. The approach is similar to the EPA’s Air Quality Index that has been used historically to communicate the risks posed by common pollutants in the ambient air.