Filamentous Fungi Are Called
Black Mold – What Do I Need To Know? by Kelsey Libby
If you live in an area with high humidity, then be on the lookout for potential mold problems. Outdoor humidity affects indoor humidity levels, creating a perfect environment for toxic mold growth.
A relative humidity (RH) level more than 55% encourages the growth of mold and other fungi. Relative humidity remains quite constant outdoors, it fluctuates severely inside, as a result of being changed by artificial heating and cooling.
It is critical to monitor the relative humidity level in various parts of your home or building, since relative humidity can vary from room to room. In addition to using humidity sensors to observe the moisture level, you can run dehumidifiers to control humidity in the home or building.
“Black Mold” is a term commonly used to describe a slimy, greenish-black substance which can be a serious health risk, and is known as Strachybotrys chartarum and more often as Strachybotrys atra. It has been closely linked to the death of children from respiratory bleeding, and as a contributing cause to asthma and bronchitis. According to the research carried out by CDC (Center of Disease Control), this mold has caused over “100 cases of lung disorders”.
Mold spores are transported to different areas by attaching themselves to various hosts, and they even enter through open windows and doors. The spores then flourish and grow where humidity is present. Very toxic molds can form as a result of water seepage, and while black mold is “less common than other mold species but it is not uncommon”.
Black mold more commonly starts in buildings where water damage occurs, either from flooding, leaky plumbing, or even too much condensation. Mold needs organic matter to survive. Indoor materials that can allow black mold to grow on them include leather, wallpaper, carpeting, wood, insulation, and sheetrock.
Black mold is also able to replicate itself. What is visible is the mycelium, or the main body of the fungus. This forms when the filamentous cells of the fungus called the hyphae, generate enzymes to decay neighboring organic material, the organism’s primary source of nutrition. Hyphael cells form spores, which are released to germinate and spread the mold. These spores are resilient and can lie dormant for years before germinating.
Everyone has one type or another of mold growing somewhere in their home. Thus it is very important that you treat and get rid of all molds as if they are potentially destructive. A home containing mold, is not essentially a healthy home.
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