Types Of Mold That Are Considered “Toxic Mold”

Types Of Mold That Are Considered “Toxic Mold”

Author: David Libowitz
Toxic molds are molds that are deemed to be potentially deadly to human beings.  There are hundreds of species of toxic mold.  Black mold, referred to as such because it is black in color, is a name commonly used to describe toxic mold.  However, some toxic molds are not black in color and can be harmful to humans.  Dark places with moisture accumulation are potential breeding grounds for mold.  Mold can grow on any organic surface when oxygen and moisture are present.  Mold spores are present everywhere, but can be managed, so that the mold ecology in a home or place of business is consistent with that found in the external environment.  Toxic molds produce chemicals in their natural growth that are detrimental and even poisonous to human health.  While people are exposed to some amount of mold everyday, it is important to have any  toxic mold removed from the inside of a living or work environment  by a licensed mold remediator.  There are five categories of toxic mold:


Stachybotrys chartarumStachybotrys:    Stachybotrys chartarum is the most deadly form of toxic mold.  It is known to cause diseases as minor as hay fever and as severe as liver damage, pulmonary edema, and in the most severe of cases, an individual exposed to Stachybotrys can experience brain or nerve damage, or even death.  Infants, small children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of illness when exposed to Stachybotrys. Some of the symptoms that can result from exposure to Stachybotrys include: sore throat, eye irritation, hacking cough, respiratory issues, nasal and sinus conditions, chronic fatigue, aches and pains and central nervous systems issues.

Cladosporium mold

Cladosporium, Fusarium and Penicillium:  These mold families have been connected to illnesses such as asthma, nail fungus, and diseases to certain organs including the lungs, kidneys or the liver.  Chronic cases of Cladosporium may cause emphysema or pulmonary edema.  Fusarium can potentially cause damage to a woman’s reproductive system and can cause gastrointestinal illness in either men or women.


Aspergillus mold

Aspergillus: Aspergillus is the “least serious” of the group of toxic molds.  The Aspergillus mold family consists of over 160 species, with only 10% (or approximately 16) of which can cause illness in human beings.  None of the Aspergillus molds can cause death when promptly treated.

 Proper precautions should be taken to prevent or eliminate mold growth including making sure any carpets, walls, etc. which get wet are properly dried out.  Do not leave organic materials that nourish mold (for example, wood) in a damp, humid area which can facilitate mold growth.  If you  suspect mold in your home, do not try and determine what type of mold it is;  rather, contact a certified Industrial Hygienist.  The Industrial Hygienist will inspect the home or place of business and determine if, in fact, you have an elevated mold spore count and will create a mold remediation protocol, which can be followed by a certified Mold Remediator to remediate the home and restore the spore counts so as to re-establish a “normal” ecology.


About author

David Libowitz

David is the Owner of SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, and was recently appointed the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative. David graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Economics and The Wharton School with an MBA in Finance. David has an extensive career investing in and working with companies to facilitate their growth, both organically and through acquisitions. David spent 11 years at Warburg Pincus (one of the largest private equity firms in the world), and worked his way up from Associate to Partner. Over the course of his career, David has served on the Board of Directors of 15 private and public companies and was also the CEO of a start-up software company. David has IICRC Water Damage Restoration and Applied Structural Drying Certifications and also holds a Lead Based Paint Certification. http://www.servprowestpalmbeachfl.com

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