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Mold Testing
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What is mold?
Mold is found both indoors as well as outdoors and is a very simple microscopic organism.

Mold breaks down dead material and requires a food source such as moisture to grow. Since it reproduces at such high rates, it gradually destroys whatever it grows on.

Mold growth on surfaces can be found due to discoloration, usually green, gray, brown, or black, but can also be found in almost any color.

Indoor Molds:
Mold spores can be found in the air of a home, which mostly come from outdoor sources. Mold spores in the home can cause health problems by inhaling the fungus. Indoor molds mostly come from flooding, leaky roofs, plumbing, overflow, humidifiers, etc.

Concerns:
There is great concern with mold problems in your home. If left untreated, mold spores can cause allergies or other serious health problems.

Symptoms of Mold Exposure:

  • Respiratory problems (wheezing, shortness of breath)

  • Nasal and sinus congestion

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation

  • Dry, hacking cough

  • Skin rashes or irritation
  • Asthma attacks
  • Blindness
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
Mold growth can cause damage to furnishings (such as carpets, sofas and cabinets). With time, mold can cause structural damage to your home.


Some types of molds:

Cienowskia reticulta

Acremonium

Cladosporium

Stachybotrys

Alternaria
 
Killer Mold

Stachybotrys is a toxic mold that lingers in all 50 states and can be a deadly mold. Having an infection with Stachybotrys “is like having a bad cold that doesn’t go away” (Dr. Dorr Dearborn).

Studies have shown that Stachybotrys can be linked with infant pulmonary hemorrhaging which can be fatal.

Stachybotrys can lead to cough, sore throat, memory loss, seizures, dizziness, respiratory infection, asthma attacks, headache, chronic fatigue and blindness.

Toxic Mold

Mold Terminology

  • Agar: A gelatin like material obtained from seaweed and used to prepare culture media on which microorganisms are grown. Also used for electrophoresis of DNA and RNA.
  • Allergen: causes a hypersensitivity or allergic reaction.
  • Bacteria: Microscopic organisms living in soil, water, organic matter, plants and animals. These prokaryotic organisms don't have a distinct nucleus, are single-celled, and lack photosynthetic abilities.
  • Bioaerosol: An aerosol comprising particles of biological origin/activity or is itself a living organism, which may affect living things causing infection, allergies, toxicity, or other. Particle sizes may range from aerodynamic diameters of ca. 0.5 to 100 microns. Examples of bioaerosols are fungi, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, pollen, animal dander, insect emanations, microbial endotoxins, and human skin scales.
  • Chain of Custody: Written form that contains fields for reporting, billing (optional), sample identification and analysis request. This form must be accompanying samples to be analyzed by a laboratory. This form is particularly important if litigation becomes involved.
  • Colony:A number of individual cells or organisms of a given species growing on the surface of a solid medium that usually can be seen with the naked eye.
  • Conidiophore: complex structure that some types of mold spores grow out from. It is somewhat analogous to a flower in plants where the spores would be analogous to seeds. Differentiation between Aspergillus and Penicillium requires the presence of their conidiophores.
  • Endotoxin: Harmful substances (toxins) that are produced by many gram-negative bacteria. Endotoxins are characterized for being contained within the cell wall that produce them, or are integral constituents of cellular structure and are not released until the cell disintegrates.
  • Exotoxin: Diffusible toxins produced by certain gram-positive bacteria (and occasionally gram-positive bacteria). Exotoxins are present in the filtrates of growing cultures in which no appreciable autolysis has occurred.
  • Immunocompromised: Individuals whose immune systems are weakened and susceptible to opportunistic pathogens, including but not limited to those with AIDS, certain cancers, the very old, the very young, or those undergoing immunosuppressive drug therapy.
  • Morphology: identification chararcteristics based only on form and appearance such as "clear and round." When a better identification is not possible, morphology can sometimes place a spore into a certain broader category while excluding it from others. For example, "Brown, round" tends to point to the Myxomycete / Smut / Periconia group of spores while excluding it from various other important groups like Stachybotrys and Aspergillus/Penicillium. In the same respect, Aspergillus and Penicillium spores generally have the same morphology and can only be distinguished by the morphology of the conidiophore (when it is present).
  • Mycosis: disease caused by fungus.
  • Opportunistic Pathogen: causes infections only when the weak or injured condition of the person gives the agent opportunity to infect; rarely infect patients who are otherwise healthy.
  • Toxin: A poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into cells, tissues or the entire target organism.
 

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