Aspergillus mold is a common fungus found worldwide that grows both inside and outside houses. This, along with pink and black molds, is a danger to human health. The Aspergillus sprout fast because the spores are light and can stick to nearby surfaces.
Some of the spores are harmless. However, there are certain species of aspergillus that produce toxic spores. The spores can cause lung infections and affect those with pre-existing conditions like asthma.
Here are some of the ways the spores enter our homes;
- On people, objects, and pets
- When outdoor air travels through open windows and doors
- From moisture-related fungi growing in our homes
Since the spores are very light, they can get into the house through air conditioning, ventilation system, and heating. It is also hard to spot the exact location aspergillus mold is growing.
This is why experts are important when dealing with mold types. However, a large percentage of healthy people do not get lung infections even after being exposed to the spores of aspergillus.
Types of Aspergillus Mold
There are more than 220 types of aspergillus mold in the world. The harmful ones are about 40. Below are the 3 most common types of aspergillus mold;
- Aspergillus Niger
This is the most common of aspergillus mold growing in nature. It can survive almost anywhere in the wild. You will often find them sprouting behind damp walls. The surface is black while the underneath is yellow or white.
- Aspergillus Flavus
Aspergillus Flavus is known to produce cancer-causing (carcinogenic) mycotoxins. The toxins can cause food contamination during harvest, transportation, and storage. The mold is yellow-green on the surface and the underneath is red-brown.
- Aspergillus Fumigatus
This is the most toxic species in the aspergillus mold family. They mostly grow on decomposing organic materials. They can also survive in colder temperatures compared to the other species. When people are exposed to this mold, they can experience severe allergic reactions.
Places You Can Find Aspergillus Mold
Aspergillus mold would most likely grow in the damp environments in your home. The environments can be natural for instance, the compost piles. They can also grow in human-made environments like air conditioning units on the window. Here are some of the places you will most likely find the mold in your home;
- Dead Leaves
- Compost Piles
- Water damaged property
- Window-mounted air conditioners
- Spices, grains, and any stored food
The best temperature range for aspergillus mold is between 54 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit. They go dormant when the temperatures are low and become active when the outside warms up. They thrive well in the human respiratory system because it is damp and has favorable temperatures. The spores can infect the lung and start growing. To prevent this, eliminate all the damp indoor environments in your home.
Dangers Associated with Aspergillus Mold
The health concerns associated with aspergillus mold range from mild to near-death experiences. Aspergillosis is a medical condition where are the health conditions caused by aspergillus are grouped. It occurs if the spores’ growth inside the body is more than what the immune system can handle. Humans with weak immune responses are at a high risk of aspergillosis.
Here are a few of the types of aspergillus infections;
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
- Allergic aspergillus sinusitis
- Azole-resistant aspergillus fumigatus
- Chronic cavity pulmonary aspergillosis
- Cutaneous aspergillosis
- Invasive aspergillosis
The symptoms of aspergillosis vary depending on the type. However, other common symptoms are similar to other illnesses. They include wheezing, breath shortness, chest pain, or coughing blood.
Removal of Aspergillus Mold
The process can be done either by a professional or as a DIY project. Either way, necessary precautions should be taken to avoid health concerns. Here are the steps to follow;
1. Cordoning off the affected area, thus preventing further spread of the mold. This can be done by installing a negative air pressure barrier at the site. Spore is now contained in the working area.
2. You can begin removing the aspergillus mold. The aspergillus mold is killed using bleach solutions or fungal mold cleaners. Scrub the affected area until there are no more visible signs of the mold. In other instances, you may be forced to remove the whole object.
3.Calling a professional is important if the affected area is more than 10 square feet. Also, having underlying conditions should prompt the need for an expert. They are trained properly in mold removal and have the right equipment. They will also help you deal with future problems associated with aspergillus mold.
Aspergillus mold grows in any damp and oxygen-rich environment. So, the first step is to get rid of such environments. Proper ventilation, crack-sealing, and humidity control will also help prevent the growth of aspergillus mold. Other flooding issues like broken pipes should be addressed too.