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Is Green Mold Dangerous


Is Green Mold Dangerous Graphic

Is green mold dangerous? Yes, green mold in your home or place of work can be very dangerous. It can pose health risks to anyone with allergies and respiratory issues. The extent of the risk depends on the specific type of green mold and the individual's health.


Green mold can appear on a leftover piece of old bread that turns green, cheese, rotting fruit, and in damp spots in your home or business. While tossing out rotting fruit is a quick and easy solution, its appearance on our clothes, wallpaper, and carpets presents a more complex challenge.


So, what exactly is mold, and what measures are needed to return your home or business to a safe and healthy environment? Let's take a look at different types of mold growth and the best course of action to remove them safely and prevent their return.


What Is Green Mold?


Green mold is not a single species. It is a catch-all term for different species of fungi that come in different shades with a greenish hue. It plays a vital role in aiding the decomposition of organic materials, but it also emits mycotoxins (fungal toxins).


Generally, green mold looks powdery and fuzzy. Under a microscope, you would see thin threads, called hyphae. The heads are called conidiophores, with tips that look like blobs, which are the phialides. The phialides produce tiny green mold spores, which are easily dispersed with a mere breeze.


Mold flourishes in damp and humid environments, which is why it is often found on organic materials like spoiled foods and anywhere where there are water leaks.


Green mold vs black mold


Another type of mold growth that can appear in your home or business is black mold. It is darker than green mold, appearing black or a very dark green. There are a variety of black molds, but the most common species is Stachybotrys chartarum.


Here are some noteworthy points about black and green mold.


  • Black mold growth happens in moisture-rich environments or areas with dry walling or wood surfaces. While warmer areas are more susceptible to green mold, colder environments are not exempt from its effects. As long as there are moisture-rich environments, green mold can grow.

  • Green mold growth is more common on organic materials or in damp and humid environments. It is often found on food, carpets, wallpaper, and walls.

  • Contrary to popular belief, black mold isn't more dangerous than green mold, as both can trigger respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and infections.


The Dangers Of Green Mold


While green mold may seem like an innocent part of nature's processes, it isn't safe at all.


Let's look at some of the health problems caused by green mold as well as some other risks that you need to consider.


Health risks


Exposure to green mold can cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and skin rashes, as well as an itchy nose, eyes, and skin. People with severe allergies can get huge, itchy welts all over their bodies.


Green mold can trigger asthma attacks and affect the respiratory system, causing difficulty breathing. Anyone who has a weakened immune system could easily catch infections.


  • Allergic reactions:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Skin itches, rashes, and hives

  • Red, itchy eyes

  • Anaphylaxis

  • Infections: Individuals with a compromised immune system may find it difficult to fight off mold-related infections. Infants and the elderly are especially high risk, as is anyone undergoing chemotherapy.

  • Respiratory problems:

  • Sneezing

  • Coughing

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Asthma attacks

  • Severe sinus infections

  • Mycotoxins: Prolonged exposure to mycotoxins can cause respiratory and nervous system problems or even cause cancer.

Structural damage


Mold growth can occur anywhere there are organic materials. Things like wood and dry walling are common attractors for mold growth. Crawl spaces, leaking pipes, walls, floors, and ceilings can all get moldy. The mold can eat away at the organic materials and weaken them, causing them to be unsafe and putting your family's safety at risk.


Any structural damage could result in insurance claims, but not all insurance companies cover homeowners for this type of damage. Often, it is thought to be the result of poor ventilation or poor maintenance and is therefore left to the homeowner to foot the bill.


Lingering odors


Some green molds can leave a musty scent. Others leave a pungent odor that lingers and grows stronger as time passes, reducing the indoor air quality.


How To Identify Green Mold


Different species have different hues of greenish color, but they all thrive in wet areas, or areas where the moisture levels are fairly high.


Aspergillus


Aspergillus is a green mold that can sometimes appear in a yellowish-green shade or even slightly brown. It is generally found on spoiled food, like leftover pizza, rotten fruit and vegetables, bread, cheese, and nuts. However, it is also found in damp areas, insulation, walling, and flooring.


Health risks


This species of green mold is renowned for releasing mycotoxins and triggering allergic reactions. Mycotoxins are extremely harmful to a person's well-being, and continuous exposure can cause severe respiratory infections like lung inflammation and bronchitis.


Cladosporium


Cladosporium is a dark, olive-green mold that can sometimes look slightly brown or black. It is primarily found on decaying plants, walls, carpets, and cupboards. It likes damp areas, and leaking pipes also provide it with a bountiful source of moisture.


Health risks


It can cause sneezing, coughing, itchiness (especially itchy eyes), and even affect a person's respiratory system.


Penicillium


Penicillium can appear in a variety of shades. This bluish-green mold can also turn orange, white, or yellow. Similar to Aspergillus, it likes spoiled food, but it can also grow behind paint and wallpaper. This green mold can attach itself to fabrics, paper, and glue. It thrives in moist environments, especially where there is high humidity.


Health risks


The danger with Penicillium is that it can emit dangerous toxins, and prolonged exposure can cause allergy flare-ups, respiratory issues, and infections in sensitive individuals. The twist is that Penicillium is also the source of a life-saving antibiotic, penicillin.


How To Remove Green Mold


It's advised to remove green mold as soon as you find it. If it has not spread too far, you can use a quick and easy DIY solution made with simple ingredients you will have at home. If there is a lot of mold growth, it may be best to call in a professional mold remediation company.


Preparation


If you are removing the mold yourself, ensure that you do so with your safety at the forefront. Wear protective gear and protect your eyes (with goggles), nose (with a respirator or mask), mouth (with a mask), and hands (with gloves).


DIY solution 1


To remove small amounts of green mold:


  1. Make your DIY home remedy by adding one part bleach to 10 parts water. Most dangerous detergents require that you add them to the water, not the other way around.

  2. Apply the solution to the area of mold using a spray bottle.

  3. Use a scrubbing brush to gently remove the mold growth. Vigorous scrubbing could result in the spores being released, which will cause further mold growth later on.

DIY solution 2


  1. Make a mixture of one part lemon juice, one part white vinegar, and one part water. Put it into a spray bottle.

  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the affected area, then spray the liquid solution onto the green mold.

  3. Wipe the solution up with disposal rags or towels. This reduces the chances of spores escaping and causing further havoc.


Call a professional company


Even if you clean up the area where mold grew, there is a possibility that mold spores will remain behind. Not only does this leave the possibility of a reoccurrence, but it also leaves the risk of future health problems. You may need a professional company to assist with the biohazard decontamination cleanup.


This is the safer option. Even if you think you have a small mold issue on household surfaces, there is a possibility that you cannot see all the mold. You may have a massive mold infestation hidden in the walls, floors, or carpets.


A professional company will know how to deal with mold removal, minimizing mold spores from escaping. They always wear protective gear and can effectively eliminate mold and decontaminate any affected areas. They will also be able to advise you on how to prevent mold from forming in your home.


How To Prevent Green Mold Growth


Prevention is better than cure, so to prevent health issues from arising, it is best to ensure no mold growth happens. Here are some quick tips to help you prevent green mold growth:


  • Take care of water leaks as soon as you notice them.

  • Regularly wipe off any indoor plants and remove any dead or decaying foliage.

  • Make use of exhaust fans, air conditioners, or dehumidifiers to reduce high humidity and any moisture buildup.

  • Take care of poor ventilation issues.

  • When you spill liquid onto carpeting, ensure it is thoroughly dried out. Use a heater or fan to speed up the process.


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