Some Good but Mostly Bad Mold

Some Good but Mostly Bad Mold

Ask any person about mold and the first thing that is likely going to come to mind is a black furry looking substance that seems to grow in moist places. That quick brainstorm is definitely true and quite prevalent in many bathrooms, air conditioning units and even underneath freezers and refrigerators, all places where moisture tends to collect. This growth also comes in a variety of other colors like white, green and brown.

For the most part, mold is not a very healthy thing to have in your home and it is a huge contributor to allergies and other respiratory issues. It is a type of microscopic fungus which needs nutrients like water and organic materials to grow. This simple environment allows it to thrive and is the reason why you see it on everything from food to wallpaper to the roots of plants.

The Scoop on "Good" Mold

While a majority are mostly a bad thing, there are a few positive applications that you have likely used or consumed in the past. Penicillin is perhaps the most popular of all the "good" forms. It is the basis for one of the most common antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections.

Some of your favorite gourmet cheeses come from mold as well such as Stilton cheese which has some lovely green looking growth in it and Brie which forms a white moldy crust on the outside. This microscopic growth is also used in the production of soybean paste, soy sauce, tempeh, sake and even certain blends of black tea.

The Bad Rap that Mold Earns

Mold in most forms is definitely not good for you and can be hazardous to your health, especially if your immune system is compromised by diseases such as AIDS. Of all the molds that scientists are aware of today, those that excrete mycotoxins are the most deadly and are often called toxic mold.

You can find this toxic mold in many buildings with water damage that has gone untreated and not all of it is visible to the naked eye. Homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina had to be virtually stripped to the studs and foundation due to this toxic growth. Leaky roofs and pipes are two sources in homes and other buildings that virtually feed thousands of colonies of molds.

When you suspect that you might have some in your home or other place that you frequent, wear an appropriate EPA approved mask so that you do not breathe in the spores that this mighty mini fungi releases. These spores could live in your mucosal linings of your nose, mouth and eyes indefinitely or they could find their way into your lungs and cause all sorts of health problems.

When cleaning and killing toxic blight, you can use bleach for small jobs but you should always call in professional remediators for the larger jobs like entire rooms or homes. This is the smartest and safest plan for ridding your own world of this nasty substance.