What Is Mold?
Most people think that mold is slimy, blackish-green discoloration found on carpeting, baseboards or wallpaper that is usually only found only in dirty, unkempt homes or apartments. The truth is, mold and spores can flourish in sparkling clean environments as well.
Molds are microscopic organisms that are found almost everywhere outdoors. No one really knows how many species of mold exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Molds reproduce by creating spores, which are small reproductive bodies that is capable of growing into a new organism, producing bacteria, fungi, and algae. Most spores are thread-like organisms so small that 250,000 of them can fit on the head of a pin. They stay airborne indefinitely, drifting from one room to the next, landing on food, clothing, appliances, table tops, carpeting and furniture, walls and woodwork. Any wet, damp or humid surface becomes a breeding ground for mold colonies and more spores.
You will find mold and mildew inside your sink and dishwasher cabinets and probably in your bathrooms and laundry areas. In fact, there is an 86% chance of mold growing somewhere in or on your refrigerator. Its nestled into the microscopic crevices of clothing, furniture fabric and in your carpeting. There is little doubt that mold spores exist in your heating and air conditioner system ductwork, window sills, basement, crawl space and attic, office desk, indoor plants, kitchen counter space, on the TV, in your fireplace and countless other places.
Many of these locations could contain everyday, ordinary “low-risk” and “acceptable level” occurrences of mold—or not. Each person has their own level of tolerance to the mycotoxins (poisons) emitted by mold. And those with higher levels of tolerance to mycotoxins can eventually become sensitized to these poisons from prolonged exposures. The “higher risk” mold conditions can usually be recognized by the sudden visual appearance of emerging mold, or the presence of a pungent mildew or musty odor. The faintest whiff of this odor should immediately prompt your concern about mold exposure and prompt you to take quick action to identify and correct its cause and clean up the mold and mildew damage!