There are a number of things that people in general believe when it comes to mold growth. Common knowledge, however need not necessarily mean or equal scientific accuracy. In this case, many things that people know as fact may be completely baseless. Mold growth causes breathing troubles, headaches, and in cases even cancer, right? No. After going through a number of journals and studies, most of those claims can be debunked.
What is toxic mold?
Toxic mold is a term that is not often used in the scientific community simply because there are only a small percentage of mold that produce any toxins. The second reason for the term being misleading as it is is because even mold that produce toxins do not always produce toxins or are constantly giving out such spores. Another reason for you to breathe easy is that you will need to receive large, concentrated doses to be negatively affected by the spores. Getting such a dose is not likely to happen at home or in the office.
Black does not always equate with dangerous as far as mold goes. Black mold is thought to be dangerous because of a news report that found black strains of Stachybotrys to be releasing toxic materials. For the most part, crawl space mold will look black, but in reality may be dark green or blue, bad light and cramped spaces make it look so. That said, most mold that are black shouldn’t be of concern.
Mold alone will not likely cause asthma, the issue is that when enough mold is inhaled, it can trigger an attack if the person already has asthma. Even then, outdoor mold is more likely to this than crawl space mold. Allergies on the other hand have very little correlation with mold, especially breathing related ones.
Mold that grows out of basement moisture is not normally attributed to topical rashes or itches. If your skin is extremely sensitive, just washing it off in case of contact should be enough.
All of this, however, does not mean in any way that you should take basement moisture lightly. If there is wetness, get it checked, mold is devastating on wood even if it doesn’t personally affect you.