All the info you need about aspergillus mold
The aspergillus family of mold is one of the most common types of mold found in homes around the world. Being from such a large family, different types of aspergillus can affect those around it in different ways. From harmful mycotoxins to allergic reactions, aspergillus is a type of mold you need to be on the lookout for. Our mold experts at Aloha Restoration have put together this quick guide on the dangers presented by aspergillus.
What is aspergillus mold
Most species of aspergillus are classified as allergenic mold, meaning that it can trigger allergic reactions in people. This can cause symptoms including itchy skin, general irritation, difficulty breathing and other allergy-related issues. While these are not likely to cause severe reactions in most people, caution should be taken as some individuals, especially the immunocompromised, may have severe adverse reactions to exposure.
While many species of aspergillus are allergenic mold, a select few other aspergillus varieties are classified as pathogenic molds. This means that they can cause infections and illness from exposure. In particular, the infection aspergillosis can occur when people inhale the spores from this mold. People with weakened immune systems may not be able to fight off the spores, causing the mold to grow inside the lungs, and leading to serious health issues. Although this is most common in immunocompromised individuals, it is still possible to infect otherwise healthy people, so caution should be taken to avoid exposure.
How to identify aspergillus
Aspergillus can be difficult to identify, mainly due to its large family. Since there are over 200 different species of aspergillus mold, identifying it can only be reliably done by lab testing. However, there are still clues that can help you narrow down if a spot of mold belongs to the aspergillus family or not.
The most important clue to look for is the texture of the mold. Aspergillus usually has a dry, powder-like texture. If you cannot tell if the mold is “powdery” or not by vision, DO NOT touch the mold to feel for the texture. This can irritate the skin and spread the mold.
Another important clue is the rate of growth. Aspergillus tends to grow incredibly quickly, some species can grow from a spore to a 9cm diameter colony in only a week. Like some other molds, aspergillus colonies are usually circular in shape.
Where can aspergillus be found?
While most mold species need plentiful moisture to grow, aspergillus is unique in that some species can grow even in low moisture environments. If mold is found in a dry spot, it may mean that the mold is a species of aspergillus. In addition to this, aspergillus can be found in the same locations as other types of mold. Anywhere that is damp and dark is perfect for mold to grow, including basements, the backs of cabinets, bathrooms, and nearby openings to the outside.
Due to the unique features of aspergillus mold, along with its many species causing a variety of different health effects, it is recommended to have a professional remove the mold. Most people aren’t prepared to take care of the mold by themselves, so call someone you can trust. Our mold removal experts at Aloha Restoration have years of mold removal experience all over Chicagoland, and are ready to tackle your mold issue.