Table of Contents
- Mold facts
- What is mold?
- Where can mold be found in homes?
- What kind of mold grows on food?
- What kinds of health risks may be linked to mold? What are symptoms and signs of mold allergy?
- What is the treatment for mold exposure?
- Is it possible to prevent mold in the household?
- Is it necessary to test for mold?
- How should mold be cleaned up and eliminated?
Where can mold be found in homes?
Although bathrooms (particularly shower stalls) and basements are typical moist areas prone to mold growth, any moist area in the home can be moldy. Drywall, ceiling tiles, carpets, furniture, ductwork, roofing, paneling, wallpaper, under sinks, and the areas around plumbing pipes are examples of areas in the home that can become infested by mold if the ideal growing conditions are present.
Mold spores from the outdoor air can enter the home through open doors, windows, and vents. It may also become attached to clothing, shoes, and pets and therefore be carried indoors.
Mold can have many different colors (including brown, green, and black) and sometimes appears as spots. Additionally, a musty odor may be present. Mold growth may also be hidden underneath carpeting, on the back side of wallpaper, and behind drywall or wall paneling. Saunas, greenhouses, and construction areas are places where mold is commonly found.
What kind of mold grows on food?
Many different types of molds can grow on food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the types of mold that can be found in foods include Alternaria, Aspergillus, Botrytis, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Geotrichum, Monilia, Manoscus, Mortierella, Mucor, Neurospora, Oidium, Oosproa, Penicillium, Rhizopus, and Thamnidium. Certain kinds of cheeses are made with mold, like brie, gorgonzola, stilton, roquefort, and camembert. The mold that is part of the food manufacturing process is considered to be safe and does not pose health risks. It is also normal for dry-cured country ham and hard salami to have surface mold. The USDA has a helpful online resource that can show you which molds in food are safe and how to handle moldy foods.