The popular media and much of the legislature is now using the term “toxic mold" as if there is a new strain of mold taking over our country much like the “Blob" from the horror movies of the 1950's. The truth is that mold is everywhere in our environment. It is a form of life that long pre-dates human beings and we evolved in its presence.
There are no “toxic" molds. At certain times, under the right conditions, certain species of molds can produce minute amounts of toxins to protect themselves from other molds. These toxins are rarely harmful unless a person eats the mold or the material upon which the mold was growing.
Simply put, toxicity is the relationship between the amount or “dose" of a substance to which a person is exposed and their physical response to that dose.
To be sure, molds can cause physical reactions in humans. These reactions typically range from skin rashes, to sneezing, headaches, and in some cases, difficulty breathing. Many people with allergies are allergic to molds as well and will demonstrate allergic reactions when they are in moldy areas. On rare occasions, molds can have a greater impact upon individuals whose immune systems are seriously compromised.
ALL mold spores must be removed
Another myth is that all mold spores must be removed during the remediation of a claim. People are looking for sterility, but this is an impossibility in life on earth, because mold spores exist in every environment. Mold spores exist in carpeting and clothing. It's impossible to get all mold spores out. As soon as you open the door, it will come in.
Sample after remediation to ensure no mold spores remain
This is not required by the EPA, mold counts vary from season to season, so absolute numbers are unrealistic.
Dead Mold is as bad as live mold
Another myth is that dead mold is as nasty as living mold. Not true. Mold needs moisture and a food source to survive, it can be destroyed and controlled, unlike asbestos, which is a mineral and has to be physically removed. As mold needs a nutrient precursor to grow and multiply, it can't live and therefore dies as days go on.
Ductwork must be cleaned or demolished during remediation
For mold to be present in ductwork, it has to grow in proximity to it. Mold has no mobility; it's looking for food and water. If it appears on a wall far from duct work it can't get in there.
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