Heavy mold contamination also poses health risks for workers and occupants. Health reactions can develop from inhaling, ingesting or touching mold spores or fragments. Some molds produce toxigenic mycotoxins that potentially can affect some persons even though the mold spores are dead or dormant. Specific precautionary procedures must be used when mitigating mold contaminations.
Stachybotris chartarum (or Stachybotris atra) is a species of mold thought to be highly toxic. This mold requires a highly saturated environment to grow and takes about two weeks to develop. Some common locations where Stachybotris may be found are basements, bathrooms, wall cavities or attics where a leaky pipe or damaged roof has kept the are saturated for long periods. We should always be cautious when dealing with mold contamination. Even other molds that may not be as toxic as Stachybotris should be considered potential health risks.
Occupants of a building contaminated with mold and mildew should be warned of the potential health risks resulting from exposure to molds. Anyone living or working in a mold-contaminated building, especially people with asthma, allergies and or breathing disorders, may be putting themselves at risk. As restoration professionals we must make everyone aware of potential hazards.