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Mold

We DO NOT  sample or test for mold! See the EPA statement below

We DO offer Moisture Intrusion and Infrared inspections to help locate the moisture intrusion source and stop the damage to your property.

When will the logo mills and the q-tip cowboys assure education and factual consumer information that stresses the term "toxic mold" is not accurate. Oh, wait that would stiffle their scare tactics and eliminate their profits.
                                    Texas Mold Rules and Information
CDC first bullet point: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm#Q1
While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould
A common-sense approach should be used for any mold contamination existing inside buildings and homes. The common health concerns from molds include hay fever-like allergic symptoms. Certain individuals with chronic respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression may be at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment. For the most part, one should take routine measures to prevent mold growth in the home.

EPA statement about Sampling

Is sampling for mold needed? In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. In specific instances, such as cases where litigation is involved, the source(s) of the mold contamination is unclear, or health concerns are a problem, you may consider sampling as part of your site evaluation. Surface sampling may also be useful in order to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling should be done only after developing a sampling plan that includes a confirmable theory regarding suspected mold sources and routes of exposure. Figure out what you think is happening and how to prove or disprove it before you sample!

If you do not have extensive experience and/or are in doubt about sampling, consult an experienced professional. This individual can help you decide if sampling for mold is useful and/or needed, and will be able to carry out any necessary sampling. It is important to remember that the results of sampling may have limited use or application. Sampling may help locate the source of mold contamination, identify some of the mold species present, and differentiate between mold and soot or dirt. Pre- and post-remediation sampling may also be useful in determining whether remediation efforts have been effective. After remediation, the types and concentrations of mold in indoor air samples should be similar to what is found in the local outdoor air. Since no EPA or other Federal threshold limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with Federal mold standards.

Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals with specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpretation of results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional guidelines (see Resources List). Types of samples include air samples, surface samples, bulk samples (chunks of carpet, insulation, wall board, etc.), and water samples from condensate drain pans or cooling towers.

A number of pitfalls may be encountered when inexperienced personnel conduct sampling. They may take an inadequate number of samples, there may be inconsistency in sampling protocols, the samples may become contaminated, outdoor control samples may be omitted, and you may incur costs for unneeded or inappropriate samples. Budget constraints will often be a consideration when sampling; professional advice may be necessary to determine if it is possible to take sufficient samples to characterize a problem on a given budget. If it is not possible to sample properly, with a sufficient number of samples to answer the question(s) posed, it would be preferable not to sample. Inadequate sample plans may generate misleading, confusing, and useless results.

Keep in mind that air sampling for mold provides information only for the moment in time in which the sampling occurred, much like a snapshot. Air sampling will reveal, when properly done, what was in the air at the moment when the sample was taken. For someone without experience, sampling results will be difficult to interpret. Experience in interpretation of results is essential.

  • How do I remove mold from my home? First STOP the source of moisture that is allowing the mold to grow.  Then take steps to clean up the contamination. View these helpful links to lean more about cleaning up mold in your home.
  • A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home.pdf Environmental Protection Agency
  • Mold remediation in schools and commercial buildings.pdf from the EPA follow this guide for residential remediation also.
  • http://www.cdc.gov/search.do?action=search&queryText=mold , Center for Disease Control
  • Repairing Your Flooded Home, FEMA
  • http://www.atlanticlegal.org/pdfs/floridatestimony.pdf

  • The first thing to understand about mold is that there is mold everywhere – indoors and outdoors. It's in the air and can be found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic materials.

    It's very common to find molds in homes and buildings. After all, molds grow naturally indoors. And mold spores enter the home through doorways, windows, and heating and air conditioning systems.  Spores also enter the home on animals, clothing, shoes, bags and people.

    When mold spores drop where there is excessive moisture in your home, they will grow. Common problem sites include humidifiers, leaky roofs and pipes, overflowing sinks, bath tubs and plant pots, steam from cooking, wet clothes drying indoors, dryers exhausting indoors, or where there has been flooding.

    Many of the building materials for homes provide suitable nutrients for mold, helping it to grow.  Such materials include paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood and wood products, dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

    The importance of mold in the real estate market today Much has been made of indoor mold in advertising and the media lately. We've all heard "Mold is Gold" because a recent industry has sprung up surrounding some large litigation settlements that were later reduced but received no further media attention due to the lack of sensationalism. It's not uncommon to find mold even in new homes.  Whether you’re selling your current home or looking into buying one, many will recommend a mold inspection.  Presence of active mold can affect the living condition and resale value of any home and a normal home inspection has been known to identify problematic areas.

     

    For homeowners, a mold or moisture analysis inspection will either put your mind at rest or make you aware of any problems that could otherwise cause delays or deal breakers once you’ve entered negotiations with a buyer. 

    For buyers, getting a mold or moisture analysis inspection will ensure that you’re not surprised by costly clean up and the potential health hazards of mold.  If any mold is found to be present and active in the home, the mold inspection will allow you to ask the seller to do the clean up prior to buying the home.

    Exposure to mold Everyone is exposed to some amount of mold on a daily basis, most without any apparent reaction.  Generally mold spores can cause problems when they are present in large numbers and a person inhales large quantities of them.  This occurs primarily when there is active mold growth.

    For some people, a small exposure to mold spores can trigger an asthma attack or lead to other health problems.  For others, symptoms may only occur when exposure levels are much higher.

    The health effects of mold can vary.  The production of allergens or irritants can cause mild allergic reactions and asthma attacks.  The production of potentially toxic mycotoxins can cause more severe reactions, and in rare cases death.

    Should I be concerned about mold in my home? If indoor mold is extensive, those in your home can be exposed to very high and persistent airborne mold spores.  It is possible to become sensitized to these mold spores and develop allergies or other health concerns, even if one is not normally sensitive to mold.

    Left unchecked, certain mold growth can cause structural damage to your home as well as permanent damage to furnishings and carpet.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control*, "It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have.  All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal."

     

    Some of the molds listed below have been found to cause adverse health effects, and can be found in air, surface or bulk sampling following a common water loss event.

    Absidia sp.

    Absidia is a zygomycete fungus and reported to be allergenic. May cause mucorosis in immune compromised individuals. The sites of infection are the lung, nasal sinus, brain, eye and skin. Infection may have multiple sites.

    Acremonium sp.

    Commonly found in soil and on dead plant material. Acremonium may be a pathogen for immunocompromised individuals. Reported to be allergenic and produces a trichothecene toxin which is toxic if ingested. It was the primary fungus identified in at least two house where the occupants complaints were nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Asexual state of Emericellopis sp., Chaetomium sp., and Nectripsis sp. It can produce mycetomas, infections of the cornea and nails.

    Acrodontium salmoneum

    Reported to be fairly common airborne fungus and is considered to be allergenic. Can produce a trichothecene toxin which is toxic if ingested.  It was the primary fungus identified in at least two houses where the occupant complaints were nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  It can produce mycetomas, infections of the nails, onychomycosis, corneal ulcers, eumycotic mycetoma, endophthalmitis, meningitis, and endocarditis.  It is the asexual state of Emericellopsis sp. and Nectripsis sp.  

    Alternaria sp.

    Commonly found in outdoor air and may grow on water damaged building materials which contain cellulose.  Although Alternaria is a notable source of fungal allergy, pathogenic infections are reported infrequently.


    Aphanoascus fulvescens

    Extremely widespread in soil, animal skin scrapings, and dung.  Is often associated with birds nests and feathers.  Should be considered an allergen.  This fungus has also been documented in skin infections.  No toxic related diseases are of record to date.

    Apophysomyces elegans

    Extremely widespread in soil and decaying vegetation. Should be considered an allergen.  This fungus has also been documented in various zygomycosis including necrotizing fascitis, osteomyelitis, and angioinvasion.  Most cases are acquired through the tramatic implantation of the fungus.  No toxic related diseases are of record to date.

    Arthrinium phaeospermum

    Widespread saprophyte on dead plant material, particularly swampy grasses.  Should be considered an allergen.  This fungus has also been documented in various subcutaneous infections.  No toxic related diseases are of record to date.

    Arthrographis sp.

    Extremely widespread in soil and decaying vegetation.  Arthrographis cub idea and A. karee should be considered to be allergens.  Akalrae has been documented in onychomycosis and has been recovered from the skin, nails and respiratory sites but has not been established as an etiological agent.  No toxic related diseases are of record to date.

    Ascomycete

    One of the major classes of fungal organisms. This class contains the "sac fungi" and yeasts.  Some ascomycete spores can be identified by spore morphology, however; some care should be exercised with regard to specific identification. Many ascomycete spores are reported to be allergenic.

    Aspergillus sp.

    These especially opportunistic pathogens may cause respiratory infections.
    Some variety produce
    mycotoxins and aflatoxins.  Below are just a few species, some frequently    found in buildings after a water loss.

    Aspergillus alliaceus

    This species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been isolated from soils in desert areas, grassland or cultivated soils, cacti, onion, and garlic bulbs.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasion diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus auricomus

    This species was originally isolated from an aqueous solution of potassium iodide.  It has also been isolated from cottonseed in Arizona.  This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic of invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus caespitosus

    This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been predominantly isolated from soils but has also been isolated from sugarcane.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus caesiellus

    This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been predominantly isolated from soils.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.  This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen.

    Aspergillus candidus

    This species considered common to indoor environments.  It occurs predominantly in tropical and subtropical regions in stored foods and feedstuffs such as wheat, corn, barley, sorghum, rice, peanuts, dried macaroni, spaghetti, refrigerated dough products, and flour.  It has also been isolated from soils.  It has a Aw (water activity) of 0.75 and Conidia (spores) dimensions 2.5-4 microns.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen including onychomycosis,  otomycosis, and invasive aspergillosis.  It has also been reported to produce the toxic petulin which may be associated with diseases in humans and other animals.

    Aspergillus carbonarius

    This distinctive species has not been commonly reported.  It has been isolated from mud and wood in mangrove swamps, soil and polluted water.  This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.  

    Aspergillus carneus

    This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been predominantly isolated from tropical and subtropical soils.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.  This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen.  

    Aspergillus cervinus

    This species has not been commonly reported.  It has been isolated from tropical rainforest soils in Malaya, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Wisconsin, and India.  This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus clavatus

    This distinctive species is a common soil fungus with widespread distribution in soils in warmer climates.  It also is quite widely distributed in some kinds of foods, especially cereals. This species is not considered common to indoor environments, however; it has been frequently associated with the brewing industry.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus deflectus

    This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been predominantly isolated from tropical and subtropical soils.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.  This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen.

    Aspergillus flavipes

    This species may be recovered from indoor environments.  It has been predominantly isolated from tropical and subtropical soils and decaying vegetation, however; it has also been isolated from deteriorated cotton fabric.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.  This species has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen associated with cutaneous aspergillosis and osteomyelitis. 

    Aspergillus flavus

    A plant, foods and dairy products, and warm soil micro fungi, it is found on moldy corn and peanuts. Some strains are capable of producing a group of mycotoxins in the aflatoxin group. It also may cause ear and eye infections.

    Aspergillus foetidus

    This species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been used in several industrial processes including koji for shochu and enzyme production.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic of invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus fumigatus

    This fungus is frequently reported as a cause of Aspergillosis in immune compromised   individuals and can be very dangerous.

    Aspergillus japonicus

    This species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been isolated from subtropical and tropical soils and also submerge organic debris.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus kanagawaensis

    This species is not commonly reported from nature and is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been isolated from soils in hemlock and jack pine forest in Wisconsin.  Has also been isolated from soils in Japan.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus glaucus

    This species may be recovered from the indoor environment.  It has widespread distribution in subtropical regions .  It  has been recovered in nature from soils and on plants.  This fungus can grow at low moisture levels and has also been isolated from grains, sugary food products, meat, wool, dried foods, and leather. It has been reported as a common outdoor fungus in the winter.  The conidia (spores) for this fungus have dimensions of 5-6.5 microns and is the imperfect stage of the ascomycetous fungus Eurotium  sp.  It is reported to be allergenic.  This species is only occasionally pathogenic and has been associated with sinusitis, otitis, cerebral, orofacial, and pulmonary infections.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus nidulans

    This species in not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been frequently isolated from tropical and subtropical soils but less frequently from other areas.  This fungus has an Aw (water activity) of 0.78 with conidia (spores) having dimensions of 2-4 microns.  It is reported to be allergenic.  This species has been reported in a variety of animal and human infections including invasive and systemic disease including aspergillosis of the lungs and /or disseminated aspergillosis.  It can produce the mycotoxin sterigmatocysti that has been shown to produce liver and kidney damage in lab animals.

    Aspergillus niger

    A black mold commonly found on onions. Like Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger can infect the human ear.


    Aspergillus niveus

    This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been predominantly isolated from soils and appears to be widely distributed.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus ochraceus

    This species is considered common to indoor environments.  It is widespread in cultivated soils, but has also been documented in uncultivated soils, grains and salted food products.  It is not usually associated with decaying vegetation.  This fungus has an Aw (water activity) of 0.77 with conidia (spores) having dimensions of 2.5 -3 microns.  It is reported to be allergenic.  It has not been reported as causing any invasive disease to date. This fungus can also produce ochratoxin A, which may produce ochratoxicosis in humans.  This is also known as Balkan nephropathy, a disorder that affects the kidneys.  The toxin is produced at optimum growth conditions at 25 degrees C and high moisture conditions.  The ochratoxin  may also be produced by other Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp.  Other toxins which can be produced by this fungus include penicillic acid, xanthomegnin and viomellein.  These are all reported to be kidney and liver toxins.

    Aspergillus oryzae

    This species may be considered common to some indoor environments. It has been predominantly isolated from soils, vegetative plant parts, seeds and cotton fabrics.  It is also used in food fermentations, in the production of saki, shoyu, miso and soy sauce, and as a source of industrial enzymes.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus ostianus

    This species in not considered common to indoor environments. It has been isolated from animal feed, chicory seed, and gram seed storage.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus paradoxus

    This species is considered a very uncommon species that is not considered typical of indoor environments.  It has been isolated from opossum dung and soil.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus parasiticus

    This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been isolated from cultivated soils.  Lack of reported isolations may be due in part to the failure of investigators to differentiate A. parasiticus from A. flavus.  It has been isolated more frequently from seeds, other plants and insects.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No invasive diseases have been documented to date.  Some strains are capable of producing a group of mycotoxins - in the aflatoxin group.  Aflatoxins are a known animal carcinogen.  There is limited evidence to suggest that this toxin is a human carcinogen.  The toxin is poisonous to humans by ingestion.  Experiments have indicated that it is teratogenic and mutagenic.  It is toxic to the liver.  The production of the fungal toxin is dependent on the growth conditions and on the substrate used as a food source.

    Aspergillus penicilloides

    This species is not generally considered common to indoor environments, however; this may be related to its xerophyilic nature (can grow in areas with low water activity) and that it grows very poorly on usual laboratory media.  Therefore, it may often be overlooked in typical investigations.  Reports in the literature are quite rare, however, if suitable media are used, the species can be recovered in large numbers from a variety of dried foods,  house dust, spices, and cereals.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  It has also been reported as an opportunistic pathogen.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus puniceus

    This species in not commonly reported from nature and is not considered  common to indoor environments.  It has been isolated from soils. This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus restrictus

    This species is not generally considered common to indoor environments, however; this may be related to its slow growing nature.  Therefore, it may often be overlooked in typical investigations.  It has been isolated from a variety of substrates including soil, cotton goods and fruit juices, and from air.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  It has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen and associated with endocarditis, onychomycosis, and pulmonary aspergillosis.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus sclerotiorum

    This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  It has been isolated from tropical and subtropical soils. This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus sojae

    This species is not considered common to indoor environments.  To date, it has only been isolated from koji fermentations.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus sparsis


    This species in not considered common to both outdoor of indoor environments.  It has been isolated from soil.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus sydowi


    This species has worldwide distribution.  Its primary habitat is the soil, but it has been recovered from a variety of other substrates.  Found in warmer soil and in grains, straw, cotton, and decomposing vegetation.  It appears to be less common in foods than A versicolor.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  This fungus is associated with aspergillosis of the lungs and/or disseminated aspergillosis  otomycosis (ear infection) and onychomycosis ( Infection of finger or toe nails). This fungus can produce the toxins patulin and citrinin which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals.

    Aspergillus tamarii


    This species in not considered common to both outdoor or indoor environments.  It was originally isolated from tamari sauce.  It is fairly common soil fungus and has been isolated from seeds of various crops and other substrates.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus unguis

    This species is not considered common but have been isolated from a variety of substrates including man, shoe leather, and sesame seeds.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Aspergillus versicolor

    A common fungus in water-damaged building materials, Aspergillus versicolor produces the mycotoxin carcinogen sterigmatocystin.

     

    Aspergillus terreus

    Not common after a water loss, but is occasionally a cause of pulmonary aspergillosis in the immunocompromised host.

    Aspergillus wentii


    This species is considered common with its main distribution in tropical or subtropical soils.  It has also been isolated from plant litter and seeds.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  This species is only occasionally pathogenic and has been associated with otitis media, burns, and disseminated infections.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Aureobasidium

    This yeast-like fungus is commonly found on caulk or damp window frames in bathrooms.  Aureobasidium may be pink or black in color.  Although it seldom causes infections, it can be allergenic.

    Basidiomycetes

    A group of fungi that reproduce sexually by the exogenous formation of basidiospores from a basidium. Frequently associated with dry rot, Basidiomycetes are primarily mushrooms, toad stools, puff balls, rusts and smuts.  High levels of these spores can contribute to allergies in indoor environments.

    Basidiobolus

    Has been isolated from decaying plants, soil, and from the fecal materials of frogs, reptiles, fish, and bats.  The relationship of these organisms to human occupied spaces potentially suggests a common present of this genera of fungi in the indoor environments.  Should be considered allergenic.  Basidiobolus ranarum rarely causes disease, but has principally been involved with trunk and extremely infection of children in tropical countries.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Beauveria

    Widespread in the soil with various species being parasites of insects, the most notable being Beauveria bassiana which affects the silkworm.  Not considered to be common to indoor environments.  Should be considered allergenic. Reported to cause mycotic keratitis and occasional pulmonary infections. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Bipolaris sp.

    A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with grasses, plant material, decaying food, and soil.  It is common to both indoor and outdoor environments.  Older obsolete names include Drechslera and Helminthosporium.  This fungus produces large spores which would be expected to be deposited in the upper respiratory tract.  Various species of this fungus can produce the mycotoxin - sterigmatocystin which has been shown to produce liver and kidney damage when ingested by laboratory animals.

    Bipolaris australiensis

    A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with grasses, plant material, and soil.  Should be considered allergenic.  Has also been reported as an infrequent agent of phaeohyphomycosis, particularly sinusitis.  It can occasionally cause a corneal infection of the eye.

    Bipolaris cynodontis

    A  widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with Bermuda grass.  Recoveries have been made from human sinus and eyes, however; its exact role as a etiological agent remain unclear.

    Bipolaris hawaiiensis

    A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with grasses, plant material, and soil.  Should be considered allergenic.  Common etiologic agent in fungal sinusitis.  Also reported cases of pulmonary and cerebral disease, menigoencephalitis, and endophthalmitis.  This organisms appears to be extremely aggressive in in some settings, possibly neutrotropic.

    Bipolaris spicifera

    A widespread fungus that is most frequently associated with grasses and plant material, and soil.  Should be considered allergenic.  Common etiologic agent in fungal sinusitis. Also been reported as an agent of phaeohyphomycosis, particularly fungal sinusitis.  Disease also includes endocarditis, keratitis, osteomyelitis, peritonitis, and meningoencephalitis.  This is the most common Bipolaris species implicated in human disease.

    Blastomyces sp.

    Blastomyces dermatitidis -  Rare environmental isolates have been found in moist soil with high organic content.  Important human pathogen.  It is a thermally dimorphic fungus which has filamentous fungus when grown at 25 degrees C and a yeast form at 37 degrees C.  Causes Blastomycosis in humans and animals involving pulmonary invasion, followed by cutaneous, osteoarticular, and genitourinary disease. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Blastoschizomyces sp.

    Blastoschizomyces capitatus found in the soil, beach sand, as a normal flora of the skin, respiratory and digestive tracts of humans.  Invasive and disseminated infections have been reported in immunocompromised patients.  Cases of encephalitis and osteomyelitis have also been reported.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.   

    Botrytis

    Most commonly associated with plants, Botrytis can cause allergic asthma after indoor exposure.  High levels are likely to be found in greenhouses or other indoor areas with high
    humidity and a large number of plants such as an atrium.

    Candida sp.
    This fungus contains a variety of organisms that have isolated from the environment, as well as human skin and mucous membranes.

    Candida albicans

    Found in animals and in man.  Has been isolated from the skin and mocosa of man, but has also been recovered from leaves, flowers, water and soil.  Reported to be allergenic.  A common cause of superficial infection, oral and vaginal infection, sepsis, and disseminated disease.  Cells from the organism are usually not airborne and are considered to be a normal component of the flora of mouth and other mucous membranes in the body.  Thrush and other diseases caused by Candida albicans usually occur after prolonged treatment with antibiotics or steroids.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida ciferrii

    Found in soils.  Considered to be allergenic.  A common cause of superficial infection isolated from ears, skin, nails, and eyes.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida glabrata

    Found associated with man, mammals, birds, fruit juices,  and insects.  Considered to be allergenic.  Implicated in sepsis, persistent urinary tract infections, and refractory vaginitis.  A major emerging pathogen in nonsocomial  disease. No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida guilliermondii

    Found associated with man and other mammals, brewery products, vegetation, and insects.  Considered to be allergenic.  Implicated in sepsis, urinary tract infections, respiratory specimens, brain abscesses, skin and nail cultures.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida kefyr

    Found in grains, dairy products, man and other mammals.  Considered to be allergenic.  Rare cause of human mycosis.  May cause blood sepsis, invasive disease, and vaginitis, and urinary tract infections.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida krusei

    Found in air samples, dairy products ,soil, man and other mammals.  Considered to be allergenic.  Involved in sepsis and disseminated, invasive disease,  including gendocarditis, peritonitis, vaginitis, and urinary tract infections.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida lambica

    Found in dairy products, fruit juice, water, birds, and man.  Considered to be allergenic.

    Candida lipolytica

    Found in man and other mammals, corn, olives, and hydrocarbons.  Considered to be allergenic.  Implicated in sesis, thrombophlebitis, and chronic sinusitis.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida lusitaniae

    Found in man and other mammals, birds, citrus fruit, and pears.  Considered to be allergenic.  Implicated in sepsis, especially in immunocompromised patients with underlying malignancy, and urinary tract infection.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida parapsilosis

    Found in man and other mammals, tea, fruit juices, and water.  Considered to be allergenic.  Implicated in sepsis.  Associated with burn infections and endocarditis.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida rugosa

    Found in dairy products, feces, seawater, and insects.  Considered to be allergenic.  Implicated in sepsis.  Implicated in fungemia, burn infection, and glandular infections in cattle.  No toxic diseases have been documented  to date.

    Candida tropicalis

    Found in humans and other mammals, fruit and water.  Considered to be allergenic.  Considered a true pathogen of immunocompromised hosts.   Implicated in sepsis, wound infections, neonatal infections, and disseminated deep tissue infections.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Candida zeylanoides

    Found in humans, soil, meat fish, and water.  Considered to be allergenic.  implicated in sepsis, endocarditis, fungal arthritis, skin and nail infections.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date. 

    Chaetomium
    Commonly found on deteriorating wood products, it is considered a contaminant, occasionally implicated in systemic and cutaneous phacohyphomycosis. Chaetomium frequently emits a musty odor.

    Chaetomium atrobrunneum

    This fungus is found in soil, air, and on plant debris.  Should be considered as allergenic.  Has been implicated in fatal systemic mycoses. The thermophilic, neurotropic nature of this organism suggests it is a potentially aggressive pathogen.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Chatomium golbosum

    This fungus is found in soil, air and on plant debris.  Should be considered as allergenic.  Is considered as agent of onychomycosis, peritonitis, and cutaneous lesions.  Has been implicated in fatal systemic mycoses.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Chatomium strumarium

    This fungus is common in warm soil and on plant debris.  Should be considered as allergenic.  Has been implicated in fatal brain abscesses in drug abusers.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Chrysosporium spp

    Widespread, common in the soil and on plants.  Rare agents of onychomycosis, skin lesions, endocarditis, and uncommon agents of the pulmonary mycosis adiaspiromycosis.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Cladophialophora spp.

    Widespread, common in the soil and on plant debris.  C. bantiana has been reported as a neurotropic agent causing cerebral phaeohyphomycosis in the form of brain abscesses.  Skin lesions have also been reported.  The organisms have also been recovered from pulmonary sites.  C. boppii has been associated with skin lesions and a possible cause of chromoblastomycosis.  C. carrionii is almost exclusively associated with chromoblastomycosis, which is generally restricted to subtropical areas.  Most patients have had long- term soil exposure with repeated trauma and tissue injuries to the feet and legs.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Cladosporium

    Cladosporium is the genera most frequently encountered outdoors.  It can also be found indoors on the surface of fiberglass duct liner in the interior of supply ducts.  It is a common allergenic.  A wide variety or plants are food sources for this fungus.  It can cause mycosis.

    Cladosporium cladosporioides

    Widespread distribution.  Together with C. herbarum compose the most common species on dead organic matter and in the air.  It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil,  paint and textiles.  Reported allergen.  Has been implicated in pulmonary and cutaneous infections, possible sinus infection, mixed disseminated infections.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Cladosporium fulvum

    Conidia (spores)  dimensions 12-47 x 4 -10 microns.  It is found on the leaves of tomatoes.

    Cladosporium herbarum

    Widespread distribution.  Together with C. cladosporioides compose the most common species on dead organic matter and in the air.  It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint and textiles.  Reported allergen.  Has been implicated in cutaneous infections and keatitis.  No toxic diseases have been documented to date.

    Cladosporium macrocarpum

    Common species on dead organic matter and in the air.   It is found on dead plants, woody plants, food, straw, soil, paint and textiles.  Reported allergen.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been documented to date.

    Cladosporium sphaerospermum

    Worldwide distribution.  Considered a secondary invader of plants, textiles, food, and is common to the soil and air.  Reported allergen.  Implicated in skin lesions, corneal ulcer and onychomycosis. 

    Cryptostroma corticale

    Conidia (spores) dimensions 4-6.5 x 3.5-4 microns. Found on the bark of maple and sycamore trees and on stored logs.

    Conidobolus sp.

    Can cause a chronic inflammatory disease of the nasal mucosa (entomophthoromycosis).

    Cunninghamella sp.

    Can cause disseminated and pulmonary infections in immune compromised hosts.

    Curvularia sp

    Reported to be allergenic.  It may cause corneal infections, mycetoma and infections in immune compromised hosts.

    Dreschlera

    Conidia (spores) dimensions 40-120 x 17-28 microns. Found on grasses, grains and decaying food.  It can occasionally cause a corneal infection of the eye.

    Emericella nidulans

    A ubiquitous soil fungus.  Most often isolated from tropical and subtropical climates.  Perfect stage of Aspergillus nidulans.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic of invasive diseases have been reported to date.

    Emericella quadrillineata

    A ubiquitous soil fungus.  Most often isolated from tropical and subtropical climates.  Perfect stage of Aspergillus tetrazonus.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic of invasive diseases have been reported to date.

    Emericella rugulosa

    A relatively common species most commonly isolated from soil.  Perfect stage of Aspergillus rugulovalvus.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

    Epicoccum

    A secondary invader of plant materials, Epicoccum can grow at higher temperatures than many fungi, allowing it to be a human skin pathogen.

    Epidermophyton sp

    Can cause infections of skin and nails.

    Eurotium amstelodami

    This fungus is frequently encountered in tropical and subtropical regions.  It is frequently reported from soils and dried or concentrated food products.  It is the perfect stage of Aspergillus amstelodami.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

    Eurotium chevalieri

    This fungus is frequently encountered in tropical and subtropical regions. It is frequently reported from soils and dried or concentrated food products, leather goods, cotton, seeds and other dried products.  This fungus should be considered to be xerophile.  It is the perfect stage of Aspergillus chevalieri.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date.

    Eurotium rubrum

    This fungus is frequently encountered in tropical and subtropical regions.  It is frequently reported from soils and dried or concentrated food products, leather goods, cotton, seeds, and other dried products.  The fungus is considered to be a xerophile.  It is the perfect stage of Aspergillus rubrobrunneus.  This fungus should be considered allergenic.  No toxic or invasive diseases have been reported to date. 

    Fusarium

    Distributed in soils and plants worldwide, Fusarium can invade corn and barley and produce toxins at lower temperatures than many fungi.  Fusarium has affected water-damaged carpets, and can cause infections in immunocompromised individuals, and is reported to be allergenic. Fusarium can also be found in humidifiers. This fungus is the most common cause of mycotic keratitis. This mold has been isolated from skin lesions on burn patients, nail infections, ear infections, varicose ulcer, mycetoma , osteomyelitis following trauma, and disseminated infection. This fungus produces very harmful toxins, especially in storage of infected crops. These toxins, known as trichothecene (scierpene) toxins target the circulatory, alimentary, skin, and nervous systems. Fusarium can also produce 1). Vomotoxin on grains which has been associated with outbreaks of acute gastrointestinal illness in humans. 2). T-2 Toxin and related trichothecenes are some of the deadliest known toxins. If ingested in sufficient quantity, T-2 toxin can severally damage the entire digestive tract and cause rapid death due to internal hemorrhage. 3). Fumosin, commonly found in corn and corn based products, with recently outbreaks of veterinary mycotoxicosis causing "crazy horse disease". 4). Zearalenone toxin which is similar in chemical structure to the female sex hormone estrogen and targets the reproductive organs. Morphological characteristics of this fungus include extensive cotton-like mycelium in culture, often with some tinge of pink, purple or yellow.

    Geotrichum sp

    Aw (water activity) 0.90. Conidia (spores) dimensions 6-12 x 3-6 microns.  Aw (water activity) 0.90.  A common contaminant of grains, fruits, dairy products,  paper, textiles, soil and water, and often present as part of the normal human flora.  The species Geotrichum candidum can cause a secondary infection (geotrichosis) in association with tuberculosis.  This rare disease can cause lesions of the skin, bronchi, mouth, lung and intestine.

    Gliocladium sp

    A fungus which is structurally similar to Penicillium sp.  It is reported to be allergenic.

    Helminthosporium sp.

    Reported to be allergenic.

    Histoplasma sp.

    A fungus which has filamentous growth at 25 degrees C and yeast growth at 37 degrees C.  It is reported to be a human pathogen.  It is associated with bird droppings. This is a very dangerous mold.

    Humicula sp.

    Grows on products with a high cellulose content.  These fungi are also found in soil and plant debris.

    Hyaline Mycelia

    Sterile mycelia which is white or transparent.  No fruiting structures are produced by the mycelia.  Visual identification of these organisms is not possible.  Often associated with allergic symptoms.

    MeruliaPoria Incrassata sp.

    Poria is one of many macro-type wood decaying fungi that feed on dead wood. Unlike most fungi that depend on moisture in the wood to survive, poria supplies it's own water through root-like tubes called rhizomorphs, enabling it to move more quickly than other wood decaying molds.

    Microsporum sp.

    Causes ringworm in humans.

    Monilia sp.

    Reported to be allergenic.  This fungus produces soft rot of tree fruits.  Other members produce a red bread mold.  It is infrequently involved in corneal eye infections.

    Mucor sp.

    Distributed worldwide and frequently found in air samples, Mucor is opportunistic and may cause infection in immunocompromised individuals. Often found in soil, dead plant material, horse dung, fruits and fruit juice.  It is also found in leather, meat, dairy products, animal hair, and jute.  The sites of infection are the lung,  nasal sinus, brain, eye and skin. Ripley's Believe it or Not had a couple of episodes with a man who had his face (eyes, nose and part of his mouth) eaten away. The episode was not about his unfortunate mishap but about the fact technology has made replacement parts so it's a little easier to look at him.

    Nigrospora sp.

    Reported to be allergenic.

    Paecilomyces

    This heat-tolerant fungus is often found in warm, arid regions.  It can attack many different materials including PVC, photographic paper, timber, optical lenses and leather.  Paecilomyces also causes food spoilage; some species are resistant to preservatives.  This opportunistic pathogen can attack juices undergoing heat pasteurization.  Some species are causative agents of humidifier disease and allergic alveolitis.

    Papulospora sp.

    This fungi is found in soil, textiles, decaying plants, manure and paper.

    Penicillium

    Penicillium species are common contaminants on various substances.  This organism causes food spoilage and colonizes on leather objects and is an indicating organism for dampness indoors.  Some species are known to produce mycotoxins.  If health effects are noticed by occupants or workers, in an environment that evidences an amplification of Penicillium, identification of species is helpful.

     

    Phoma sp.

    A common indoor air allergen.  It is similar to the early stages of growth of Chaetomium sp.  The species are isolated from soil and associated plants (particularly potatoes).  Produces pink and purple spots on painted walls (3,17). It may have antigens which cross-react with those of Alternaria sp.  It will grow on butter, paint, cement, and rubber.  It may cause phaeohyphomycosis, a systematic or subcutaneous disease.

    Pithomyces

    Found in decaying wood, soil, and plant material, Pithomyces is not known to cause infections in humans.

    Rhizomucor sp.

    The Zygomycetous fungus is reported to be allergenic.  It may cause mucorosis, in immune compromised individuals.  It occupies a biological niche similar to Mucor sp.  It is often linked to occupational allergy.  The sites of infection are the lung, nasal sinus, brain, eye and skin.  Infection may have multiple sites.

    Rhizopus

    Frequently found in house dust, soil, fruits, nuts and seeds, Rhizopus often grows in fruit and vegetable garbage, or in forgotten leftover food.  Exposure to large numbers of Rhizopus spores has reportedly caused respiratory complications.  Rhizopus can be an opportunistic pathogen for immunocompromised individuals, especially those with diabetic ketoacidosis, malnutrition, or severe burns.

    Rhodotorula sp.

    A reddish yeast typically found in moist environments such as carpeting, cooling coils, and drain pans.  In some countries it is the most common yeast genus identified in indoor air.  This yeast has been reported to be allergenic.  Positive skin tests have been reported.  It has colonized in terminally ill patients.

    Saccharomyces sp.

    Reported to be allergenic.  Baker's Yeast.

    Scopulariopsis sp.

    It may produce arsine gas if growing on arsenic substrate. This can occur on wallpapers covered with paris green.  It has been found growing on a wide variety of materials including house dust.  It is associated with type III allergy.

    Serpula lacrymans

    Common cause of extrinsic asthma (immediate-type hypersensitivity: type I). Acute symptoms includer edema and bronchiospasms; chronic cases may develop pulmonary emphysema.

    Sporobolomyces sp.

    Reported to be allergenic.

    Sporothrix sp.

    Can cause sporotrichosis.  Usually only in populations which are immune compromised.

    Sporotrichum sp. 

    Reported to be allergenic.  See also Sporothrix sp. as there is some taxonomic confusion between these two genera.  This genera does not cause sporotrichosis

    Stachybotrys chartarum aka (Stachybotrys atra)

    Stachybotrys grows on wet materials that contain cellulose and low nitrogen content. Usually but not limited to building materials such as wall board paper (unfinished drywall), that has a high water activity over a long period of time (8-10 days or longer).  It produces several types of toxic metabolites and mycotoxins that can irritate skin and mucous membranes.  One of the mycotoxins it produces called satratoxin is also toxic when inhaled.  Extreme care should be taken when this organism is amplified indoors.  Individuals with chronic exposure to the toxin produced by this fungus reported cold and flu symptoms, sore throats diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, intermittent local hair loss, and generalized malaise.  The toxins produced by this fungus will suppress the immune system affecting the lymphoid tissue and the bone marrow.  Animals  injected with the toxin from this fungus exhibited the following symptoms:  Necrosis and hemorrhage within the brain, thymus, spleen intestine, lung, heart, lymph node, liver, and kidney. It is usually difficult to find in indoor air samples unless it is physically disturbed. The spores are in a gelatinous mass. Appropriate media for the growth of this organism will have a high cellulose content and a low nitrogen content.  The spores will die readily after release.  The dead spores are still allergenic and toxigenic.  Percutaneous absorption has caused mild symptoms.

    Stemphylium sp.

    Reported to be allergenic.  Isolated from dead plants and cellulose materials.

    Syncephalastrum sp.

    Can cause a respiratory infection characterized by a solid fungal ball.

    Trichoderma

    One of the most widespread soil fungi, Trichoderma grows in carpet, on unglazed ceramics, and on paper in damp homes.  Some species produce metabolites related to Trichothecin, which can be very toxic and can cause symptoms like those associated with Stachybotrys chartarum.  It has been reported to be allergenic, and often will grow on other fungi.

    Trichophyton sp

    Can cause ring worm and athlete's foot.  Reported to be allergenic.  Found on soil and skin.

    Trichothecium sp

    Aw ( water activity ) 0.90.  conidia (spores) dimensions 12-23 x 8-10 microns.  Found in decomposing vegetation, soil, corn seeds and in flour.  The species Trichothecium roseum can produce a trichothecene toxin which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals.  Reported to be allergenic.

    Tritirachium

    Commonly associated with decaying plant materials, Tritirachium is not known to infect humans.  It is reported to be allergenic.

    Ulocladium

    Isolated from soil, wood and decaying plant material, Ulocladium grows on wet walls, particle board and can be found on textiles.  This genera is allergenic, contributing to the allergy load in those with Alternaria allergy.

    Verticillium sp.

    Conidia (spores) dimensions 2.3-10 x 1-2.6 microns.  Found in decaying vegetation, straw, soil,  and arthropods.  A rare cause of corneal infections.

    Wallemia

    Found worldwide in house dust, air samples, dry food stuffs, soil, sugary foods, salted meats, dairy products, textiles, hay and fruits. Wallemia attacks materials with low water activity and produce mycotoxins.

    Yeast

    Various yeasts are commonly identified on air samples.  Some yeasts are reported to be allergenic.  They may cause problems if a person has had previous exposure and developed hypersensitivity.  Yeasts may be allergenic to susceptible individuals when present in sufficient concentrations.