Scientists are unsure exactly how many species of mold exist, but the estimates run into the thousands. Many types of mold are beneficial and play an important part in nature. However, there are also several species of mold which are highly toxic to humans and animals.
Mold can be broken down into three major categories: allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic.
Allergenic mold is one of the most common. In nature, it aids in decomposition by breaking down organic materials such as dead or decaying plants. Most allergenic molds are perfectly harmless to your health, but if exposed to the organic materials inside your home, they can still result in structural damage. In addition, it can cause allergies in those individuals who are overly sensitive to mold.
Pathogenic mold is a little more serious when it comes to your health. If you or someone in your household has a suppressed, underdeveloped or compromised immune system, then pathogenic mold exposure can pose a serious health risk.
Toxigenic, or toxic, mold is very – in some cases, even deadly – serious to your health. Toxigenic mold contains and releases mycotoxins, which are then inhaled. When toxigenic molds are found, immediate action must be taken by professional mold removers with proper removal equipment.
If you find evidence of mold in your home, it is not likely that you will be able to determine what type it is. The best thing to do is to contact a company which specializes in mold removal and arrange for an inspection. A professional mold remediation company will have the specialized staff and equipment needed to assess and remove any instances of mold infestation.