Mold is a microscopic organism that can grow on virtually any surface indoors and outdoors where moisture and nutrients are present. Common household materials such as dry wall, insulation, carpeting, dust and dirt, along with moisture, are the key ingredients to mold growth. The more moisture available, the more mold is produced. Tiny spores containing the fungus DNA are released into the air by the organism which everyone is exposed to on a daily basis. Airborne mold exists in nearly all indoor and outdoor environments. Although most people are unaffected by inhaling mold particles, some allergic reactions can occur in susceptible people, regardless of mold color, which can be diagnosed and treated by a physician. There are thousands of different types of mold that appear in nearly any color including green, black, brown and pink. Due to the amount of moisture, bathrooms routinely develop moldy areas especially in toilets, bathtubs and showers, and sinks. Weekly cleaning with a variety of household products or bleach water, and a little scrubbing by the resident, will remove the growths and restore air quality. Other moist areas, such as leaky basements or flooded areas may require more aggressive cleaning or removal of the compromised material. Eliminating the source of the moisture is the most effective way to stop further growth. Dehumidifiers are an effective proactive measure to help remove moisture that promotes the growth of mold. Please be advised that the Health Department does not test for mold identification.
The following websites provide online information on mold.
- USEPA – Mold
- CDC – Mold
- US Department of Housing & Urban Development
- Dust and Molds Fact Sheet
- Indoor Air Quality