In our last blog, we went over some of the most common molds that require mold remediation in Tucson. These molds are not just specific to Arizona though, they are according to the CDC, some of the most common molds plaguing homes all over the United States. Last month we covered Cladosporium and Penicillium. This month we’ll be covering Aspergillus and Alternaria.
Aspergillus is a common mold most frequently found in air and soil; it has over 200 species. The spores are most often found in damp places (ie: flood damaged areas of homes, air conditioning units, and poorly circulated basements.) There are different schools of thought on the harmfulness of Aspergillus. According to the CDC, the Aspergillus spores are inhaled every day by most of the population, with no real negative effects. However, there are several strains of Aspergillus that cause varying negative side effects on the human body. Aspergillus fumigatus causes the infection Aspergillosis, which is actually a collection of diseases. These include invasive aspergillosis, aspergilloma, and ABPA CPA (Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis which leads to chronic pulmonary aspergillosis).
Aspergillus niger has been linked to lunch, nose, and ear infections in individuals with weakened/susceptible immune systems. There is also a condition called Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (more commonly referred to as “Malt Workers Lung” ) that is caused by the Aspergillus clavatus found in molded barley.
Alternaria is an allergenic mold that is most commonly found outdoors, and finds its home on vegetation. It is most prevalent between spring and late fall, and has about 50 known species. Despite it being a primarily outdoor mold, it is easily brought indoors, and is most prevalent in dry and windy conditions that allow the spores to become airborne. Alternaria was found in 90% of home dust samples in a study completed by The National Survey of Lead and Allergens in Housing. This mold has been linked to a triggering symptoms in individuals with bronchial asthma amd is a general asthma risk. Prolonged exposure to alternaria can cause similar reactions to allergens like pet dander and dust mites.