Do You Know About Mycotoxins? Read This!

September 19, 2017 2:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by mold. There are over 200 mycotoxins that we know about—and a lot of those are from molds common to houses and buildings. Given that most mycotoxins can make you sick, and some can even kill you, if you don’t know anything about them, you should probably remedy that right away!

The dangers of mycotoxins

Mycotoxins can make you sick by breathing them in, by eating them—they come from spores, remember, so they’re easy to consume unintentionally—or just by touching them. Usually you’ll just get mucous membrane irritation or skin rash, but sometimes mycotoxins can cause serious lung issues or nervous-system problems, can be carcinogenic (meaning they contribute to cancer) or can even cause death.

Older buildings, especially abandoned buildings, regularly have Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys atra—the dreaded black mold. If you’re purchasing a building that’s been abandoned for a long time, you really don’t want to mess with this! You should budget into your remodeling costs some money for mold testing in Basalt, CO, as well as for any remediation that might be necessary. A home with black mold—even on the other side of your walls—is no home at all. It’s a silent death trap that slowly sucks away the vitality of its inhabitants!

A quick look at some common mycotoxins

Aspergillus and Stachybotrys are two of the most common household molds. Their mycotoxins include:

  • Aflatoxins: These can be found in nuts and corn and are highly carcinogenic. They’ve been associated with liver cancer in a number of animal species.
  • Ochratoxin: This is a type of toxin regularly found in fruits and beverages. It’s been associated with urinary tract tumors.
  • Citrinin: This is regularly found in cheese, soy sauce and sake. It negatively affects the kidneys of basically every animal that’s been tested.
  • Patulin: This can be found in fruits and beverages. It damages the immune system.
  • Fusarium: This is a larger category of mycotoxins. It includes several types of toxins that attack the nervous systems of animals. Molds with fusarium mycotoxins generally affect wheat and corn.

When Aspergillus and Stachybotrys affect dry wall or household objects rather than food or beverages, they’re generally more dangerous for the lungs, rather than the heavy central nervous system effects you often see with ingested mycotoxins. Lung hemorrhaging is the most common symptom at very high concentrations.

Seek mold testing in Basalt, CO

Mycotoxins aren’t to be trifled with. If you have a home or run a business, it’s paramount to regularly check your walls for mold and do everything in your power to prevent it. Make sure your house is properly ventilated, keep moisture at safe levels and kill any mold you see as soon as you see it. Keep fighting it—mold is resilient and may not be completely taken care of on your first try. If you need some help, give us a call here at HealthSafe Inspections Inc. We’re one of the premier providers of mold consulting and mold testing in Basalt, CO, and we can solve your mold problem, no matter how big.

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