Shelton, Brian G. PathCon Laboratories, Norcross, Georgia.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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- Common indoor molds
- Effects on human health
- Allergic reactions
- Asthmatic reactions
- Removal and control of indoor molds
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Fungal spores found indoors that, when occurring at high levels, can have adverse health effects on individuals. Fungal spores (Fig. 1), also termed mold spores, are dispersed commonly in air. On some days, 10,000 or more fungal spores can be found in a cubic meter of air. With every breath that humans take, there is a high potential that fungal spores will be inhaled. Usually, this is not a problem. However, if the number of spores inhaled is high enough, susceptible and sensitized individuals may develop adverse effects, including an allergic response. It has been suggested that the spores of some fungi may contain toxins and that inhalation leads to deleterious effects when the toxins are released in the lungs. See also: Allergy; Fungi; Indoor air pollution; Medical mycology; Mycology; Mycotoxin
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