We Live, Eat and Breathe Mold
The other day, I was on a call with a client. We had performed a mold inspection and microbial testing for them, and their results were... let's say less than typical. There were a lot of possibilities, and sources, and we talked through all of their options as far as moving forward. At the end of the conversation, the client thanked me, and said that I seemed to know a lot about mold, and my time was appreciated. I replied with a simple joke: "Hey, it's not hard when all you have done for the past 10 years is live, eat and breathe mold". We had ourselves a good chuckle, and ended our conversation there. But, it didn't quite end in my mind, and I started thinking about that comment. What I realized is that we all live, eat and breathe mold every day of our lives. Let me explain:
We Live Mold - Mold in our homes is definitely considered to be a bad thing. However, mold outside of our homes is actually a necessary organism, and adds to a healthy ecosystem. Its purpose is to break down dead, organic material such as plants, trees and animals. Without mold, those materials would just sit around, and start to pile up, and let’s face it, make the world a pretty yucky place. If it weren't for mold, we would live in a very different world. It could even stand to reason that if there was not mold, humans as we know ourselves might not be around today. So, in essence, we live, in part, due to mold.
We Eat (and drink) Mold - This is an easy one. Mold is actually used in multiple types of food. Whether it be the mold used in the production of certain cheeses, or fungi (which is in the same family as mold) used to create bread, wine and beer. So, I guess you could say we all eat (and drink) mold.
We Breathe Mold - Believe it or not, we all inhale mold on a day-to-day basis. In fact, 99% of you reading this right now probably just took a breath that had some good old mold spores in it. Mold, because it is a natural part of our environment, is everywhere! Mold spores, which is what a mold source uses for reproduction and spreading out looking for new food and water sources, are most commonly distributed via airflow. This is happening on a daily basis outside, and as a result the spores are widely spread throughout our environment. As a result, those spores infiltrate our home through open windows and doors, through invisible cracks in the home envelope, through natural and mechanical ventilation, and on our clothes and contents coming into the home. Almost every breath you take will invariably have some amount of mold spores within it. So, every single one of us breathes mold on a daily basis.
When you put all this together, you find that we all "Live, eat and breathe mold". That being said though, as with everything there can be too much of a good thing. When mold is originating from an indoor source, and we are exposed to excessive amounts of mold spores and/or byproducts of mold (mycotoxins), we can experience health effects. If you believe that you might have a mold problem within your home, the best thing you can do is consult with a certified Mold Investigation Specialist. Through a thorough mold investigation and microbial sampling process, they can help you determine if you are dealing with normal mold conditions, or something that needs to be professionally remedied.