Aspergillus can be considered a common indoor mold as it includes a few hundred different species. Depending on the species they can grow in a variety of places including walls, ceilings, crawlspaces, sub flooring, HVAC systems and more. Its spores are generally dispersed through the air and can impact individuals with compromised immune systems.
However, certain Aspergillus species can give off harmful mycotoxins, MVOC (microbial volatile organic compound) gasses, and other potentially harmful byproducts.
For example, Aspergillus niger, is one of the most abundant species of Aspergillus in nature as it can grow on a large variety of substances. Aspergillus niger can even grow in environments with very little nutrients or water available. In houses it is often found growing on damp walls.
One of the scariest parts about Aspergillus niger, is its ability to grow humans in the lungs causing aspergillosis (a serious lung disease) and otomycosis (a fungal ear infection). Aspergillus niger is known to cause lung infections by producing a mycotoxin called Gliotoxin.
Another species of Aspergillus is Aspergillus flavus. It produces a carcinogenic mycotoxin, aflatoxin.After Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus is the second most common Aspergillus mold to affect humans.
Aspergillus fumigatus causes infection in humans more often than any other Aspergillus species. People who handle or who are exposed extensively to Aspergillus fumigatus often develop hypersensitivity to it so eventually they develop severe allergic reactions to the mold.
Prolonged exposure can lead to these health symptoms:
Headaches, trouble sleeping, itching, rashes, fatigue, sneezing and coughing.
Aspergillus can grow in human tissue. Those with weakened immune systems are susceptible to this growth, which can be fatal.
Exposure to mold and mycotoxins can have serious health implications. Diseases and health symptoms linked to mycotoxins include fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, heart disease, rheumatic disease, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, memory loss, vision loss, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, ADHD, anxiety, liver damage, and more.
All molds, regardless of type, should be removed from the home or work environment to ensure the safety of all occupants. However, sometimes evidence of mold growth isn’t visible to the eye.
If you notice a distinctive, heavy musty odor, then that is a sign of mold growth which requires a professional mold inspection. However, this odor may not always be present, that is why in any case where water infiltrates the building it is important to act right away. Additionally, any signs of past water damage can be an indication a mold problem exists.
We are an industry leader in mold testing and black mold testing in commercial, residential, schools, hospitals and hotels. We send all samples to a third party accredited lab to provide you with the most accurate and fast results possible.
The information contained on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not represent a health diagnosis, therapeutic recommendation or prescription for treatment. We urge you to consult and obtain medical advice from a licensed, trained, and competent medical provider for concerns with health issues.
Mold and Mycotoxins: Diagnosis and Treatment 2016 by Neil Nathan, MD,