What is "black mold" that I hear so much about in the news lately?

Mold (fungi), is a fuzzy, cobweb like growth produced by several types of fungi. Mold and mildew are commonly used interchangably, although mold is often applied to black, blue, green and red fungal growths, and mildew to whitish growths.

Black Mold or Stachybotrys is a known and documented aeroallergen. It and other types of mold have been found recently in the Michigan area.

Fungi are present almost everywhere in indoor and outdoor enviroments. Then most common symptons of fungal exposure are runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, and aggravation, of asthma. Although there is evidence documenting severe health effects of fungi in humans, most of this evidence is derived from ingestion of contaminated foods (i.e., grain and peanut products) or occupational exposures in agricultural settings where inhalation exposures were very high. With the possible exception of remediation to very heavily contanimated indoor enviroments, such high level exposures are not expected to occur while performing remedial work.

There have been reports linking health effects in office workers to offices contanimated with moldy surfaces and in residents of homes contanimated with fungal growth. Symptons, such as fatigue, respiratory aliments, and eye irratation were typically observed in these cases.