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What Are The Mould Health Effects On Humans?

Moulds (and mould spores) have a variety of effects on human physiology, but generally only when found in abnormally high concentrations. Although mould spores are present at all time in just about every environment on Earth, they normally only become a air quality problem when growth occurs inside a human structure. Moulds can also become opportunistic infections, especially in those with compromised immune systems (for example, HIV patients or those undergoing chemotherapy). Mycotoxins can also be a serious issue if exposure is continued for a long time.

Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolities that are produced by moulds under certain environmental conditions. These can be dangerous for humans if the exposure concentration is high enough.

Mycotoxins are a complex field and very important in regards to indoor air quality so there is a more detailed section about them after the jump:

Mycotoxins

Infection

Serious or even fatal fungal infection tend to occur in immunocompromised individuals, but there are some common fungal infections that all people can get (athlete’s foot for example). These infections can be found in respiratory or digestive sytems, as well as the skin.

Skin infections are normally classified by how deep the fungal colonies penetrate. Superficial mycoses are limited to the outermost layers of skin and hair (ringworm is a good example). Cutaneous mycoses go deeper into the skin layers and can be more serious than the superficial mycoses (thrush is a good example). Subcutaneous mycoses occur when the causative agent is implanted deep into the skin through a traumatic injury. The type and degree of seriousness of the infection depends on what type of fungus is present. These are very rare infections.

Digestive and respiratory infections are classified as primary or opportunistic. Primary infections normally start in the lungs and spread from there. Opportunistic infections occur in those people that have compromised immune systems and are not normally infected.

Treatment of skin infections are usually simple and can be done through the use of anti-fungal drugs and creams. Systemic and opportunistic infections can be harder to deal with and often involve multi-stage treaments.