Let’s be honest, life would be a lot easier and more enjoyable if mold didn’t exist. We wouldn’t have to worry about it ruining the structure of our home, we wouldn’t have to worry about it destroying our belongings, and we wouldn’t have to worry about it threatening our health.
Unfortunately, mold is here and it isn’t going anywhere. In fact, mold is present at all times and there’s no escaping it — trust me, I’ve tried! While mold levels are usually low and aren’t of any concern to our health, things can quickly change if this exposure is heightened or increased.
With that said, it’s not always the quantity or amount of mold present. Sometimes it’s the specific strain or type of mold that can be cause for concern — in small or large amounts. There’s no denying the fact that some mold types are more dangerous than other mold types.
Most Dangerous Mold Groups & Categories
When breaking down the most dangerous mold types to your health, it’s important to understand that there’s a lot to unpack. Not only are there hundreds of thousands of different types of mold, but they’re grouped into different categories and each come with unique symptoms to consider.
Of all the different types of molds, there are three main categories you need to be concerned with — allergenic molds, pathogenic molds, and toxigenic molds. Don’t worry if this is your first time hearing of these classifications of mold, I’ll gladly teach you everything you need to know.
As the name suggests, allergenic molds are known to cause allergy-related symptoms and allergic reactions. While this is unlikely to result in any illness, it can cause sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion. These symptoms usually subside once exposure is eliminated.
Unlike allergenic molds, pathogenic molds are a little more serious to your overall health. Pathogenic molds can result in an infection, especially in patients that are immunocompromised — meaning they have an underdeveloped, compromised, or suppressed immune system.
Toxigenic molds are the most dangerous mold types to the human body. These bacteria produce mycotoxins and other biotoxins, which can result in serious illness when inhaled — including chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), also known as mold biotoxin illness.
Most Dangerous Mold Types & Species
Ideally, you should avoid excessive exposure to any mold category, but it’s the toxigenic and pathogenic (if you’re immunocompromised) categories that are the most concerning. There are a variety of species of mold that stand out above the rest, which you should avoid at all cost.
Don’t worry, I’m going to break down the most dangerous mold species to your health — including aspergillus, Fusarium, Stachybotrys, and penicillium. Exposure to any of these strains can lead to serious illness in otherwise healthy people. Let’s take a look at the biggest culprits.
Aspergillus Mold Family
Aspergillus mold grows both indoors and outdoors. There are over 200 different species in the Aspergillus family, but the four that are deemed the most dangerous are A. versicolor, A. fumigatus, A. niger, and A. flavus. Exposure to this type of mold can be devastating to anyone.
Fusarium Mold Family
Fusarium mold can grow both indoors and outdoors, but generally affects plants and soil. It’s known for its colorful and cottony appearance and can grow on drywall, flooring, and other water-damaged surfaces. Dangerous species include F. solani, F. oxysporum, F. moniliforme.
Stachybotrys Mold Family
Stachybotrys chartarum, more commonly known as black mold, generally grows on water-damaged surfaces that contain a lot of cellulose. It also grows best in a high-humidity environment. Exposure can be extremely destructive to an individual’s overall health.
Penicillium Mold Family
Penicillium mold is another major culprit of fruit and vegetable spoilage. Known for its yellow, blue, and even green mold spores, the most dangerous species are P. citrinum, P. corylophilum, P. brevicompactum, P. chrysogenum, P. cyclopium, P. expansum. P. fellutanum, P. spinulosum, and P. viridicatum.
Toxic Molds Produce Chemicals Called Mycotoxins
As we learned above, toxigenic molds are known for producing dangerous biotoxins and mycotoxins. These mycotoxins are released into the air and inhaled when exposed to it. Once they enter the body, they wreak havoc on the immune system and the rest of the body.
There are a number of mycotoxin biomarkers that your doctor can test for when detecting and diagnosing exposure to toxic mold. Some patients might have exposure to one mycotoxin, while other people might have exposure to several. That’s what makes the tests so important.
Let’s take a look at the most common mycotoxin biomarkers:
- Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1)
- Ochratoxin A (OTA)
- Sterigmatocystin (STG)
- Roridin E
- Verrucarin A
- Enniatin B
- Zearalenone (ZEA)
- Mycophenolic Acid
- Chaetoglobosin A
By narrowing down the patient’s condition to the exact mycotoxin, it’s possible to create a safe and effective treatment plan tailored to meet that patient’s specific needs. That’s why you shouldn’t wait to get tested if you feel you’ve been exposed or are experiencing symptoms.
Once the proper diagnosis is made, the treatment plan will likely consist of a combination of medication, supplements, and changes to the patient’s lifestyle and habits — such as diet, exercise, sleeping patterns, stress management, hygiene, cleanliness, and much more.
Contact Dr. Hagmeyer to Learn More!
I have a lot of experience working with patients that were exposed to toxic or pathogenic mold, so I’ve seen firsthand just how destructive it can be to someone’s life. I understand the amount of pain, stress, frustration, worry, and concern that overcomes you, your family, and friends.
With the right combination of questions, tests, screenings, and cooperation, I can help you finally get some answers about your symptoms and get you started on a treatment plan designed to meet your unique needs. Together, we can get you back to living a happy and healthy life.
One of the tests I use is the GPL-MycoTox Profile to screen for 11 different mycotoxins and over 40 different mold species in a urine sample. This is a great test to start with if you suspect your health problems are connected to mold or mycotoxins. With the right testing personalized to your needs, I’ll have a clear idea of what the next steps need to be in order to get you back to living your best life! Contact me today to learn more!