Aspergillus is one of the most common moulds found in the indoor environment. It has been isolated from damp walls, wallpaper, PVC/paper wall covering, gypsum board, floor, carpet and mattress dust, upholstered-furniture dust, acrylic paint, UFFI, leather, HVAC insulations, filters and fans, humidifier water, leather, fabrics, bird droppings and potted plant soil, plastic and decomposing wood.
Aspergillus species are also opportunistic pathogens. They infect humans and animals through inhalation of airborne spores causing a group of diseases collectively known as aspergilloses. Inhalation of spores may also result in allergic reactions. The species mostly involved in these diseases is Aspergillus fumigatus (accounting for over 90% of the infections) followed by Aspergillusflavus.
Chaetomium is a fungal genus that includes approximately 80 different species. The species that is reported to be growing in building interiors and present in air samples is C. globosum. It often occurs from the whetting of drywall backing paper. It produces a variety of mycotoxins whose health effects in humans are for the most part unknown but has been associated with neurological damage, with a noticeably high incidence of autoimmune diseases linked to exposure to this mold; such as, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, etc. It has also been linked to certain forms of cancer. Because it is a toxigenic fungus, it is one of several species sometimes identified as requiring special precautions in its remediation.
Cladosporium is one of the most commonly found fungi outdoors and frequently found indoors even in clean environments. It results from plant decay. Cladosporium is the genera most frequently encountered in both outdoor and indoor air. It is frequently found in elevated levels in water-damaged environments.
Cladosporium appears gray to black or very dark green and can have a powdery appearance. The genus Cladosporium includes over 30 species. The most common ones include Cladosporium elatum, Cladosporium herbarum, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, and Cladosporium cladosporioides.
Cladosporium is a common fungus that is a known and documented aero-allergen which is usually associated with plants, wood products, and leather goods; the spores are easily made airborne and as such are a common cause of respiratory problems; allergic reactions and can be an agent for hypersensitivity diseases; it is as a parasite in infections of the skin, soft tissues or nails and has been documented in cases of Blastomycosis, Candidiasis, Chromoblastomycosis, Histoplasmosis, Entomophthoramycosis, Phaeohyphomycosis and Keratomycosis. Cladosporium species are causative agents of skin lesions, keratitis, onychomycosis, sinusitis, edema, and pulmonary infections.
Penicillium is one of the first fungi to grow on water-damaged materials and has been implicated in causing allergic reactions, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and a variety of severe lung complications. It may cause sarcoidosis, fibrosis, or allergic alveolitis in susceptible individuals, or patients who have been exposed over long periods of time, depending on the strain.
Penicillium marneffei, a fungal pathogen, produces many serious infections that can be focal or disseminated that can affect the bone marrow, kidneys, lungs, intestines, liver, spleen, skin, and soft tissue. The clinical manifestations most commonly associated with? Penicillium marneffei? are fever, weight loss, anemia, skin lesions, cough, hepatomegaly, adenopathies, and pulmonary infiltrates.
Stachybotrys is a brownish/ black fungus that grows on material with high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust and lint that becomes chronically moist or water damaged due to excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding; but as a slow growing fungi it’s presence tends to indicate longer duration water events. Under specific environmental conditions, Stachybotrys may produce several mycotoxins and may include a trichothecene mycotoxins, satratoxin H, which is poisonous when inhaled. Typical symptoms of prolonged exposure include respiratory problems, wheezing and difficulty breathing; nasal and sinus congestion, burning, watery eyes; blurred vision; cough; sore throat; skin irritation; central nervous system problems, including headaches, memory loss and mood changes; aches and pains and fever.