Is Black Mold Airborne?

Last Updated on by Dr. Hooper

Mold spores and their mycotoxins (secondary metabolite) are very small and difficult to detect except thru testing until a colony has grown to a significant size.  Mold and mycotoxins, in fact, are so small and lightweight they can subsequently become aerosolized with normal air velocity and circulation found in the indoor environment (ie. ceiling fans, central HVAC system) and become airborne.  Due to their small size, once aerosolized are easily respirable and can deeply penetrate into the respiratory tract.

Indeed, mold increases the development of diffuse interstitial lung diseases, Parkinson as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.  It should be noted that mycotoxins are not volatile, in this mode of contamination, they adsorb to dust and can enter the body by inhalation of aerosols.

Mycotoxins, like Stachybotrys chartarum, are frequently involved in the sick building syndrome. In these cases, after a definitive move, the clinical, radiological and functional parameters of the patients are most often normalized.

Citations

Aleksic, B., Draghi, M., Ritoux, S., Bailly, S., Lacroix, M., Oswald, I.P., Bailly, J.D., Robine, E., Aerosolization of Mycotoxins after growth of Toxinogenic Fungi on Wallpaper.  AEM 207 Jun 23.

Brasel, T.L., Douglas, D.R., Wilson, S.C., Straus, D.C., Detection of Airborne Stachybotrys chartarum Macrocyclic Tricothecene Mycotoxins on Particulate Smaller than Conidia. AEM Jan 2005

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