What are molds?
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.
How do molds affect people?
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, or wheezing. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
Where are molds found?
Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.
I found mold growing in my home, how do I test the mold?
If you have purchased a mold test kit and would like it tested by our laboratory simply fill out a SAMPLE SUBMISSION FORM, select the Turnaround that you would like your results given to you and enclose a Check or Money order for that amount. Mail your sample to: LA Testing, 520 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030.
A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home from the EPA.