The Good, the bad, the ugly and the hidden...

moldy_bread.jpg (28748 bytes) THE GOOD
You are probably aware of some of the good molds. Without them we would not have penicillin and many other antibiotics, or even cheese. And without mold's cousin yeast, no beer, wine, or many delicious breads.

Mold and/or mildew is as old as life on earth. It is part of the natural organic decomposition process necessary for the continued growth and survival of all life on this planet.

Mold lives mostly in the soil and propagates thru the air by producing microscopic spores for reproduction.

photo: penicillium on bread
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Of the thousands of species of mold, only a few have been identified as producing pathogenic spores that are detrimental to your health.

These bad spores produce mycotoxins which are particularly hazardous to the very young, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, as well as those afflicted with asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems.

However, even a healthy person with no allergies or respiratory problems will react badly to prolonged exposure to any kind of mold spore concentration, toxic or not, in a confined area such as a home or business.

photo: aspergillus niger in the attic
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aspergillusniger.jpg (39847 bytes)


stachybotros.jpg (39300 bytes) THE UGLY
You have heard of the toxic 'black' mold, but even this mold may be green, gray, pinkish or yellow in its various stages.

Dry rot in your home or building is also the result of a fungal growth.

photo: stachybotrys on wallboard
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The mold in your shower is probably not a problem, but other molds love dark, damp, warm, confined spaces and can be difficult to find, much less eradicate. This is why and when you may really need our help.

photo: Penicillium found behind basement sheetrock
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penicillium.jpg (36529 bytes)


fusarium3.jpg (34897 bytes) TOXIC CROP DUST
Animals or humans ingesting affected crops can have severe health reactions and even die. The Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1800s was the result of widespread toxic crop mold.

In Iowa, improper storage of grains and hay will promote mold growth and inhaling mold spores in the resulting crop dust is also hazardous to your health.

Acute symptoms can eventually develop into chronic respiratory problems, depending on the concentration and/or length of time one is exposed to contaminated air, especially in a confined space.

photo: Fusarium, plant/crop mold
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Dave Grimm
Des Moines &
Central Iowa

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