What Is A Mold Spore?

What is a mold spore? Basically it is the microorganism itself.. Mold is a fungus that thrives on and devours organic objects. Mold is not from the plant or the animal family but is considered fungi that...

Mold is a fungus that thrives on and devours organic objects. Mold is not from the plant or the animal family but is considered fungi that have enzymes used to break down organisms. Mold fungus reproduces by spores. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive."

There are over 100,000 species of mold in the world and at least 1000 are common in the United States. Mold reproduces by creating spores. The spore of a mold is, "Basically a microorganism itself...when you're looking at a mold spore under a microscope it looks like a little plant because it's got roots, a stem and a top" explains Kevin Bristol President of Advance Mold Remediation and certified by the National Association of Mold professionals, International Association for Mold professionals, and the EPA. He further explains a mold spore in this way, "It has a root, which leaches into porous material and it has a stem that has a top on it which germinates new spores and which spread." These new spores can then attach to a new object and begin to grow and spread. "As far as the spores, when they're released into the air they look for a surface to land on, then they wait for the humidity or moisture to get higher. That's when they start multiplying." Moisture is the key to mold spore growth.

You can not completely eliminate all mold and its spores in your home. You can control their growth by controlling the humidity level. Keep the humidity level in your home below 50 percent. You can also control the amount of spores floating in the air in your home by keeping your air conditioning ducts clean. Installing an air purifier will help those individuals with health problems. Having an ionizer in the air purifier is good, as well as a HEPA filter. Both of these filters will trap the mold spores and stop them from flowing through the air. Opening your windows and doors will allow fresh outdoor air to circulate and allow moldy air to escape.

When mold is digesting and breaking down the material it is attached to it creates an enzyme called a mycotoxin. The mycotoxin can be released into the air on the spores. When humans breathe in mycotoxins they can cause illness. According to the University of Minnesota "over 100 types of indoor mold have the potential to become hazardous to your health." Some of the illnesses are asthma, flu-like symptoms, sinusitis, fatigue and other pulmonary conditions.

The cycle of growth for a mold cell starts in the hyphal stage where the cell attaches to an organic substance and grows. Spores will then form on the hyphal cells if the perfect environment of moisture, oxygen, and temperature are present. The spores are released and float through the air and then land on another object and begin to grow again. Mold spores are very resilient and can live for many years in an inactive state until the proper environmental conditions exist.

The only way that a mold spore can reproduce is by having the perfect environment. Moisture, nutrients and temperature are part of this environment. Keep all of these under control and you can stop the mold growth.

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