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Molds are but one type of fungi that exist in nearly every location
across the globe. The purpose of fungi is to break down organic
material and recycle them for future use by plants and animals.
The family of fungi includes mildews, yeasts, large mushrooms,
and mold. Fungi require organic materials in order to form and
When damp conditions are present, mold is able to grow on such
diverse materials as wood, carpet, insulation, cloth, and all types
of food. Mold thrives in damp, moist, or wet surroundings, frequently
in areas where humans exist. Molds typically reproduce through their
spores that are released into the air and land on moist, organic
materials. The spores then germinate and begin expanding out in
elaborate networks. The factors that determine the rate of this
growth include amount of moisture, type of food or organic material,
temperature, and many others.
Humans often come in contact with molds in moist areas in or around
their homes or when mold spores become airborne. These airborne
mold spores can come into contact with humans either through the
skin or when ingested.
If the mold spores are "toxic", they can adversely affect the health
of humans. The effect on humans will depend on the type of mold
involved, the metabolic byproduct of the mold, as well as how much
contact there is and the length of exposure, as well as the level
of susceptibility of the human victim. This last factor is important
for children who can be affected much more easily than adults.
The ill effects of molds generally break down into 4 categories that
include allergies, infections, irritations, and toxicities.