What Are Mycotoxins? Are They Dangerous?

Have you ever heard the word “mycotoxins” pop up in a conversation about mold and wondered, “What are mycotoxins? And what do they have to do with mold?” Today the experts at My Pure Environment of Spokane will discuss what mycotoxins are and whether or not they are dangerous.

Mycotoxins and Mold

Mycotoxins are toxins that are produced by various types of mold, such as the infamous black mold. Other types of indoor molds like aspergillus and Cladosporium also carry mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins are often mentioned in the context of food and crops. Aspergillus mold often grows on cereals, spices, coffee, and grains. Aspergillus is a common mold that grows on food and is usually found outside on dead vegetation.

However, since mold spores are so lightweight, they can travel on the air and stick to surfaces in your home, which may lead to indoor mold growth. If you’re washing a food container that had moldy food in it, leftover spores may spread to other parts of your home from the friction of scrubbing.

The Dangers of Mycotoxins

If you’ve read our previous blogs about the side effects of mold, mycotoxins are the culprits behind many scary side effects. Mycotoxins can weaken the immune system and cause severe health problems. If you already have a weakened immune system, you are more vulnerable to mycotoxins from toxic mold.

Mycotoxins are dangerous because they weaken the immune system’s resistance to diseases. There is evidence that mycotoxins help the development and lifespan of aspergillus mold by weakening the immune system of people or animals in the household who come into contact with mold.

A weakened immune system leads to adverse health effects where mycotoxins can attack various organs of the body. The most common dangers associated with mycotoxins are diseases or infections that can affect the lungs and other organs of the body. For example, aspergillus mycotoxins can cause a disease called aspergillosis.

If you come into contact with mycotoxins, symptoms like the following may occur:

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Asthma
  • Skin rashes

Mycotoxins enter the body through inhalation, skin contact, and ingestion. Inhaling mold spores isn’t extremely harmful, unless you have a weakened immune system. Skin contact with mold that contains mycotoxins can irritate the skin. Rashes may appear if you try to clean up mold yourself and spores get on your skin. Ingestion of mold spores isn’t usually dangerous but it commonly leads to symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. Moldy food doesn’t taste good, so it’s best to throw out any foods that have mold on them.

Mold Remediation in Spokane

My Pure Environment is a mold remediation company that specializes in mold removal in home and offices around the Spokane area. We provide a free mold inspection so that you know the mold status of your home. When we find mold we remove it safely with our patented dry fog technology so you can breathe clean air again.

If there is mold in your home, it’s likely that there are also mycotoxins that can cause health issues. Your fatigue or persistent cough could be from mold hiding in your home. If you live in Spokane, Washington and suspect that there may be mold in your home, contact our mold remediation team for a free mold inspection today!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/19/2022). Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

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