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Guide to Mold Colors and What They Mean

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Guide to Mold Colors and What They Mean

Green, brown, yellow or black, mold has no place in your home

Mold works non-stop to keep the planet going by breaking down organic matter — but we still don’t want it in the house, and for awfully good reason. Whether it’s black, brown, green or pink, experts agree you should get rid of it. “Any visible mold should be removed, no matter what its color or species,” says Tiina Reponen, PhD, professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati. “In a healthy building, you don’t have visible mold.”

Like most fungi, molds grow best in damp conditions — think bathrooms and basements. If the spores find a moist surface to land on, they grow.

Although “toxic mold” is a misnomer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency notes some molds do produce toxic substances called mycotoxins.

Here, a color guide to molds commonly found in the house.

Green

If you see green mold, it could be just about any type of unwelcome fungus. There are more than a hundred thousand types of mold — and thousands of species of green mold. So what does the color green tell you? Not much.

Olive-green, brown, grey or black

These are common molds in the Cladosporium genus. Outdoors, they lurk on plant leaves. Indoors, they're often found on walls and insulation and can grow on damp carpet, too.

Blue, green, or white

These molds, also common, belong to the Penicillium genus. You’re right if you think that a type of this mold was used to make penicillin many years ago. It’s usually found on food and walls.

Yellow, green or black

These may be Aspergillus molds. People breathe in these molds every day.

Black or grey

These could be Alternaria, which is most common as an outdoor mold, growing around damp, dusty areas, soil and plants. But it has made its way indoors. In one study, Alternaria was found in more than 90 percent of house dust samples.

Pink

The pink “mold” often seen in the bathroom in the form of a slimy, pinkish discoloration on sinks and tubs is actually bacteria, not mold. Specifically, it's Serratia marcescens. It thrives on soap and shampoo residues.

Greenish-black

This mold, of the Stachbotrys genus, is the infamous “black mold”. It's less common than the molds described above — and possibly less dangerous than news reports would have you believe. It prefers to live on high-cellulose, low-nitrogen surfaces, which include drywall, gypsum board, paper, dust and lint that is regularly exposed to moisture. The CDC notes, "Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth."

Article source: http://www.safebee.com/home/guide-to-mold-colors-what-they-mean

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