Mold and Indoor Air Quality
Mold and indoor air quality are closely related topics. Mold refers to a type of fungus that grows in damp and humid environments, both indoors and outdoors. When mold spores are present in the air and are inhaled, they can potentially cause health problems, especially for individuals who are sensitive or allergic to mold.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality inside buildings, including homes, offices, and other indoor spaces. Various factors, including mold, can cause poor indoor air quality. Mold growth indoors is often associated with water damage, leaks, high humidity levels, or poor ventilation.
When it comes to mold, one group of commonly found fungi is the Aspergillus species. There are numerous species of Aspergillus, but three of the most common ones are Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus Niger. Here’s some information about each of them:
- Aspergillus fumigatus is commonly found in soil and decaying organic matter. It produces large quantities of airborne spores and is known to cause allergic reactions, such as asthma and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), in individuals with compromised immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions.
- Aspergillus flavus is frequently found in agricultural environments, particularly on peanuts, corn, and cottonseed crops. Aspergillus flavus produces a toxic compound called aflatoxin, which can contaminate food and pose a serious health risk if ingested. Prolonged exposure to high levels of aflatoxin has been associated with liver damage and an increased risk of liver cancer.
- Aspergillus Niger is commonly found indoors, especially in damp or water-damaged buildings. It has a black or dark green appearance and can grow on various surfaces, including walls, ceilings, and household items. While Aspergillus Niger is generally considered less harmful than other species, it can still cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions in some individuals.
It’s important to note that exposure to mold, including Aspergillus species, should be avoided to maintain good indoor air quality. If you suspect mold growth in your home or workplace, it’s recommended to address the moisture issue, improve ventilation, and seek professional help for proper remediation, if necessary.
Certain purifiers that contain Advanced Photocatalysis may help keep mold at bay. The mold prevention mechanism used in these types of cleaners creates highly reactive hydroxyls that can oxidize organic compounds, including mold spores, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other pollutants present in the air.
The oxidation process breaks down the organic molecules, including mold spores, into harmless substances such as water and carbon dioxide, preventing mold growth and significantly reducing mold particles in the indoor environment.
Indoor spaces can be protected by advanced photocatalytic purifiers, such as those that include ActivePure technology. These purifiers have active air cleaners that operate 24/7, ensuring constant protection. It’s important to note that advanced photocatalysis is not a standalone solution for mold prevention. It should be used with other good indoor environmental practices, such as proper ventilation, humidity control, and regular cleaning, to maintain a mold-free environment.