What is Household Mold and How Good or Bad is It?

Among household toxins household mold has zoomed right to the top in the last few years.

Mold has gotten a bad rap and in many cases it should. But did you know that not all molds are bad? Without mold we would not have

wine, cheese, mushrooms, yeast bread or even compost to grow wonderful organic foods! But how toxic is mold?

Mold is one of the micro-organisms that help to break down the materials in compost. Good compost is essential to an organic garden.

Yeast is a one-celled mold that is in the very air we breathe. No need to buy yeast when you can utilize wild yeast for baking bread. Yeast is not considered a household toxin though it is a household mold. Mold breaks down sugars to make alcohols like wine.

Mushrooms are a form of mold more commonly called a fungus. Truffles, those mild (expensive) delicacies found in the forest, are a fungus.

Molds cause a problem as a toxin when they are allowed to over develop in homes and public buildings. They grow under damp or high humidity conditions such as a bathroom, damp closet or undetected leak inside a wall.

Spores will spread through the air and can cause symptoms from mild irritation of the eyes, to bleeding lungs (in more extreme cases) and asthma attacks. Most people who react to household mold do so because of an allergy or prior lung condition.

All molds need moisture to proliferate. If your home has mold you should check to see where the moisture is coming from and mitigate the moisture problem.

The mold can be removed with a solution of one cup chlorine bleach to a gallon of water. There should be adequate ventilation. A mask and non-porous gloves should be worn.

In more serious cases drywall or wallboard may have to be replaced once the water source is remediated. In severe cases you may want to call in an expert.

A couple of years ago we discovered mold behind a portion of wallpaper we removed from our bathroom. There had been a roof leak at that particular spot previously. Roof replaced. Wallpaper removed. Wall washed down with bleach solution(twice). Wall (and ceiling) primed with primer containing mildew killer.

Problem solved. Two years later we still have no mold/mildew on the wall.

Though mold is a fairly “new” toxin brought to light by a home owner’s lawsuit in Dallas, Texas, the dangers of certain types of mold are mentioned in the Bible in Leviticus chapter 14. Specifically mentioned are green and red molds and how to fix the problem.

To paraphrase Leviticus, the priest was to remove the unclean plaster and stone and cart them off to the dump, followed by a cleansing ritual.

Household molds have been recognized for centuries.

For more information about household mold read A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.

Return to Home page