Types of Mold: Alternaria

The third common indoor mold that we are highlighting in our series is Alternaria. If you haven’t read our previous two blogs in the series highlighting Cladosporium and Aspergillus you can check them out too. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology in 2006 highlighted Alternaria and its association with asthma in US homes. You can read more about this study from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Alternaria is commonly found in soil, plants or other vegetation and generally it is dubbed an outdoor allergen. However, the exposure to these fungi in the home is still possible due to spores coming into the home from an outdoor source. Think: plants, flowers, dirt from shoes, etc. Spring is the beginning of the rise in Alternaria spores in the environment and they thrive throughout the fall.

In contrast to some of the other common indoor molds that we’ve been highlighting, Alternaria is one of the ones that actually thrives in dry, windy conditions as well as moist conditions. The spores are easily transported this way with the wind and this helps them to enter the home as well through open windows and doors.

This allergen can cause allergy symptoms such as allergic rhinitis and can cause issues with patients who have allergies to mold. Alternaria is a known risk factor for asthma as well (see study above).

Since it is impossible to completely avoid contact with these common indoor molds, the most important thing that we can do is to minimize exposure! This means, if you see mold in the home or think your symptoms are not just common allergies, you should have your home tested for mold.

Types of Mold: Cladosporium

Last month we highlighted one of the four common molds called Aspergillus, see our blog here. This month, we are turning the spotlight onto another of the CDC’s top 4 common indoor molds, Cladosporium. Just like Aspergillius, Cladosporium can be found indoors and outdoors and also can cause infection, allergies and lead to asthma.

Here are the facts you need to know regarding Cladosporium:

  • Found indoors on surfaces such as carpet or wallpaper when moisture is present (think carpeted basements)
  • Found outdoors on plants and organic matter such as leaves
  • Very rarely causes illness, but can cause skin, eye, sinus and brain infections as well as allergies and asthma
  • Linked to 2015 outbreak of fungal meningitis, according to the CDC

Since Cladosporium is common, there is no way to completely avoid the mold, however you can take steps to prevent and reduce exposure. This is important for those with mold allergies or undiagnosed allergy symptoms.

Tips to reduce exposure:

  • Remove wallpaper and carpeting from areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and basements
  • Avoid raking or disrupting earth, any movement of this debris can release dormant spores into the air
  • Call a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms such as itchy eyes, skin, allergy symptoms or increased asthma symptoms
  • Have your home inspected for mold

If you notice your allergy symptoms are particularly bad in your home or workplace, call HNST Mold Inspections to schedule your indoor inspection. As a company founded on honesty and integrity, you can count on us to give you an un-biased opinion as well as all possible solutions to combat your mold problem. Use our quick contact form to get in touch with us today!