What you need to know about Chaetomium: a highly destructive mold type

Chaetomium mold under microscope

Mold growth is a common headache among property owners. With over 100,000 identified mold species; the task of mold remediation might not be as easy as it sounds.

Among the prominent mold types, molds of the Chaetomium types are considered to be the most destructive and dangerous. As a house owner, it is ideal for you to understand the characteristics of Chaetomium mold species and its impact.

What is Chaetomium?

Chaetomium is a dangerous mold species commonly found in soil, plant debris and compost. Any material containing cellulose feeds Chaetomium. This mold type feeds and spreads quickly making it difficult to contain.

Chaetomium is highly dangerous and trigger infections in humans. Fluctuations in humidity, usually, high humidity levels second the growth of Chaetomium. Keeping the humidity level below 50% is one way of thwarting growth or re-growth of Chaetomium.

Chaetomium appearance

Chaetomium fungi species appear in colonies and have an initial white cotton-like appearance. The colonies that mature turn to grey or olive color.

Akin to the other mold types, Chaetomium spores once mature, gets airborne to spread. Once the airborne spores land on any material which seems damp and is rich in cellulose e.g. drywall or wood, the spores starts developing colonies.

Most Chaetomium species thrive ideally at the temperature range 25C to 35C.

Toxicity

The mycotoxins produced by Chaetomium makes it deadly. Some of the common mycotoxins produced by Chaetomium are including sterigmatocystin, O-methylsterigmatocystin, chaetochromin. These mycotoxins are known to cause both teratogenic and carcinogenic effects.

Chaetomium mycotoxin tests on animals have shown that it is toxic to spleen and the liver apart from being extremely toxic when consumed in the form of any infected food particle.

Where can you find Chaetomium

Any cellulose rich area within your house that has previously suffered water damage can be a thriving heaven for Chaetomium. Damp attics, leaky pipes and areas around the sink can be the main culprits. Also, keep an eye out on your backyard for white cottony stuffs growing on soil, plan debris and animal dung.

The musty smell and distinctive coloration can help you identify Chaetomium. If you suspect Chaetomium within your household, it is ideal to hire a mold removal professional for an in-depth inspection and efficient removal.

Health concerns

The Chaetomium fungus type can cause several health concerns in humans and pets that come in contact or even through inhalation. Some of the common health concerns are as follows:

• Allergies
• Asthma
• Hay fever
• Dry throat
• Skin and nail infections
• Nose bleeds
• Dermatitis
• Headaches
• Seizure

Studies have also linked neurological damage to myelin sheath from excessive exposure to Chaetomium. This in turn links the autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis to this mold species.

The appearance of Chaetomium in your house indicates sever moisture balance issue. In order to eradicate this mold type, mold specialists usually inspects your house with special tools and systems to identify the areas that are moist or damp prior.

The leaks or the reasons for dampness in such areas have to be contained along with the mold removal process to prevent mold re-growth and facilitate efficient removal.