Mold, the invisible enemy


Emma Potter

The classification of molds

Molds are divided into four divisionswhich:

  • Zygomycota
  • Basidiomycota
  • Ascomycota
  • Chytridiomycota, to which is added the group of Deuteromycota, also called “imperfect fungi”, are so defined due to their different characteristics compared to the other divisions because this species reproduces asexually.

How Mold Reproduction Occurs

There reproduction mold normally occurs due to spore mediumthey have a very long life cycle and are resistant to both low and high temperatures. The spores can remain quiescent (dormant) for many years, awakening when the conditions are favorable, creating the germination process, the conditions vary from species to species. When we talk about germination of the spore we are indicating the process of re-hydration of the cell, which resumes its metabolic activities, giving rise to the formation of its Hyphae.

It is important to remember that each fungal species has different characteristics and therefore needs ideal conditions, some need temperatures between 20° and 30° degrees, others can tolerate much lower temperatures. Among all these species and divisions, we can remember that there are also some Hydrophilic molds and other Xerophilic, Thermophilic, Hyperthermophilic, Barophilic, Cryophilic or Psychrophilic molds etc…

The hydrophilic molds These are moulds that prefer humid or very wet environments with a water activity (Aw) already of 0.75. xerophilic molds on the contrary, they prefer environments with a very small quantity of water.

The category of thermophilic and of the hyperthermophilicprefer environments with temperatures above 60°, preferring 80° but are also able to tolerate temperatures of 120°, some even 150° such as Pyrococcus furiosus.

THE barophiles Instead, they have the ability to resist very high pressures in a range from 70 atm to more than 1000 atm.

Instead the category of cryophiles or psychrophiles They are able to live in environments with temperatures from 15° to 0°.

The pH It is another element of mold growth, in fact there are species such as acidophilic which prefer environments with a pH lower than or equal to 3, some species can also live on pH=0, unlike the alkalophilic that live in environments with a pH higher than 9/10.

Mold: Health Risks

We can recognize molds by their characteristic appearance which can be various colorsgreen, orange, yellow, brown, white, grey or black, also for their spongy appearance and their characteristic pungent odour.

Their presence inside our homes is not only unaesthetic but also quite annoying. deleteriousfor the walls and for all the objects that it damages, moreover it is dangerous for the health of the inhabitants, this, given by the mycotoxins, which are released by the spores. These mycotoxins are directly responsible for conjunctivitis, rhinitis, asthma etc., all this due to the excessive saturation of the environment measured in PPM (parts per million), making the environment unhealthy.

The types most responsible for allergic manifestations belong to the genera Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Trichoderma and Trichocene, which can cause nausea, asthenia And gastrointestinal disorders.

Therefore it is important never underestimate a biological formation inside our homes, possibly using professionals in the sector, so as to be able to carry out a correct removal from the supports, avoiding the use of products that are not suitable for their type, which once used if not correctly, release their residues on the treated supports, subsequently acting as food for the same moulds, which is why sometimes a subsequent recontamination is more aggressive than the first.