Is mold (Aspergillus) Dangerous?


Some types of mold, such as Aspergillus, can cause a serious health problem, known as aspergillosis, in some people.

There are different types of aspergillosis:

Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA): This affects the lungs and can cause breathing problems.

Allergic Aspergillus sinusitis: This affects the nose and can involve a headache.

Aspergilloma, or fungus ball: This can cause a cough, which may produce blood, as well as breathing problems.

Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis: Symptoms include breathing problems, a cough, and weight loss.

Other conditions

Mold can also trigger the production of microbes and bacteria. Exposure to these bacteria may trigger an inflammatory response in some people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO also notes that mold and the microbial agents it produces may increase the risk of bronchial and fungal infections.

There is some evidence that it might lead to:

  • hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • bronchitis
  • allergic alveolitis
  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • allergic fungal sinusitis
  • lower respiratory tract problems in previously healthy children

Some evidence from the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that people have experienced the following symptoms after spending time in an environment where mold is present:

  •  skin and eye irritation
  •  wheezing
  •  fever
  •  fatigue
  •  nausea
  •  headache
  •  insomnia
  •  mucous membrane irritation
  •  sick-building syndrome

Some research suggests that mycotoxins from S. chartarum have a link to serious health problems in people who live in contaminated buildings.

One such health concern is mycotoxicosis — mold poisoning. Others include:

  • aches and pains
  • changes in mood
  • headaches
  • memory loss
  • nosebleeds

Factors affecting the likelihood of having health problems due to mold include:

  • the person’s immune or respiratory health
  • how much mold is present

Mold can trigger bronchitis in some people.

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