Mold Myths

Myth: You can tell toxic mold by looking at it.
Fact: Toxic mold can look different depending on the environment it is growing in and what it is growing on. Mold growths have a variety of appearances and colors (i.e. white, orange, green, gray, brown or black). The only way to know for sure whether a particular mold is toxic is to have it examined by a microbiologist.

Myth:  Mold can be completely removed and should not be found inside a building.
Fact:  There is always a little mold everywhere, in the air and on many surfaces. Microscopic spores or the reproductive cells of mold are always floating in the air. Since mold spores can be found almost anywhere, there is no practical way to eliminate all and mold spores in the indoor environment. Mold spores may be found lying dormant on almost every surface in a building. Unless large numbers of spores become airborne, there is usually little problem. However, when mold spores are on a surface with an appropriate moisture content (e.g. leaky roofs, pipes), nutrients (e.g. wood, paper, paint) and temperature (i.e. between 40 and 100 degrees), the spores will germinate and mold will grow.

Myth:  All mold is toxic.
Fact: Most molds are not toxic. However, certain molds, in large quantities may cause serious health problems. Some types of mold, under certain conditions, can produce toxins, called mycotoxins, which are usually concentrated in the spores or reproductive cells of mold. The presence of mold in a building does not necessarily mean thatmycotoxins are present or that they are present in large quantities and the presence of does not mean that everyone in the building will be affected.