Every person and animal responds differently to elevated interior levels of toxic molds. The level, the kind of mold, and how long you’ve been exposed may be a factor in health concerns.
The following text is quoted from the Health Effects of Toxigenic Molds from the IICRC S520, Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.
“While a considerable amount of research information indicates that the growth and discrimination of fungi in water damaged buildings results in the production of certain toxins that may be responsible for that BRS and/or certain other supposed health effects. Although there are hundreds of genera of molds that can appear in the indoor environment, only a relevantly small number of the (and a limited number of species within each genus) are of concern terms of water damaged, organic (carbon-containing) building materials, and of significant health effects unique to the indoor environment. While much attention has been given to health concerns regarding Stachybotrys chartarum, certain species of Aspergillus and Penicillium, as well as Fusarium, and some other genera, commonly observed colonizing water-damaged building materials, are also capable of producing a class of compounds known as mycotoxins. Mycotoxins form the basis for the term “toxic mold”; however, a more appropriate term is “toxigenic mold”, which indicated the capability of producing the toxins.
Regardless of the unclear clinical effect and lack of established methods for mycotoxin exposure assessment, as discussed above, it has been generally recognized in the environmental health and industrial hygiene fields that the predominance of these “toxigenic” molds in a water-damaged building is consistently associated with occupant health complaints described as Building Related Syndrome. AIHA’s recommendation is that in the confirmed presence of Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus versicolor, A. flavus, a fumgatusi and Fusarium moniliforme requires urgent risk management decision to be made. . . “is based on the strong association between mold growth resulting from water damage to the building and the likelihood of spread of mold contaminants throughout a building with the resultant risk of occupant exposure and illness.
Regardless of the incomplete understanding of the mechanism of Sick Building Syndrome, Building Related Syndrome, and other building-related disorders, it is generally recognized that definitive treatment of symptomatic occupants almost always requires their removal from the mold contaminated the indoor environment, either temporarily or permanently. This may cause and/or be hindered by significant economic, social and logistical complications and barriers. Long-term health effects of indoor mold exposure have not been studied, but no clinical or epidemiological research to date indicates that permanent health effect is likely to occur in most typical mold contamination situations. Neither antibiotics for presumptive bacterial upper respiratory tract infections, nor commonly prescribed antihistamines, nasal corticosteroid sprays, and various corticosteroid medications for allergic rhinitis, have been demonstrated to produce a long-term resolution in occupants of mold-contaminated buildings. Individuals with clinically demonstrated asthma exacerbations may benefit from increased use of asthma medications, however, this should not be relied upon in lieu of relocation from the mold-contaminated areas.
Ultimately, remediation of the contaminated environment as set forth in this Standard and other applicable guideline is the only established method to ensure that occupants can safely return to the building. Properly conducted mold remediation will result in acceptable indoor environmental quality for most of all occupants, which may be objectively assessed clinically and/or through follow-up epidemiological study. It is important to convey documentation of the scope of remediation and post-remediation evaluation or verification not only to occupants but also to their treating physicians so that occupants can be safely reintroduced into the remediated structure and monitored to determine whether their prior Building Related Syndrome is or is not reoccurring.”