Mucor grows fast which, makes it particularly tough to tackle. Health problems and home damage can spring up quickly— and be irreversible—if Mucor is not dealt with in a timely manner.
Characteristics Of Mucor Mold
Mucor has a fluffy or cottony texture and is initially white or yellow in color, later becoming gray. It is found everywhere, including in bread and bread products. Although it is typically discovered indoors, it can also grow outdoors as well in hay, soil, stored seeds, and manure. Mucor can develop on plants and rotting fruits and vegetables. An accumulation of house dust in HVAC systems and poorly maintained carpeting can also allow mucor spores to thrive.
Health Problems Related To Mucor Mold
Mucor can trigger respiratory problems and allergic reactions which can include coughing, sneezing, a runny nose or a stuffy nose, post nasal drip, a sore throat, itchy eyes, sinus headaches, and a rash or hives. Serious illness can occur in people with pre-existing health problems. Burns victims, those with diabetes, cancer, and those with otherwise weakened immune systems are at increased risk.
Rarely, mucor can invade the blood vessels in an infection known as mucormycosis. It multiplies in the walls of the vessels, decreasing the blood supply and eventually cutting it off completely. Tissue begins to die, and that decaying tissue provides a source of nutrients for the fungus, which continues to grow. Without medical intervention, the illness can be fatal. Types of mucormycosis include:
- Cutaneous mucormycosis—an infection of the skin. It starts with redness and swelling, which progresses to a deep sore.
- Gastrointestinal mucormycosis—an infection of the stomach and/or intestine. Bloating, vomiting (can be bloody) and abdominal pain are some of the symptoms.
- Pulmonary mucormycosis—an infection of the lungs. This lung infection causes shortness of breath, coughing (sometimes bloody) and fever.
- Renal mucormycosis—an infection of the kidneys. also known as a kidney infection. High fever and pain in the area around the kidneys are symptoms.
- Rhinocerebral mucormycosis—causes infection in the eyes, nose, and brain. Symptoms include sinus pain, swelling around the nose and eyes, dark scabs in the nose, vision problems, headaches, and a fever.
- Disseminated mucormycosis— this condition occurs when one of the above infections spreads throughout the body and is life-threatening In addition to the symptoms described above, a high fever and changes in mental status may occur.
How To Clean Your Home Of Mucor Mold
People don’t realize mold is present in their homes until after they’ve already been exposed. If you discover mold, take steps to have it removed as soon as possible—the longer it’s there, the more likely it is you’ll be affected by health issues.
If you chose to remove the mold yourself, make sure to wear the proper gear, including disposable gloves and a mold protective face mask. Block the work area so mold spores can’t drift into clean areas, and dispose of contaminated materials by sealing them in heavy plastic bags before you carry them out. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, or if you have contamination of more than ten square feet in size, contact a mold remediation specialist.