Image: 2008 HowStuffWorks
About This QuizOne of the best reasons to use your air conditioner in humid weather is to reduce the humidity in your home, because this encourages the growth of potentially toxic mold. While normal levels of humidity do not usually breed mold, if you have a leaky roof or dampness in your basement, be aware that mold may be growing there.
The fungi Stachybotrys chartarum (S. chartarum) may cause serious illness. _____ damage to your home may cause the fungi to grow there.
Infestations of mold are most likely to occur in homes that have suffered water damage from floods, leaks, etc. There are continued concerns over mold problems in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Which organ of the body is most affected by breathing in mold?
Illness caused by toxic mold affects our lungs and may involve pulmonary hemorrhaging.
Molds release spores that include dangerous substances called mycotoxins. How do they enter the body?
We inhale them.
They are absorbed through the skin.
both of the above
Molds such as S. chartarum, Fusarium and Trichoderma all release spores that contain mycotoxins. They can enter the body through inhalation or by absorption through the skin.
Toxic spores may suppress the body's immune:
Toxic spores may suppress the body's immune system and cause skin irritations and lung inflammation. There have even been claims that toxic mold may cause memory loss and brain damage.
Which former Tonight Show sidekick sued his home contractors over toxic mold?
Former Tonight Show co-host Ed McMahon sued his home contractors and was awarded $7.2 million in damages when both he and his wife became ill from water damage in their home. He claimed that the contractors were negligent in cleaning up the toxic mold that formed as a result of the damage.
Which national organization has begun research on toxic mold?
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
the Environmental Protection Agency
both of the above
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency have begun to research the effects of toxic mold and offer suggestions on how to fight it.
How does mold get into your home?
through the pipes
through an open window
Mold spores are airborne and can enter your house through an open window, a vent or through the air conditioning system. They may also attach themselves to your clothing or pet.
through the basement
What level of relative humidity provides ideal conditions for mold to thrive?
Mold thrives in relative humidity of about 94%. Normal home conditions do not encourage the formation of mold, but leaks in the roof or pipes, as well as more serious flooding can provide mold with just the right conditions.
Cellulose is the major component of paper and paper products and is a favorite breeding ground for toxic mold. Which of the following building materials is the most vulnerable to mold?
stainless steel sinks
Wet cellulosic materials, such as gypsum board, fiberboard and wallpaper, are the perfect breeding ground for mold. The first step in getting rid of mold is removing any wet drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation or carpet.
Which household cleaner is recommended for removing mold from hard surfaces like floors and countertops?
soap and water
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using a solution of one cup bleach to one gallon water to kill mold. Clean hard surfaces thoroughly and make sure they are dry and free of mold when you finish.