Children's Health and Wellness

Mold

What is mold?

Mold is a member of the fungus family. It is a branching-type of growth called hyphae. It is rarely destroyed by heat or cold exposure, but remains dormant until a particular season, such as spring or fall, when it grows and thrives.

Where does mold grow?

Mold lives in moist conditions where there is oxygen and other chemicals. Places mold may be found most often include the following:

  • Outside:

    • On dead or dying vegetation

    • Moist, shady areas

    • Rotting leaves and logs

  • Inside:

    • Damp basements and closets

    • Bathrooms

    • Food storage areas

    • Refrigerators

    • House plants

    • Air conditioners and humidifiers

    • Mattresses

    • Upholstered furniture

    • Garbage containers

What is mold allergy?

Mold spores or fragments may be inhaled through the nose and into the lungs where they cause allergic reactions or asthma.

There is no known relationship between an allergy to the mold Penicillium and an allergy to the antibiotic penicillin, which is made from the mold. Consult your child's doctor for more information.

Print Source: Allergen avoidance in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis, Up To Date
Print Source: Assessment of Mold in the Indoor Environment, Up To Date
Online Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of Americahttp://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=8&sub=16&cont=58
Online Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/protect.asp
Online Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
Online Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm
Online Source: Environmental Protection Agencyhttp://www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide.pdf
Online Source: National Institute of Environmental Health Scienceshttp://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/asthma/allergens/mold/
Online Editor: Metzger, Geri K.
Online Medical Reviewer: Blaivas, Allen, J., DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Godsey, Cynthia, MSN, APRN, MSHE, FNP-BC
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2016
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