Weird Nature The Scariest Molds That Could Be Quietly Killing You Right Now  

Amber Fua
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It's scary to think about the things in our environment that we can't readily detect or see with our own eyes. It's even worse to be think about the hidden things that can actually harm you. With that said, consider these questions: Do you ever think about the molds found in your house? Did you know that you may be surrounded by deadly molds that kill some people? Also, you've almost definitely been in contact with molds that cause illness. It's statistically terrifying how common they are.

Before you drive a bleach-soaked toothbrush into the caulking of your shower in a paranoid frenzy, be aware that not all molds succumb to caustic cleaning agents. Some can even withstand an immense amount of heat.

Now don't go bashing your walls in with a sledgehammer just yet. There are deadly molds, but not many types of molds are lethal without long-term and repeated exposure, aided by an already compromised immune system. Still, there are some scary molds that are probably killing you. That's just science. 

Penicillium Produces Both Good And Bad Mycotoxins

Penicillium Produces Both Good... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Molds That Could Be Quietly Killing You Right Now
Photo:  Y tambe/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Commonly found on wallpaper, wallpaper glue, carpet, fiberglass insulation, and old or rotting fabrics, Penicillium molds can also be found in house dust, on rotten apples and oranges, dried foods, spices, nuts, onions, and cheeses. They are usually green, blue-green, or grey-green in color, while appearing mostly velvety or powdery in texture. A distinct, heavy, musty odor can also accompany Penicillium

Typically, Penicillium species cause allergic or asthmatic reactions. However, Penicillium strains can also produce mycotoxins such as the miracle antibiotic Penicillin. However, some of the mycotoxins pose serious risks to an individual's health.

A good (but horrible) example of this is Penicillium marneffei, which has the ability to infect the entire lymphatic system, the skin, the lungs, the liver, the spleen, and even the bones. It can enter through inhalation, pores in the skin, or any point in the digestion tract. 

Stachybotrys Chartarum Can Destroy Down To Bone Marrow

Stachybotrys chartarum, what most people know as "black mold," is actually greenish-black in color, but it can also appear grayish and powdery. This particular mold needs a lot of dampness to survive. It grows on water-damaged materials such as cardboard, fiberboard, wood, and hay. If you think there might be black mold in your home, it's best to seek professional help. Its spores are capable of surviving temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and bleach and acid have no effect on them.

This type of mold carries mycotoxins, which are toxic chemicals within or on the mold spores. These toxins can destroy your immune system and infest your lymphoid tissue and bone marrow. Contact symptoms include: pain and inflammation of the mouth and throat, chest tightness, fatigue fever, and dermatitis. 

Aspergilli Infections Can Cause "Fungal Balls" In Your Lungs

Molds that fall under the Aspergilli category are actually considered typical within the environment. Outdoors, they live in decaying plant matter, and indoors they are commonly found within insulation, air conditioning and heating ducts, and a few foods and spices. Allergic reactions to Aspergillus may result in fever, cough, and the worsening of asthma.

While most strains of Aspergilli are not dangerous, a few are capable of causing serious infections, called Aspergillosis. Aspergillosis can cause a ball of fungus to accumulate in your lungs. At best, this fungal ball will lead to coughing up blood, fatigue, and shortness of breath. At worst, it can spread to the heart, the brain, the kidneys, and even the skin. 

Acremonium Has Potential In Biological Warfare

An opportunistic pathogen, Acremonium is often found attacking individuals using steroid therapy, indwelling catheters, immunosuppressive drugs, or suffering from post-surgery infection. It is toxic if consumed, and individuals may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, corneal ulcers, arthritis, peritonitis, and pneumonia due to exposure. 

This mold produces mycotoxins that can become inhibitors of DNA, RNA, and the processing and breakdown of proteins in the body. Many mycotoxins and variant strains of Acremonium are considered carcinogens. They have the ability to destroy internal organs, bone marrow, and even the brain. In fact, this mold is studied in particular because of concern over its potential abuse in biological warfare.