Before attempting to tackle your enemy, you need to get to know it very well, and this is where the following mold statistics come into play. Mold is one of the biggest nightmares for homeowners. Not only does it damage the structural integrity of a home, but it’s also associated with numerous health problems, including infections and allergies.
So what’s mold, anyway? In brief, it is a group of fungi that appear in damp basements, have unpleasant odors, and can even cause or complicate health problems, such as asthma and athlete’s foot. On the positive side, without mold, humankind would not have penicillin and blue cheese.
The following stats and fun facts about mold will teach you everything you need to know about this fungus.
The Top 10 Statistics About Mold
- An estimated 70% of homes currently have mold.
- Each year, almost 600,000 kids under the age of 5 die from illnesses caused by air pollution.
- The three most frequent indoor molds are Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium.
- More than 50% of houses in America have mold issues, and a whopping 28% of the population carry genes that put them at risk of mold-related health issues.
- Mold statistics reveal that 21% of allergy patients in Dallas are sensitized to mold and mildew.
- In Canada, experts identified 270 different species of mold in buildings.
- Following water damage, mold takes around 24–48 hours to form.
- Slime mold is an amoeba living in the soil.
- There are over 900 species of slime mold in the world.
- An estimated 25% of the global food crops are affected by poisonous substances known as mycotoxins.
General Statistics on Mold and Air Pollution
1. If you are wondering what percentage of homes have mold, the answer is around 70%.
(Wilson Web Physics, Truth About Mold)
However, the exact percentage of mold in households remains a mystery. Facts also reveal that, globally, the majority of homes have Stachybotrys spores in them. According to the stats by the Audit Committee of the Finnish Parliament, mold is present in up to 9% of terraced houses, 18% of kindergartens and schools, and 26% of hospitals, outpatient departments, and nursing homes.
2. Mold statistics for the US show that the annual cost of allergic rhinitis caused by dampness and indoor mold is $3.7 billion.
(Truth About Mold)
Research on the costs of acute bronchitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma triggered by exposure to mold reveals that the cost of acute bronchitis is $1.90 billion, whereas the asthma mortality cost amounts to $1.7 billion. The two methods used when estimating the costs were willingness to pay (WTP) and cost of illness (COI).
3. Every year, almost 600,000 kids under the age of 5 die from illnesses caused by air pollution.
(Truth About Mold)
Millions of children suffer from diseases of the respiratory system that affect both their cognitive and physical development. And when it comes to mold-related death, statistics show that one in 10 children under five dies due to respiratory illnesses linked to air pollution. Mold spores and mold have adverse effects on indoor air quality, which is especially dangerous for people with weak immune systems, allergies, or asthma.
4. The three most frequent indoor molds are Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium, home mold statistics reveal.
Besides windows, pipes, and roofs, molds also grow on ceiling tiles, wood products, cardboard, and paint. Unfortunately, the precise information on how often these molds appear in homes and buildings remains unknown.
5. More than 50% of houses in America have mold issues, and a whopping 28% of the population carry genes that put them at risk of mold-related health issues.
(This Old House)
Experts from the 2015 documentary “Moldy” claim that environmental mold is much more dangerous to human beings that lead paint or asbestos. When it comes to hidden mold, statistics show that it typically lurks in leaking roofs, crawling spaces, and behind incorrectly installed showers.
Stats and Facts on Black Mold
6. Black mold is sometimes referred to as toxic mold.
(Medical News Today)
Due to mycotoxins, this type of mold can cause serious health issues such as memory loss, nosebleeds, and aches. Black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum can cause irritation, allergy, infection, as well as mycotoxicosis.
7. According to black mold facts, mold growth can be prevented by keeping humidity levels below 50%.
(Medical News Today)
Mold is only able to fully thrive in humid and damp spaces. We recommend checking the humidity level frequently and possibly using a dehumidifier. Other precautions homeowners can take include cleaning surfaces regularly, dealing with mildew and mold as soon as possible, and avoiding using a carpet in bathrooms or basements. This is an important thing to consider if you’re planning to remodel your home.
8. With 21%, Dallas is the first on the list of US cities with the highest number of allergy patients sensitized to mildew and mold, according to black mold statistics by city.
Second on the list is Riverside-San Bernardino with 20%, while Phoenix comes in at third place with 19%, followed by Los Angeles with 17% of allergy patients sensitized to mold and mildew. These findings are based on a study by Quest Diagnostics on patients reaching out for medical care to ease the symptoms of a mold allergy.
Stats on Buildings With Mold
9. The percentage of possible IAQ issues in remodeled and new buildings is 30%.
Mold infestations in buildings can cause a drop in indoor air quality or IAQ, contributing to respiratory and other health-related problems. The statistics on buildings with mold reveal that a 10-year-old condominium complex required to cash out $4 million due to repair costs caused by mold infestation.
10. In Canada, experts identified 270 different species of mold in buildings.
Even though there are thousands of mold species known to man, 270 of them are found in commercial properties and houses. Moisture management practices are strongly recommended for training facilities as well as grocery stores, as these buildings may have elevated levels of moisture.
11. Following water damage, mold takes around 24–48 hours to form.
The mold statistics reveal that it’s best to take quick action following water damage resulting from accidents, floods, or ceiling leaks. For instance, stains or spots in carpets need to be removed as soon as possible. Also, make sure to use less water when cleaning carpets or other surfaces.
12. Get professional help if the moldy area is larger than 3 square feet.
Even though minor mold-related issues in buildings can easily be dealt with by untrained individuals, a mold infection larger than three square feet should be cleaned by an expert. The mold facts show that the reason for this is that a greater mold infection may be much more hazardous. However, keep in mind that black mold removal services for commercial buildings are expensive.
Facts About Slime Mold
13. Slime mold is an amoeba living in the soil.
Slime mold isn’t an animal, and it’s not a plant either. And even though it resembles a fungus, it cannot be put into that category. Slime mold is a single-celled, brainless organism that usually contains multiple nuclei.
14. Interesting facts about slime mold reveal that they come in all colors except green.
According to a professor of biology at the University of Arkansas, Steve Stephenson, slime mold can appear in every color except green. The reason for this is that slime mold lacks chlorophyll, which would give it a true green color.
15. There’s a type of slime mold known as ”dog vomit.”
Slime mold can take many shapes, from those resembling blackberries to hexagonal lattices. According to the slime mold facts, a type of mold that resembles and goes by the name of “dog vomit” is the most obscure of them all. Slime mold can be up to 10–13 feet long, but it can also be microscopic.
16. There are over 900 species of slime mold.
According to biology professor Frederick Spiegel, the different species of slime mold can be found on every single continent. More precisely, slime mold is likely to be found in forests, feeding on yeast, fungus, bacteria, and breaking down decaying vegetation.
17. Facts about mold reveal that slime molds likely inspired the 1958 sci-fi movie “The Blob.”
“The Blob” is about a corrosive, rapidly growing amoeboid alien creature that devours citizens in Downingtown and Phoenixville. As it feeds on its victims, it becomes increasingly larger. In reality, slime molds — when in plasmodial states — spread quickly and resemble highway networks.
Food Mold Facts
18. An estimated 25% of the global food crops are affected by poisonous substances known as mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins can be produced by different molds present in nut and grain crops, which can also be found in grape juice, celery, and apples. Aflatoxin is a type of mycotoxin found in peanuts and field corn, and it’s known for causing cancer. Aflatoxin has also been associated with illnesses such as aflatoxicosis in domestic animals, as well as aflatoxicosis in humans.
19. Cheese mold facts reveal that food molds can be beneficial for making Gorgonzola, Brie, and Camembert.
Food mold can be beneficial in making different types of cheeses, and it can be created internally or on the surface of a cheese. Cheese such as Stilton, Roquefort, and Gorgonzola are considered “blue-veined,” and they are created by introducing Penicillium roqueforti spores. It’s important to know that the molds used to create cheeses are completely safe for consumption.
20. Bread mold can be prevented by freezing the bread.
The facts about bread mold reveal that this fungus can be prevented by freezing the bread. Putting the bread in the refrigerator may slow down the fungal growth, but it will still continue to spread. Therefore, we recommend freezing the bread and taking out slices when needed.
21. Bread mold can cause dangerous infections, especially in people with weaker immune systems.
If you were wondering whether it’s safe to consume bread with fuzzy mold parts, then here is your answer: Throw that bread in the trash! The bread mold facts reveal that the most common types of mold that grow on this food are Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Rhizopus. Not only can bread mold trigger allergies, but it can also lead to breathing problems such as asthma.
How to treat a mold allergy?
It’s simple — just get rid of the source or consider wearing an allergy relief mask when you are working outside. If the mold is present in your home, take precautions, and consider getting a professional mold inspection. Another way to treat an allergy to mold is to consult an allergist regarding immunotherapy sessions.
How much mold exposure is dangerous?
Not only does mold growth affect the structure of your property, but it also damages your health. Individuals can be exposed to it by touching, consuming, and inhaling the mold spores.
Even though mold is especially dangerous to people with allergies, respiratory problems, and weak immune systems, some people do not experience any adverse symptoms following mold exposure. We recommend getting rid of the mold as soon as possible, as long-term mold exposure can be hazardous.
Has mold killed anyone?
Mold can be a threat to the very young, very old, people with weak immune systems, and people with severe health issues. Unfortunately, mold pollutes the air, causing allergies, asthma, and different respiratory illnesses. Due to mycotoxins, Stachybotrys may cause lung hemorrhaging, while Penicillium is carcinogenic.
Exposure to mold can cause serious health issues in some individuals. Some people are more susceptible to illness and are likely to develop nasal stuffiness, cough, and throat irritation due to mold exposure, while others may not have any symptoms.
Hopefully, these mold statistics opened your eyes, not only to the danger of this fungus but also to its many interesting aspects. If you liked this article, please share it with someone you think will find it helpful.