With roughly 200 different species and varieties, Aspergillus mold grows in humid conditions on anything from leather and fabric to food and grains and leaves. Its coloring can range from yellow-green to gold and red brown. A highly toxic mold, Aspergillus produces a mycotoxin called aflatoxin, which is a carcinogen.

Aspergillus is extremely common and its mold spores are present both indoors and outdoors. Most people will breathe them in every day, and in a healthy person they will usually go unnoticed. However, in a person who is immune compromised, Aspergillus can cause serious respiratory issues.

Aspergillus mold spores are so microscopic that, when inhaled, 70% of them are able to penetrate the trachea and bronchi and one percent are small enough to enter the alveoli, causing respiratory ailments and distress. Aspergillosis of the lungs is a serious disease that can afflict animals and humans.

Generally, aspergillosis only afflicts those with lowered immunity (cancer, AIDs, organ transplant, etc) or prior respiratory distress, like asthma or cystic fibrosis. It presents in several forms, including an allergic pulmonary reaction, a fungal growth in areas of past lung disease or scarring, and invasive pulmonary infection with pneumonia, sometimes spreading to other parts of the body.

Badger Tip: Clean your vacuum cleaner regularly, sanitizing the filter or replacing your disposable filter. Vacuum cleaners are breeding grounds for bacteria and mold, and if they aren’t cleaned regularly, mold can be further spread throughout your home. Better yet, switch to a HEPA filtered vacuum, which will help to trap mold spores and bacteria from the surface and air as you clean.

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