What to Know About Fusarium Mold
Got mold growing in your house? It could be Fusarium, but don't panic. Learn more about the kind of mold you've got and how to get rid of it.
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It’s always alarming to find mold growing in your house, but it’s important to remember that you can do something about it. Understanding the kind of mold you’ve got is a start. Fusarium is a family of molds with more than 300 species. Although most can’t grow indoors, some do. Moisture is the trigger for Fusarium growth, and reducing moisture levels is the first practical step towards a solution.
What Is Fusarium Mold?
This family of molds was first identified in 1809. Fusarium spreads by broadcasting microscopic spores that move easily in the air, causing massive agricultural losses each year around the world.
A condition called “Fusarium wilt” is responsible for the death of vegetable seedlings (tomatoes especially), and other Fusarium-related crop diseases affect grains, corn and horticultural crops. One species of Fusarium offers practical benefit for vegans and vegetarians. Fusarium venentum is the scientific name for quorn, a meat substitute that’s most common in Europe and the United Kingdom. The fuzzy snow mold that sometimes appears on lawns as winter snows melt is a type of Fusarium.
Where Is Fusarium Mold Commonly Found?
Fusarium mold of one type or another is found everywhere in the world. Most species rarely cause disease in people. The majority of Fusarium growths happen outdoors, with the greatest damage to agricultural crops. As with most molds, moisture is essential for Fusarium growth.
What Are the Health Effects of Fusarium Mold?
Fusarium infections of humans is rare, but they can be serious when they do occur. People with compromised immune systems and post-surgical patients are particularly susceptible to Fusarium. A 2003 study showed that the 90-day mortality rate of cancer patients with Fusarium infections was 80 percent. This mold can cause pneumonia, sinusitis, osteomyelitis and other conditions. As with other types of molds, Fusarium also produces secondary chemicals called mycotoxins that can lead to diseases and even cancer.
How to Remove and Prevent Fusarium Mold
Reducing household moisture levels is essential for any permanent elimination of Fusarium, but creating drier conditions is not enough. You also need to kill the actively growing Fusarium, as well as the Fusarium spores and root structures. Bleach is not considered an effective option for killing Fusarium on porous surfaces. For that you need to use a registered fungicide that’s been tested and verified effective.