What are Mycotoxins and How Can You Test for Them?
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
What are Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are produced naturally by certain species of mold. Typically thought to predominately grow on food products, mycotoxins can actually grow on any type of organic material (i.e., food, fabrics, drywall or wood). Some mold types that can produce mycotoxins are Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, and others. Mycotoxins are able to cause a range of dangerous health effects to humans and animals, ranging from allergy-like symptoms to damaging your immune system. They are incredibly tenacious due to their chemical stability and are able to survive through food processing, cooking and becoming airborne.
How to Test for Mycotoxins?
Before testing for mycotoxins, it is best to know first that due to limited in-depth research on them, there are no legal guidelines on what an acceptable amount of mycotoxins in the home is. Despite the lack of legal limits, Air Quality Experts has partnered with a lab that uses state-of-the-art technology to analyze mycotoxins and other microscopic air-quality related toxins. Swiffer sampling is the best method for measuring mycotoxins on surfaces by determining if there is any toxigenic mold in the home. Swiffer sampling is the most reliable method to measure what exposure would be present in your home. If you believe that mycotoxins are already affecting your health, we recommend visiting a doctor who can test your blood or urine to see if there are traces of any mycotoxins in your system.
How to Avoid Mycotoxins?
Many types of foods are capable of carrying mycotoxins within them such as grains, nuts, fruits, coffee beans and more. To avoid mycotoxins that grow in food be sure to inspect your food thoroughly before consumption and store it properly in air-tight containers to help avoid unwanted moisture. Exposure to mycotoxins via inhalation by indoor mold growth as opposed to food consumption is possibly more detrimental, however. To avoid exposure to indoor mold and mycotoxins you should not leave water stains untreated, repair any water damage, use air purifiers, and schedule your mold assessment today with Air Quality Experts.
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