If you really want to find the mold Aspergillus, the outdoors in decaying plants is the ideal place to look. While it may also be present on living plants, it prefers decaying vegetation. Most Aspergillus molds will have a powdery textured appearance. However, different species of Aspergillus can have very different appearances. Some of the species grow slowly, but most species of Aspergillus grow rapidly. After about a week at the optimum temperature, the mold will have grown to .3″ to 3.5″ in diameter.
Aspergillus is the least concerning of the types of mold. While it can cause illness, it is typically not fatal if treated. Aspergillus is commonly found on plants and may enter the indoor atmosphere from openings and from plants brought indoors. Spores may be found in many indoor places such as dust, household surfaces, and the soil of houseplants.
Typical symptoms of exposure to Aspergillus include:
- allergy symptoms (sneezing, itchy and watery eyes)
- symptoms from Aspergillosis
There are many different species of Aspergillus, with over 200 currently identified. Almost 16 of these species are a concern to human health.
Some of the risks and concerns associated with exposure to Aspergillus are:
- exposure to mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin (a carcinogen)
- Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, which has symptoms of:
Difficulties in breathing; wheezing
Symptoms of asthma or asthma attacks
Coughing up blood and/or mucus
Sinus irritation or infection
Loss of appetite and general unwell feeling
Possible lung damage if not treated promptly
- Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis and Aspergillomas which have symptoms of:
Chronic coughing, sometimes with blood
Malaise, fatigue, and weight loss
Difficulties in breathing
Fungal balls growing in lungs (Aspergilloma)