Examples of things that are considered "molds": yeast, smut, mushroom, mold.
-Molds are ubiquitous in the environment, indoors and outside and so they cannot be fully avoided.
-Molds grow in high humidity and low sunlight--think rainy days, musty basements, soil beds, forest floors, etc.
-Molds are an important part of the ecosystem as they "recycle" organic material like fallen leaves, grass clippings, dead animals, and more.
-Molds produce fruiting bodies called spores which are microscopic and can become airborne. These mold spores can cause allergy symptoms, just like pollen, in people with mold allergy!
-Mold spores can settle onto a surface and produce branches or hyphae that helps it consume organic material from the surface. As a mold grows in this way, it can become visible to the naked eye. Molds can have a variety of colors, including colorless, white, gray, black, yellow, and green.
-As molds grow, they emit organic compounds and vapors that we can detect as a "musty" smell.
-Mold can cause medical problems including mold allergy (itchy/red eyes, nasal/sinus congestion, runny nose, sneezing, ear congestion), asthma (chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, cough), and rarely infections.