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  • Molds are very common indoors where moisture exists in enclosed spaces.

  • Most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria.

  • People most at risk for health problems include those with allergies, asthma, and underlying immunocompromising conditions.

Molds are commonly present in homes, particularly in the presence of moisture, and patients will commonly seek assessment for whether their illness is due to molds. Invasive disease due to environmental fungi can occur in the immunocompromised patient (eg, see section on Invasive Aspergillosis), but there are no data that mold exposure can induce immune dysfunction. Similarly, the concept of toxic-mold syndrome or cognitive impairment due to inhalation of mycotoxins has not been validated despite scrutiny by expert panels. Allergic symptoms (eg, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis) can be worsened by environmental mold exposure, and reduction of household mold in such patients may lead to clinical improvement. The presence of mold in the household is typically easily discernable with visual inspection or detection by odor; if present, predisposing conditions should be corrected by individuals experienced in mold remediation.

Borchers  AT  et al. Mold and human health: a reality check. Clin Rev Allerg Immunol. 2017 Jun;52(3):305–22.
[PubMed: 28299723]

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