These resources are intended to help educate Wisconsin residents about the impact of mold exposure on their health. The links on this page were developed based on a review of reputable and relevant guidance from government, educational, and professional organizations. The information in the position statement below and Frequently Asked Questions was developed through a joint effort between the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, whose contributions are kindly acknowledged.
We encourage you to explore the information provided. If you still can't find what you're looking for, or you want more information, contact the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health, PO Box 2659, Madison, WI 53701-2659, 608-266-1120, or email the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Position Statement Regarding the Impact of Mold on Health
Molds grow abundantly in outdoor plant and soil materials. Molds produce spores that are normally found in both indoor and outdoor dust. Mold growth is familiar to most people when it is seen as a fuzzy patch or stain spreading across food or damp surfaces. It is known that many molds produce chemicals that can be toxic if eaten. Little if any of these chemicals are commonly found in indoor air and are not suspected to be a health hazard to the general public.
Mold exposure from breathing indoor or outdoor air can be irritating and can aggravate allergies and asthma. Health effects of mold can be a concern where exposures are very high, such as in sawmills, grain elevators, and agricultural settings. Where there are people with severely weakened immune systems, such as in hospital transplant units, mold infection can be a serious concern and exposures should be aggressively controlled. A physician should be seen whenever health effects are experienced.
It is not practical to expect a building to be completely free of mold, nor is it necessary. However, mold growth on indoor surfaces is a sign of moisture presence, the cause of which should be identified and corrected. Indoor mold growth should be removed regardless of mold type, using appropriate cleaning methods for small spots and careful attention to dust control, seeking professional assistance for larger amounts.