Molds are simple microscopic fungi that can be found everywhere. Molds need a moist environment to live. Indoors, mold can be found in areas where humidity is high, such as basements, closets, windows, or showers. Mold growth can also occur when there are leaks in roofs, windows or plumbing, and when appliances (i.e., clothes dryers, ovens, and water heaters) are not vented properly.
Molds can produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (myotoxins). People who are allergic to mold can have symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rashes.
Although allergic reactions to mold are common, people who are most affected by mold are infants, the elderly, pregnant women, people with respiratory problems such as asthma and people with compromised immune systems such as people with diabetes, liver disease, HIV, or who are undergoing chemotherapy. Fortunately, the symptoms of mold allergies usually disappear soon after the mold is removed. For more information about mold, how to prevent it and how to clean it up, see the Mold Fact Sheet.
*Note: The Idaho Indoor Environment Program does not test homes/rentals for indoor air pollutants, nor do we address landlord/tenant disputes.