Letter: Spores and disease

Your article in the Aug. 5 issue concerning mold and health risks contained a statement by Anthony Burbach that breathing mold spores poses no health risks.  Abundant evidence exists which shows that this is not the case.

A number of diseases are attributed to inhalation of fungus spores.  A disease called Coccidiomycosis is prevalent in the southwestern U.S.  It is also called Valley Fever.  In the Midwest a disease known as Histoplasmosis is prevalent.  A number of fungi are associated with a condition known as Farmer�s Lung, sometimes called Aspergillosis.

Your readers would be well advised to take special precautions when working in areas where large numbers of mold spores are present, such as removal of mold infested dry wall following flooding.

Mr. Burbach is certainly correct that ingestion of mold-contaminated food can lead to serious complications.  Many fungi produce compounds, which are toxic to animals, such as aflatoxin.

Wendell Gauger, Vermillion

Editor�s note: We emphasize that Anthony Burbach, P.A., stated in our Aug. 5 article about this issue, headlined �Flooding may cause mold, health risks,� that people with normal immune systems would typically not suffer problems from mold. He added however, that people with compromised immune systems may be at risk for infection. He also noted that people with stronger immune systems �can be affected by the ingestion of mycotoxins, which are produced by some types of mold. P.A. Burbach never stated that breathing mold spores poses no health risks. DL

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