Is Mildew Dangerous?


Mildew, a type of fungus, thrives in damp places such as basements and bathrooms. You might also notice mildew growth around leaky plumbing or after a flood. Mildew can be detrimental to your health, especially if you have other respiratory conditions, such as asthma. Mildew also sometimes compromises the structural integrity of buildings, which can be dangerous.

Mild Reactions

  • Many people experience mild respiratory symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, stuffiness and coughing after exposure to small or moderate amounts of mildew. People who have asthma may have asthma attacks or wheezing when exposed to mildew. Some people do not react to small or moderate amounts of mildew in a home or building, but you should still remove any mildew growth.

Severe Reactions

  • People who are exposed to large amounts of mildew, such as farmers working with mildewed hay, may experience fever or shortness of breath. In addition, people who have chronic lung diseases or a compromised immune system may develop fungal infections in their lungs or opportunistic infections after exposure to mildew.

Myth: Toxic Mildew

  • Some types of mildews are capable of producing mytotoxins, although the mildews themselves are not toxic or poisonous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a few reports suggested that toxigenic mildews, mildews capable of producing mytotoxins, contributed to health problems such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. According to the CDC, further studies have not found a causal link between toxigenic mildews and these health problems.

Structural Integrity

  • Mildew may also compromise the structural integrity of a building as it decomposes walls, ceiling tiles and other areas. Over time, mildew can make a building structurally unsound. Mildew can also permanently damage porous objects, such as carpet, books and upholstered furniture. Addressing mildew problems immediately helps prevent structural damage, which can be expensive to fix.

Mildew Testing

  • Although some companies offer mildew testing or sampling, the CDC advises against mildew testing. All types of mildew should be removed from a building. While some people are especially sensitive to certain types of mold, these sensitivities vary. In addition, mildew sampling tests are often expensive, and the CDC has not established guidelines for interpreting sampling results.


  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • What Are the Dangers of Mold & Mildew?

    Mold and mildew growing around the home can be more than just an eyesore. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are anywhere...

  • How Dangerous Is Black Mold?

    Mold spores are found continually in the air. The mold spores seek out damp and wet areas to settle and grow. As...

  • How to Clean Mold From Carpet

    If a carpet has mold in it, the first thing to do is to get all of the excess moisture up. Discover...

  • Symptoms of Mold Exposure

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold is a type of fungus that is found indoors and outdoors, and...

  • The Dangers of Mold

    Mold is a microscopic organism that assists in the decomposition of dead matter and grows in a variety of places, from food...

  • Is Mold in My Shower Dangerous?

    How Can I Tell Dangerous Mold from Mildew? Mold and mildew growth occurs anytime naturally occurring fungal spores land on a moist...

  • Signs & Symptoms of Mold & Mildew Exposure

    Signs & Symptoms of Mold & Mildew Exposure. Exposure to mold and mildew is a serious health concern. ... Harmful Mold &...

  • What Is Mildew?

    Mildew is a thin fungus growth that's usually black, white or gray. Although mold and mildew are synonymous for most people, one...

Related Searches

Read Article

Make an Ikea Lack Table Look Expensive With This Cheap Hack

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!