MVOCs and Moldy Odors
There are many misconceptions about the risks posed by mold odors. The musty odor associated with mold is not necessarily either spores or a mycotoxin. Here are three facts about the microbial volatile organic compounds, or MVOCs, that are the culprit behind moldy odors with tips on what to do if you smell mold in your commercial property.
1. MVOCs are the source of moldy smells. These compounds are gases produced as a metabolic byproduct of mold growth. As long as a mold colony has moisture and nutrients from dead or living organic material, the growth cycle will continue and the mold will emit MVOCs at certain points in this cycle. More than 200 chemical compounds are found in MVOCs.
2. MVOCs are not the same as spores. If you breathe in air with a moldy odor, you are likely inhaling MVOCs. This does not mean you are also inhaling spores. Mold does not produce spores in every stage of growth. In fact, dried mold is more likely to release spores into the air than mold in earlier stages of growth that is exposed to sufficient moisture and nutrients.
3. MVOCs are not mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites that are intended to inhibit the growth of other types of fungus near a mold colony. Most but not all types of mold release mycotoxins. All growing mold releases MVOCs. Humans should restrict exposure to mycotoxin, and it is also a good idea to limit your exposure to MVOCs as much as possible.
If a musty odor has become a problem in your commercial property in Weymouth MA, you should contact a service that specializes in cleanup and mold remediation. Certified experts in indoor environmental testing and remediation can quickly identify the cause of the problem, stop mold growth, and eliminate traces of mycotoxin and MVOCs using equipment such as industrial air scrubbers.
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