Toxic mold is a term that is used to describe types of mold that are considered deadly to humans. Toxic mold encompasses hundreds of species of mold, a small fraction of which are not very harmful to the human body. Mold is a form of fungus that grows both indoors and outdoors and thrives in warm, damp, and humid environments.
Some molds produce toxins (a substance that prevents other molds from growing nearby), and some people are sensitive to them, but the majority of molds are merely unsightly and destructive to property and do not cause health problems.
There are five categories of toxic mold: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys. Some may only cause hay fever-like allergic reactions, while others can potentially cause deadly illnesses. All five of these mold families can be found indoors, in damp spaces. Mold can manifest on hidden surfaces, such as wallpaper, paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, and underneath carpet.
Commonly, a mold claim seeks to bring personal injury and property damage claims into a lawsuit seeking recovery for: 1) Construction defects; 2) Landlord/tenant breach of warranty of habitability; and 3) Failure to disclose defects in a real estate sale. Mold claims may also arise in worker’s compensation and insurance bad faith disputes.
[Last updated in October of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]