Mycotoxins are substances, called secondary metabolites, produced by moulds and fungi while they are actively growing, that are normally present in small quantities in the environment as a form of defence for the organism. Often these toxins are grouped with other toxins and are then called Biotoxins, which includes bacterial and mould toxins.
If they are present in high amounts, as may occur in water damaged buildings, they become potentially harmful to human health. Specimens from the environment (i.e. homes, work, schools etc) can be evaluated for the presence of biotoxins by our associated laboratory. The range of biotoxins that are currently being analysed and reported is extensive with over 700+ individual biotoxins now identifiable.
Biotoxins are thought to travel from the growing mould/bacterial culture by attaching to very fine particulates which may evolve from the breakdown of the mycelial mat. These particulates can be very small – nanoparticulate in fact. Being so small allows them to not only penetrate walls and other building elements so that hidden mould can be much more of a problem than meets the eye, but they can also be inhaled into the lungs, where they can be absorbed into the bloodstream.