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Carpet Monsters and Killer SporesA Natural History of Toxic Mold$
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Nicholas P. Money

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172270

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172270.001.0001

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Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores

Nicholas P. Money

Oxford University Press

Black molds feed by secreting enzymes that dissolve complex molecules, like cellulose, as their filamentous hyphae insinuate themselves in their food sources. Many of the molds that grow in buildings represent single phases in complex microbial life cycles. The diversity of mold species is astonishing, but relatively few species are prevalent in homes. Molds have a variety of effects upon human health. Many provoke allergies, some are implicated in fungal sinusitis, and a small subset can cause life-threatening infections. Evidence of the ubiquity of black molds is found in the fact that their growth on the exterior of office buildings in cities is usually mistaken for the effects of pollution.

Keywords:   enzymes, cellulose, hyphae, microbial, allergies, sinusitis, infections, pollution

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