What are mycotoxins and are they dangerous to humans?

Mycotoxins are poisonous substances. “Myco” means fungus, so think of mycotoxins as “fungi toxins.” They are designed for chemical warfare against other organisms, even against other types of molds. Living molds may produce mycotoxins to discourage other molds or bacteria from growing in the same territory. Unfortunately, humans who inhale, ingest or touch mycotoxins may have a toxic reaction. Some mycotoxins have been shown to produce human health effects, while little is known about the possible harmful affects of some other mycotoxins.

We should not panic over mold toxins. Not all molds produce mycotoxins; furthermore, molds that can produce mycotoxins do not produce them in all situations. EPA cautions that finding molds in a building does not mean that mycotoxins are also in the building, and even when mycotoxins are present in a building, the quantities may not be large and thus health threatening.