Le Muffe


Molds are plant microorganisms: fungi that during growth produce small spores (smaller than pollen) which disperse in the air and, if inhaled, cause an allergic reaction.

Even if sporulation occurs mainly in summer and autumn, allergic manifestations can occur throughout the year: this is due to the fact that mold can be found both outside and inside homes.

In Italy the most widespread and allergenic molds are Alternaria, which grows on rotting fruit and vegetables as well as in humid environments, Cladosporium, another plant mould, Aspergillus, which commonly proliferates on starch-rich foods such as potatoes and cereals and Penicillium which we find above all on citrus fruits, garlic, apples and pears. Aspergillus and Penicillium are the most widespread molds in indoor environments. The optimal conditions for their development are given by a temperature between 18° and 40°C and a humidity between 75% and 95%.

Some spores are shaped in such a way that they can easily penetrate deep into the respiratory tract, reaching the bronchi and pulmonary alveoli. The inhalation of Alternaria spores, for example, represents a cause of bronchial asthma, precisely by virtue of its very small size.


The best treatment for any allergy is to take appropriate measures to avoid exposure to the allergen. However, mold is very common and it is almost impossible to completely prevent any contact. If possible

• Avoid environments such as greenhouses, antique shops, cellars, stables and saunas.
• Periodically clean the air conditioning filters.
• Avoid walking in the woods and contact with piles of wood or piles of leaves.
• Houseplants are not the main source of mold in the home, but it is prudent to limit their numbers.
• In the bathroom and kitchen, use an extractor fan or change the air immediately after taking a shower and after cooking.
• Clean the refrigerator very frequently, taking care to immediately remove any spoiled food.
• Air dry clothing immediately after washing. If you are allergic to Alternaria it is best to dry your clothes inside the house with the help of a dehumidifier.
• For household cleaning, use products that kill mold.
• Wallpaper is a very favorable place for mold to grow.
• In the bedroom, implement the same rules suggested for environmental prophylaxis against dust mites.

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