Pink is not always a pleasant color, especially if it signifies serious health hazard. Pink mold is actually a common name for bacterial growth that sports pink color. Just like any other “actual” mold (fungi), pink mold can cause health risks, especially for the most vulnerable groups of people.
Here is what you need to know about this mold, from the physical characteristics, health risks, to removal methods.
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What is Pink Mold?
There are several bacteria species that have pink color when growing. Aureobasidium and Fusarium are the most common types of bacteria that people often call “pink mold”.
When the bacteria grow and spread, the growth may look fuzzy, like small fibers. Depending on the habitat condition, this pink growth may be accompanied by actual molds, such as gray or white mold.
Since “pink mold” is actually bacteria colony, it can appear in various shapes. You may see it as a slimy layer or pink spots, depending on the level of infestation. If pink mold grows on food, it may look fuzzy and accompanied with other mold colors, such as gray or green mold.
Pink mold is no way similar to other types of common molds such as black mold or green mold, simply because the first is actually bacteria. However, the pink mold must also be taken serious, since it poses health risks for people.
Some of the risks include:
- Allergic reactions (coughing, sneezing, rash)
- Pneumonia and bronchitis
- Urinary tract infection
- Respiratory tract infection
- Gastrointestinal ailments (stomachache, nausea, diarrhea)
- Bladder ailment and infection
- Poisoning (happens when someone eats food with pink mold)
The most fragile groups of people that may be affected by pink mold are babies, children, elderly people, and people with compromised immune system. Therefore, the pink mold must receive your attention just as much as other types of mold.
Pink Mold in Shower and Bathroom
Bathroom, shower, wet toilet, and other perpetually-moist places are ideal habitats for the growth of pink mold. Bathroom and toilet are favorite habitats for bacteria, because there is a large amount of filth and other “dirty” particles that bacteria love.
Pink mold usually starts as little specks in the bathroom, but they can develop into disgusting growth when neglected.
The pink mold may appear in any spots in the bathroom, but the most common locations for it to grow are in the tub, sink (and under it), around the ventilation and insulation, near the sinkhole, and on shower curtain or walls.
If you have fabric in the bathroom, such as carpet or floor mat, they can also become a fertile place for bacteria to grow.
If you neglect to pay attention to pink mold, you will get exposed to various health risks, especially if your health is already compromised. Also, if the mold/bacteria problem gets too severe, you may end up replacing bathroom parts such as the tiles or walls, which will cost extra money.
Pink Mold on Food and Cheese
Foods, especially bread and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, are other ideal habitats for bacteria. Pink mold can grow on the surface of these foods, spoiling them and ruining your dinner plan.
There are bacteria that grow even if you store the foods in the refrigerator. There are many cases where people cut a piece of cheese that looks good, and find pink mold growing inside it.
Dairy products, meat, and bread are especially prone to bacteria activity, because they contain nutrients that bacteria love. They also have short shelf life, which is bad if you often let foods uneaten for a long period. Overstocked fridge that cannot store foods well because of compromised temperature can also cause bacteria to grow.
Some people think that eating food with pink mold is okay, as long as they do not eat the moldy part. This is a dangerous misconception, because pink mold is actually bacteria, and eating moldy food can mean ingesting a dangerous amount of bacteria. The best thing to do is getting rid of foods that already have mold on the surface, including pink mold.
How to Get Rid of Pink Mold
The easiest way to prevent pink mold from growing is by preventing your bathroom or refrigerator from becoming ideal bacteria habitat. Here is what you can do:
Prevent moisture buildup and product stain
Moisture build up and stain from shampoo or soap create an ideal habitat for bacteria. You can prevent it by installing a fan in the bathroom, and wipe the sink or tub as often as possible. Clean the bathroom regularly to keep it clean and mold-free.
Prevent all leakage
Check regularly if you have plumbing or leakage problem. If you find signs of such problems, do not wait to repair them. A delayed repair will cost you more when the mold and bacteria grow.
Do not install carpet
Carpet in a bathroom will soak up the moisture and hard to dry, resulting in mold and even bacteria growing. If you want to install extra layer in a bathroom, a throwaway rug is better because you can dry it outside when wet.
Make sure your fridge is cold
To prevent pink mold growing on food, make sure your fridge condition is on top. Also, do not store hot or warm food immediately in the fridge, since it will become an ideal habitat for bacteria. Wait until the food reaches room temperature before you store it in the fridge.
If you see the first signs of pink mold in the bathroom, you can immediately clean it using detergent and water. If the problem is a little more serious, use a bleach solution or bathroom cleaning product with disinfectant.
If the problem is serious, it is better to call professional service. Do not forget to use goggles and gloves when scrubbing pink mold from your bathroom surface.
Pink mold is often confused with actual fungi, but it is as dangerous as other types of mold, since it is actually the growth of bacteria. Make sure to keep your bathroom dry and your fridge cold to keep bacteria from growing, and clean all possible risks of pink mold as soon as possible.