Stachybotrys image by Brendon Rawlings - Bulk Mold Sample. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Stachybotrys is a genus of molds that are hyphomycetes, or asexually reproducing, filamentous fungi. Documents from the Anchorage Hilton describe Stachybotrys as “commonly found indoors on wet materials containing cellulose, such as wallboard, jute, wicker, straw baskets, and other paper materials.”

Documents from the Anchorage Hilton also state that Stachybotrys is a “potential water intrusion/indicator mold capable of mycotoxin production.” Their documents say this about mycotoxins:

Molds can produce toxic substances called mycotoxins. More than 200 mycotoxins have been identified from common molds, and many more remain to be identified. Some of the molds that are known to produce mycotoxins are commonly found in moisture-damaged buildings. Exposure pathways for mycotoxins can include inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. Although some mycotoxins are well known to affect humans and have been shown to be responsible for human health effects, for many mycotoxins, little information is available, and in some cases research is ongoing. Some molds can produce several toxins, and some molds produce mycotoxins only under certain environmental conditions. The presence of mold in a building does not necessarily mean that mycotoxins are present or that they are present in large quantities.

The Hilton Anchorage mold testing reports from October 23 and November 12 do not specify what species of Stachybotrys was detected in Room 1030. One species that can grow on moisture-damaged material is S. chartarum. You can click here to learn more about S. chartroom from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.