Black Mold Symptoms And Health Effects
Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.
A mold infested room of an old building.
Mold in homes can be a costly and dangerous problem, particularly when infestations of toxic black mold occur. The symptoms and health effects of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning cover a wide range of health problems, but understanding the indicators can help keep you and your family safe.
Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans.
Rental Properties With Mould Issues
When a rental property has mould, the owner should fix any mould caused by faults in gutters or other fixtures, but the tenant should ensure that extractor fans are used when available and the home is aired regularly where possible.
Sometimes, the cause of the mould growth may be due to a building fault that may not be easily rectified.
If as a tenant, you have taken measures to make sure the building is properly ventilated and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner.
Information on mould in rental properties is available on Consumer Affairs Victorias website.
Tenants seeking further advice on their rights can also contact the Tenants Union of Victoria on .
Can Mold Exposure Cause Thyroid Problems
Inside: Can mold cause thyroid problems? How mold triggers Thyroid Antibodies and Hashimotos. How to test your house for mold, and what kind of mycotoxin test your need. How to get rid of mold. Is Mold in your House the Cause for your Thyroid Problems?
Mold triggers thyroid problems, by increasing inflammation in the body. In fact, when talked about if environmental causes of hypothyroidism, mold, and toxins are the two most common causes which trigger thyroid problems, by increasing inflammation in the body.
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Where Is Mold Found In A Home
A research study found that Stachybotrys preferred a very high relative humidity within wallsapproximately 97%which indicates that relative humidity could be an important risk factor . For black mold, you may consider smaller microclimates that may harbor such humidity levels: sweating pipes, under sink cabinets, front loading washing machines, standing water, roof leaks, damp cars, windows with condensation, etc. Generally, common places to check for mold growth include the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
However, humidity alone is not the only requirement for mold growthmold requires nutrients to grow. Any environment that has nutrients like cellulose or other organic matter can harbor mold if the humidity level is right. To further enable mold growth, an environment that has poor air flow and minimal disruption is ideal. For example, you can find mold on wallpaper, furniture, drywall, overly-packed bookshelves or overstuffed closets.
Problems With Clinical Studies
Such findings may explain the confusing results of earlier studies. For example, some authors have claimed links between childhood asthma and damp, moldy housing . While retrospective questionnaires reported more wheezing, cough, and chest cold symptoms in children from affected houses, the degree of bronchospasm was not different between groups. Thus, despite the claim that there was a causal association between moldy houses and wheezing, there was no supporting objective evidence. Some studies which claim that moisture and mold were associated with respiratory infections, cough, and wheezing also fail to show differences in asthma prevalence between case and control schools . Other authors report that despite claims of symptoms being more prevalent in case groups , actual asthma prevalence was no different .
Brain Spect Imaging Helps Treat Brain Toxicity Caused By Black Mold
Kimberlyn had booked a Full Evaluation, which took two days to complete. She filled out multiple questionnaires and history forms, talked to specialized counselors, and finally had a set of SPECT images taken of her brain. Just to really see exactly what was happening to my brain in the SPECT scans and that I do have a toxic injury due to mold was amazing, said Kimberlyn. They did such a good job with all of the evaluations, and they were so thorough. By the end of the second day, Dr. Arsalan Darmal had a whole binder of material that discussed the results of the testing I had done while I was there.
Dr. Darmal and the staff at Amen Clinics Orange County, CA discovered that Kimberlyn also had ADHD and a previous traumatic brain injury that was increasing the effects of the mold injury. When my brain swelled from the mold exposure, I was getting almost no blood flow to my prefrontal cortex, explained Kimberlyn.
Co-occurring conditions that can increase the effects of an injury or illness on the brain are common, yet can be easily overlooked. Kimberlyn was shocked to hear that the brain injury she had suffered in high school was impacting her life today and even more surprised that she had ADHD. The medication for ADHD has made a huge difference in my productivity and ability to focus. That was like the bonus prize that I wasnt even expecting, said Kimberlyn.
A Mold And Lung Cancer
The most prominent theory about mold-cancer relation explains that mold spores cause lung cancer to develop. Black mold gets a special mention because of its supposed toxicity. The truth is: mold does not directly cause cancer.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School concluded that there is not a direct link between black mold exposure and lung cancer development. Contrary to popular beliefs, black mold also does not have dangerous toxins. It has similar impacts with other mold types toward people who inhale the spores.
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Can Mold Cause Lung Cancer
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Prevention And Patient Resources
After major flooding or other exposure to water damage and mold, talk with your immunocompromised patients about how to protect themselves from mold:
- Mold grows where there is moisture, usually within 24-48 hours of flooding. Even if it is not visible, it is often present.
- Immunocompromised people should not enter moldy buildings or help clean up mold.
- If it is impossible for people with weakened immune systems to avoid a moldy building, they should talk with their doctor and consider wearing an N-95 respirator inside the building. Remind patients that this will still not fully protect them from becoming exposed to mold, but may reduce their risk.
For more information on mold cleanup, refer patients to the following CDC resources, or provide them with a printed copy:
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Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Symptoms of mold exposure can include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
- Sneezing / Sneezing fits
Health effects linking to asthma
Adverse respiratory health effects are associated with occupancy in buildings with moisture and mold damage. Infants may develop respiratory symptoms due to exposure to a specific type of fungal mold, called Penicillium. Signs that an infant may have mold-related respiratory problems include a persistent cough and wheeze. Increased exposure increases the probability of developing respiratory symptoms during their first year of life. Studies have shown that a correlation exists between the probability of developing asthma and increased exposure to Penicillium. The levels are deemed âno moldâ to âlow levelâ, from âlowâ to âintermediateâ, and âintermediateâ to âhighâ.
Mold exposures have a variety of health effects depending on the person. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Exposure to mold can cause several health issues such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, cough, and wheezing, as well as skin irritation in some cases. Exposure to mold may also cause heightened sensitivity depending on the time and nature of exposure. People at higher risk for mold allergies are people with chronic lung illnesses and weak immune systems, which can often result in more severe reactions when exposed to mold.
How To Get Your Home Tested For Mold
Tests to identify mold can only show that mold spores were present at a particular moment. They cant tell you when you may have been exposed, if you inhaled any mold spores, or what your health risks might be.
Large areas of mold are easy to see, and sometimes to smell, so testing isnt generally necessary. Also, all mold is cleaned the same way, so it doesnt matter what type it is.
The CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. The agency states that reliable sampling can be expensive and there are no established standards for judging acceptable levels of mold.
If you do want to get your home tested for mold or need professional mold removal, there are a few places to find a certified mold inspector in the United States.
finding a professional to remove mold
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In Severe Cases Symptoms Caused By Inhaling Black Mold Can Lead To The Following Health Troubles:
- Respiratory complications
Sometimes mold invades spaces that are hard to see and reach. It spreads fast, burrowing into walls and ceilings and hiding in cupboards and under carpets. Quite often, people are exposed to black mold without even knowing it. If you or anyone in your home is experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms without knowing why, you may be exposed to mold.
Black mold should be approached with extreme caution. Tackling black mold without proper knowledge and equipment is unsafe. The suspected contamination should always be examined and removed by professionals.
A professional black mold removal service will tackle the contamination with advanced equipment and technology. For instance, protective masks and gear should be worn at all times, to ensure maximum safety.
How Did I Get Mold
Like any other living thing, mold needs food and water to thrive. Mold problems start when a mold spore thats floating in the air lands on a wet piece of organic material , takes root and starts to multiply. Mold spores are everywhere in the air, including in the cleanest of homes.
In fact, every breath you take likely has some mold spores in it at low levels! In the home, mold usually grows wherever there is dampness and moisture, like basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms, or areas that have experienced flooding.
With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it impossible to tell what type of mold you have without testing by a certified mold inspection professional.
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Black Mold Symptoms: What Happens When Youre Exposed
Dr. Lauren Tessier is a naturopathic physician practicing in Waterbury, VT, and New York, NY. She specializes in treating mold-related, biotoxin and other complicating illnesses and is CIRS-certified. Learn more about her practice Life After Mold by visiting www.lifeaftermold.com. You can also find her on , and .
Stachybotrys chartarum, more commonly known as black mold, was first identified in Prague in 1837. A Czech mycologist discovered the mold growing on an indoor wall of a home. Despite an early discovery, the term black mold only became part of the normal lexicon of the average homeowner in the 1990s, when the nightly news brought the phrase black mold into homes across America. Though black mold is considered harmful, the details are still in question. This article is meant to help inform those who are worried about being exposed to black mold.
Links Between Mold Toxicity And Cancer
One of my roles as a Functional Medicine doctor is to be a health detective. When someone comes to me with a multitude of symptoms, I begin by uncovering the root cause and it is important to determine the role that toxins, including mold, play in a variety of health conditions .
While conventional medicine might not even have mold on its radar, Ive found that the indoor living and working conditions of my patients is extremely important to address. After all, most of us spend the majority of our days and nights inside.
Mold Toxicity can be challenging to diagnose and difficult to pinpoint the source, but when a person can change their living conditions and effectively detoxify, Ive seen incredible healing.
In this article, I take a deeper dive into the health effects of mold and what you can do about it. Keep reading to learn:
- What is mold toxicity
- What health problems does mold toxicity cause
- Links between mold and cancer
- Functional Medicine solutions for mold toxicity recovery
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Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .
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If Your Home Has A Mold Infestation Act Now
Mold can be hiding in your home, putting you and your family at risk of illness and allergic reactions from poor indoor air quality.
Whether its allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic mold, you must regain control of the situation today by removing the mold and getting your health checked out. While only a medical professional can handle the latter, our team of professional mold removal technicians is perfectly positioned to help with the former.
Take control today by contacting Green Works today.
First published: Feb 27, 2019
: May 11, 2021
Final Word From The Experts
Toxic Black Mold may look like a simple stain on your wall or ceiling, but it can cause a lot of damage to your quality of life. Mold toxicity is a stealthy condition, so it is best to have you checked for this alongside other tests and understand how mold affects the human body with prolonged toxic black mold exposure.
If exposure to black mold is confirmed, go to an expert on this field to obtain the best treatment possible. Sponaugle Wellness Institute has changed the lives of thousands of people who had been suffering for years due to undetected mold toxicity.
About Sponaugle Wellness Institute
At Sponaugle Wellness Institute we practice integrative medicine, combining the best of conventional and alternative medicine to focus on outcome-based treatments for patient. Our mission is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of our patients illness rather than to treat their symptoms. Dr. Rick Sponaugle, Director of Sponaugle Wellness Institute, is an integrative physician with extraordinary brain expertise having treated over 8,000 patients who were suffering with various psychological and neurological disorders.aView all posts by Sponaugle Wellness Institute
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Why Is Black Toxic Mold So Prevalent
Reports of severe illness due to toxic black mold have increased in the past 50 years. This began when people started building air-tight, energy-efficient structures that cannot breathe, delaying evaporation, promoting mold growth, and trapping mold toxins.
The transition from plaster to drywall in residential and commercial buildings in 1970 has also worsened exposure to black mold because this material is highly vulnerable to moisture.
Do I Need Professional Testing
In short, usually not! Because, remember the saying: no mold, no matter what color, belongs in a healthy home. And that is good news because a professional mold inspection with testing can run anywhere from $300-$750. In most cases where mold is clearly visible, knowing exactly what type of mold you have is unnecessary. We advise most of our clients to forgo the inspection process and just apply that money saved to the cost of fixing the problem. The EPA agrees that mold testing isnt necessary in most cases.
There are exceptions, however, such as when a mold inspection with testing is required as part of a real estate sale or if you require proof that a mold problem is present, such as for a legal dispute. If you think you may have a mold problem, but arent sure, then we recommend formal testing from a professional. And if you require clearance testing to verify an all clear after a mold problem is fixed, then professional mold testing is necessary.
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