What Is Black Mold
Stachybotrys chartarum is a common black mold. It can also be a greenish color. It grows on cotton, wood, and paper products. It sometimes produces toxic chemicals that are found in its airborne spores and fungus fragments.
These are called mycotoxins and are dangerous if they’re eaten. There’s no link to inhaled Stachybotrys chartarum mycotoxins and deadly diseases. But there are risks for people with allergies, asthma, and other hypersensitivities.
There is no evidence that black mold causes symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, an inability to focus, or a headache. These symptoms have been referred to as “toxic mold syndrome” but are largely due to media hype. Yet some people are allergic to mold. It should always be removed from your home.
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.
Memory Issues From Mold Exposure
Did you know that exposure to mold in the home can cause memory issues, including short-term memory loss? Most people know that mold can cause respiratory problems, like sinus infections and asthma attacks, but many are surprised to learn it can sometimes lead to neurological problems as well, including memory loss, forgetfulness, poor concentration and a shortened attention span. Well tell you how mold can affect memory and how to get help if you are experiencing memory loss. You can follow this link to read about other health problems caused by exposure to mold in the home.
Read Also: What Kills Black Mold On Porous Surfaces
Where Is The Mold
We all think of mold as a bit of bathtub grime or perhaps a bloom on something that should be tossed from the refrigerator and not eaten. Perhaps it was a science project in elementary school: how many colors of mold are there?
Of greatest interest to us at Northwest Memory Center is the potential for mold to affect the brain. Heres the route: mold survives by sending out spores, which produce fat-soluble toxins called mycotoxins. Work by Dr. Dale Bredesen and others have shown that mycotoxins can cross the blood-brain barrier and disrupt normal brain function, resulting in cognitive impairment, numbness and tingling, thirst, light-headedness, excessive urination, temperature dysregulation, sensitivity to electric shocks, and more.
The molds we can grow on food left too long in the refrigerator are not particularly hazardous, though its most prudent to avoid inhaling their dust or consuming them.
However, there are other molds that pose far more serious threats to our health. The black mold that grows in unventilated showers or on the walls in water-damaged buildings can sprout Stachybotrys or Aspergillus, which can cause acute respiratory inflammation. Foods stored in bulk food bins that are seldom cleaned can grow molds such as Penicillium or Fusarium. The molds themselves are easily inhaled, and within the body they produce chemicals that are hazardous to humans, known as mycotoxins and are in a larger category of biotoxins
Diagnosing the Problem
Toxic Mold Syndrome: It Was Like I Lost My Personality
Kimberlyn, a 46-year-old married mother living in Arizona is not your average patient. She is highly detailed, analytical, logical, and carries with her a masters degree in pattern analysis. When Kimberlyn got sick, she applied as much as she could from her work life to try to uncover what was adversely affecting her. Even so, coming to the right diagnoses took a lot of work and required outside help.
Recommended Reading: Why Is There Mold On My Plant Soil
Your Brain On Toxic Mold: Seven Effects Of Mold Illness
A brain exposed to toxic indoor mold and mycotoxins is typically not a very happy brain. Research indicates that the spectrum of cognitive impairments caused by mold and mycotoxin exposure are extensive. Many of these mental health conditions are quite prevalent in our society. This should make us wonder how many of these cases might be due to toxic environmental exposures, such as mold.
So What Is A Mycotoxin
Mycotoxins, literally fungus poison in Latin, are secondary metabolites that can be produced by molds, and are not living organisms. Mycotoxins are a byproduct of mold. Not all mold spores produce mycotoxins, but some do. So the molds that produce mycotoxins are the ones that could be categorized as toxic or poisonous.
So, where is the line between an allergic mold and a toxic mold? That line is defined by the presence of mycotoxins, and is NOT defined by color. Mycotoxins are invisible and cannot be detected just by looking at the mold growth.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Mold From Clothes Without Bleach
Summary Of Health Problems
Many types of indoor mold, not just black mold, may cause health problems in some individuals.
Long-term exposure to high levels of mold in the home, however,
People who are most at risk of the symptoms of mold exposure are:
- infants and children
- people with allergies or asthma
- people with weakened immune systems
The main health risks related to mold exposure are allergies and irritation, which typically cause respiratory symptoms.
People with weakened immune systems may also have a risk of fungal infection.
Toxic Mold Symptoms Immune System
Toxic mold puts out chemicals which suppress the immune system. In fact, many immunosuppressive drugs are actually created from toxic molds. A person who is immunocompromised from being around toxic mold will more easily get infections and sicknesses.
- Immunosuppression immune system not functioning properly
- Infections reoccurring
Also Check: Is Hair Loss A Sign Of Menopause
You May Like: How Expensive Is Mold Removal
Symptoms Ofblack Mold Exposure
If you suspect that you have symptoms of black mold exposure, then it is important to talk with a doctor as soon as possible in order to prevent serious health problems. The dangers of black mold should not be taken lightly, because they can cause both short-term and long-term health conditions. Many people dont realize how severe these health conditions can be, so this article is designed to help you understand the serious nature of mold exposure.
If you arebeing exposed to black mold, it is best to talk to a doctor and a mold removalspecialist as soon as possible. The doctor will be able to help you treatsymptoms that are already present, and the mold removal specialist can clean upthe mold in order to prevent additional symptoms from occurring.
Also Check: Mold In Bathroom Ceiling
How To Treat Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold, scientifically referred to as Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, is typically black or dark green and often linked to serious health problems.
In fact, black mold exposure can lead to poisoning, or stachybotryotoxicosis a condition thats dangerous, particularly for young children and the elderly.
Even though black mold poisoning typically affects horses, cows, and pigs, humans can become infected if they inhale or ingest the spores.
Symptoms of stachybotryotoxicosis include skin rashes , throat and sinus irritation, burning eyes, and a decrease in the production of white blood cells.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Kill Black Mold On Wood
An Evolutionary Perspective On Mold Illness
Humans have interacted with environmental molds throughout our evolutionary history. As a result, our bodies have developed natural defense systems for addressing these toxins, including the mucociliary clearance mechanism in the lungs and the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system. However, in an unwitting example of evolutionary mismatch, our natural defense systems are no match for the potent mold strains found in the modern buildings in which we work and live. These buildings are designed in ways that promote mold growth, with poor airflow and myriad opportunities for water leakage. Most peoples defense systems cannot keep up with chronic mold and mycotoxin exposure, causing them to succumb to illness.
The cognitive symptoms of mold exposure also have an evolutionary component. Mold illness triggers an evolutionarily conserved phenomenon called sickness behavior, which includes sleepiness, depression, apathy, and social withdrawal.
Mold-induced sickness behavior is the result of an immune response that is intended to help you survive the current mold exposure and avoid future exposures. However, many people do not make the connection between their symptoms and their environment, instead living in a vicious cycle of constant mold exposure and illness.
Can Mold Affect Your Brain
Inflammation: Mold spores act as irritants, which can trigger the body to mount an immune response. This can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the brain can impair cognitive function, and in the case of chronic inflammation, this can lead to long-lasting cognitive impairment.
Also Check: How Can You Detect Black Mold
Avoiding Exposure To Mold
In order to recover from mold-related memory problems, as well as any other mold-related health problems, youll need to avoid exposure to mold. Otherwise, even with medical treatment, your symptoms may worsen.
Mold will need to be removed from your home as soon as you can make arrangements for the work to be done. If youre already experiencing health problems related to mold, your doctor may recommend not attempting to clean up mold yourself because the cleanup process will expose you to mold spores that may make your condition worse.
We suggest scheduling a free in-home consultation with a mold removal professional to discuss the work that needs to be done in your home. Even if you decide to tackle the mold removal yourself, youll get some valuable advice from an experienced professional, including tips on how to protect yourself from excessive exposure to mold spores during the cleanup process. We do recommend consulting your physician as well, of course. Follow this link to find qualified mold removal professionals offering free in-home consultations in your area.
The Bottom Line: Reach Out To Reliable Mold Consultants
Black mold can be quite dangerous to you and your family. You may suffer from serious health problems if you expose yourself to it. In addition, if its allowed to spread, it can make your home infested with mold as well.
To be sure that your home is mold-free, its best to reach out to reliable mold consultants who can help you get rid of black mold in your home. Doing so will allow you to spend good quality time in your home without worrying about your health.
Recommended Reading: Can You Smell Mold In Your Home
How Does Mold Affect Your Health Long Term
As for toxicity increases, people exposed to mould for the long term may start to experience symptoms such as persistent headaches and migraines, increased exhaustion and random muscle cramps. The person exposed in more severe cases may also suffer from sensitivity to light, unexplained weight gain and hair loss.
Four Types Of Mold In Our Home
Three of the mold spore types initially found in my home were known to pose threats to the respiratory system and/or brain. These included aspergillius, pennicilium, and cladosporium. The other mold, basidiospores, is not talked about much, as it is generally found in gardens and forests not in homes.
But the level of basidiospores in my home was 640, as compared to the levels found in the air outside my home, which was < 13. The mold inspector was a little surprised about the higher reading inside our home. He said that particular type of mold spore is usually found more outdoors than inside. Yet in my home they were like 600 times higher inside, than out.
Basidiospores is a type of fungus that comes from mushrooms. The spores travel in the wind, and can get inside your home through an open door or window. I used to open my front door to allow fresh air inside on cooler days. So its possible that it got into my home that way.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Black Mold In Toilet
How To Prevent Mold Growth
At the end of the day, the best way to prevent the growth of mold is to control the moisture in your home. There are several tools you can use:
- Dehumidify: Use a dehumidifier to reduce your indoor humidity. Try to keep your humidity level to around 40% relative humidity for optimal conditions.
- Use An Air Purifier: Take steps to reduce that risk of inhaling mold spores and other airborne irritants. Using a HEPA air purifier is a great way to eliminate microscopic particles for your indoor air.
- Proper Ventilation: If youve woken up in the morning to notice condensation on your windows, your home may not be properly ventilated. Consider installing a ventilation fan to improve the airflow in your home and limit the creation of moisture.
Alzheimers Disease Subtype 3
Alzheimers disease type 3 has been found to be a direct result of exposure to specific toxins overtime. Inhalational Alzheimers Disease lab results can present similar to chronic inflammatory response syndrome patients. However, their symptoms will look more like AD dementia.
Symptoms of type 3 Alzheimers disease include memory loss, trouble recalling words, and difficulty with familiar tasks, yet they also have symptoms associated with chronic toxin exposure, such as a metallic taste and increased sensitivity to smell.
A 2014 study found fungal macromolecules in the brains of Alzheimers patients, directly supporting categorization of type 3 AD. Additionally, a 2015 study found fungal infections in brains of 10 Alzheimers patients further supporting the concerning fact that mold can cause Alzheimers disease.
The light thats been shed on the causes of Alzheimers diseases has also revealed the different treatment possibilities for successfully reversing cognitive decline.
You May Like: What Kills Mold On Sheetrock
Black Mold Symptoms You Should Know
- Written by Luke Arthur on Apr 08, 2010To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by
Black mold is a serious problem that many people are faced with everyday, as it can spread easily and swiftly if not attended to.
Breathing these mold spores is hazardous to your health and can lead to many health problems.
In order to prevent more serious conditions, you should familiarize yourself with a few of the common symptoms that come with black mold infestation.
How To Prevent Mold
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold from growing in your home. The following tips will help stop mold from becoming a problem:
- Keep the humidity in your house below 50%. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help with this.
- Make sure your house is clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
- Fix any water leaks immediately.
- Use ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms that are likely to become wet such as the basement, kitchen, or bathrooms.
- Make sure wet floor mats are dried quickly.
Also Check: How Much Does Injection Molding Cost
Mold Allergy Skin Rash
People who are allergic to mold can develop a rash on their skin and experience other general symptoms of an allergic reaction. If you suspect you have a.Skin rashes caused by mold are allergic reactions to mold exposure. Scaly, itchy and dry skin are all symptoms of mold allergies. If you suspect mold in your home is the source of your skin rash, have the house inspected by a certified mold removal company.Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both moldallergic and non-allergic people. See also Why Do I Have A Rash On My Lower Back.
Also Check: Is Hair Loss A Sign Of Kidney Disease
What Does Black Mold Smell Like In A Home
Before I begin speaking on the dangers of black mold in a home, let me first introduce myself. My name is Victor Coppola- I am a building biologist at GreenWorks with decades of indoor mold and air-quality testing experience. I have come across countless homes that contain different types of molds throughout my career. But to me, black mold has always been the most concerning.
On many occasions, I have visited other peoples homes and caught the old musty scent of a black mold infestation. And when I inform the homeowners of this black mold smell, they often tell me, Its alright. It has been there for some time, and we are ok with it.
Not to burst their bubble, but a black mold smellis a tell-tale sign of an unhealthy place to live. As much as people might try to minimize the severity of a mold growth issue, nobody enjoys waking up to the smell of black mold in the morning and more importantly, it is extremely dangerous to your health.
But what exactly is black mold?
The idea of a black mold can be misleading. Black mold is a nickname used for a type of toxic mold called Stachybotrys that can range from greenish-black to oily-black in color.
In addition, black mold is categorized as toxigenic, not poisonous. When you say toxigenic, it means that although the molds arent outright harmful, they can produce toxins .
So, what exactly are the dangers of black mold, and how can you smell it growing in your home? Lets discuss.
Read Also: Is Mold Removal Covered By Insurance
More About Mold Illness And Its Effects On The Brain
Like what youve read?