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.
Prevent Mold From Growing Back
- Use dehumidifiers in damp areas, such as the basement
- Fix leaks in the roof, walls, windows, or pipes
- Ventilate bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas
- Vent clothes dryer to the outside
- Use mold-resistant paint
- Dry areas that are wet or have been flooded within 24 to 48 hours, throw out anything that cannot be completely dried
Is Black Mold Dangerous Heres The Truth
The truth is, many people arent negatively affected by mold. However, mold can cause allergies in some people who are sensitive to mold. In these cases, it can make their lives miserable. Mold can also cause severe medical issues with a small percentage of people who have other health complications.
If youve seen a concerning growth in your home or been told that you have a black mold issue, you probably have a lot of questions.
Also Check: How To Remove Mold From Linoleum Floors
What Causes Mold Sickness
The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.
For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.
For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person
In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.
What Do Mycotoxins Do
These chemical substances can cause many health problems ranging from mild to severe. Even if you are not allergic to mold, you can be affected by mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins can be absorbed by the body in a number of ways including: through the skin, the airways , and through the intestinal lining . Detrimental health effects caused by mycotoxins can range from acute poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer.2 Chronic disease sufferers, such as people with immunosuppressive disorders or underlying lung disease may be more sensitive to molds and mycotoxins in their environment.4
One of the main ways people and pets become poisoned by mycotoxins is through eating contaminated foods. Foods such as apples, cereal grains, coffee beans, nuts, spices, dog and cat food, and more can become contaminated with fungi that produce mycotoxins.
To learn more about mycotoxins in foods check out the World Health Organizations article: Mycotoxins.
Did you know that toxic mold can affect your pets as well? To learn more about how mold affects your pets check out our article: Mold and Pets 10 Things You Most Likely Didnt Know.
Also Check: How To Get Mold Spores Out Of Clothes
Black Mold Is Toxigenic
Certain molds prove toxigenic, which means that they produce mycotoxins that cause ill health effects. A little mold is everywhere, but not all mold is poisonous. That doesnt mean you should ignore mold.
Most are familiar with black mold, which is toxigenic and produces mold spores. These form colonies and grow with other spores. High concentrations of these mycotoxins can cause mold poisoning in healthy people, too.
Mold poisoning is also known as mycotoxicosis. This condition affects the upper respiratory system with harmful cold or flu-like symptoms. Additional symptoms due to mycotoxins can prove fatal. Thats especially true for those with severe allergies, asthma or other conditions.
Green-black mold is also harmful. Its found on paper, dust, lint, fiberboard and other low-nitrogen content materials. It can develop and spread after water leaks, floods and condensation.
Until you know more, treat all molds the same due to the potential long-term side effects and health risks. Take mold growth seriously. You will usually see the mold colony and smell the signature musty smell.
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.
Also Check: Can You Remove Black Mold
Cracking The Mold Code
Many new studies have provided additional evidence that mold likely deserves serious attention. Fisk and Mudarri demonstrated in their June 2007 assessment that 21% of current U.S. asthma cases may be attributable to dampness and mold in homes, with schools, offices, and institutional buildings playing a similar unhealthy role. In a companion meta-analysis of 33 studies also published in the June 2007 issue of Indoor Air, Fisk and Berkeley Laboratory colleagues found that dampness and mold exposures increase the occurrence of a range of respiratory problems by 3050%.
EPA research biologist Stephen Vesper and colleagues have performed a series of experiments to develop better methodology for predicting mold exposure risk. After almost a decade and a half of work, they have created a Relative Moldiness Index that uses quantitative polymerase chain reaction to measure concentrations of 36 indicator mold species present in floor dust samples taken inside a building. This standardized analysis, described in the January 2007 issue of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, is used to indicate the amount of water damage in a home, providing more accurate exposure information that may help to predict health problems. They expect to soon publish information about its successor, the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index, which covers more buildings in more geographic settings, and benefits from improved sampling protocols and analysis of information.
How Are We Exposed To Mold
Mold needs organic matter to feed upon and moisture in order to grow. When growing conditions are right, mold releases spores and volatile organic compounds into the air, which may make some people feel sick.
Mold spores may be breathed in or absorbed through skin. Mold can also grow on food and may be hazardous if ingested.
Read Also: What To Use On Mold On Wood
Got Questions About Black Mold We Have Answers
Got Questions About Black Mold? We Have Answers!
You often hear about black mold in the media.
For instance, a news article featured a woman who thought she was poisoned by black mold. After being exposed to black mold for four years in a friends house in Niagra Falls, Susan Crane-Sundell stated: Its very close to killing me now.
Crane-Sundell began getting sick after about 18 months of living in the house. When she got sick, she saw a dozen doctors and underwent expensive medical tests. Recently, she found out that the cause of her sickness was black mold which has poisoned her system to the point that she is bed-ridden.
NuTech Mold is passionate about indoor air quality and specialize in crawlspace encapsulation, mold removal, mold inspection, mold testing, and water damage restoration. One of our goals is to educate consumers and business owners in the Suwanee, Georgia area about mold.
In order to accomplish this objective, we have launched this blog to offer you free and valuable information that will help you understand the many concerns caused by mold and assist you in making informed decisions in the event that you do find mold in your home or business.
With this in mind, the purpose of this article is to answer the following questions:
If you are concerned that you may have black mold growing in your home or business, please give us a call, 470-655-1212, we are here to help!
The Cost Of Black Mold Removal
The cost of black mold removal can vary depending on the size of the affected area and the type of black mold. For example, Stachybotrys chartarum is a type of black mold that is particularly harmful to humans and can cause serious health problems. If you have black mold in your home, it is very important to remove it as soon as possible to avoid health risks.
The average cost of black mold removal is $500-$4,000. However, if the affected area is large or the black mold is particularly harmful, the cost can be much higher. It is important to consult with a professional black mold removal company to get an estimate for the cost of black mold removal in your specific case.
Black mold spores can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches. If you or someone in your home is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor and have the affected area tested for black mold. If black mold is found, it is important to remove it as soon as possible to avoid further health problems.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Mold Killer
How Best To Remove Mold From Your Home
Here are some tips for how to remove mold from your home and prevent exposure:
- Check your home for places where mold might lurk, such as under sinks and in basement walls. Things to look for include visible mold growth, water leaks, and water seepage.
- Promptly fix any leaks you find, including leaky roofs and pipes.
- Dry damp surfaces, such as shower stalls, immediately after use.
- Control your homes humidity level with a dehumidifier.
- Keep kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms well ventilated.
- If flooding occurs, clean and dry the flooded area as quickly as possible.
Since mold can grow under carpets and behind walls, moldy homes dont always have obvious mold patches.
Mold smell is unmistakable but doesnt always accompany mold. If you suspect that your home is harboring mold but cant find the source, a home inspection will help.
How Do I Know If I Have Black Mold
Black mold gets its name from the black color of the mold spores. If you see black mold in your house, it is important to take steps to remove it and prevent it from returning. Black mold can cause health problems, so living in a house with black mold is not advisable. If you must stay in your house while a black mold is being removed, make sure to seal off any areas where black mold is present and avoid coming into contact with it. Wear a mask and gloves when handling anything that may contain black mold spores. Once black mold has been removed, take steps to prevent it from returning, such as fixing leaky pipes and ensuring good ventilation.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Kill Mold
Different Types Of Mold
Allergenic Molds. Allergenic molds are on the low end of the danger scale. They only cause problems for those with asthma and a predisposed allergy to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have mold allergies than adults.
Pathogenic Molds. Pathogenic molds will cause some infection. This is a big problem for those with a suppressed immune system. An acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia is commonly found with those exposed to these types of mold.
Toxigenic Molds. As the name implies, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health effects. They have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. The toxic chemicals found in these types of molds can be absorbed into the body when one inhales them, eats them, or even touches them.
A Spreading Concern: Inhalational Health Effects Of Mold
The issue of mold contamination has drawn the national and international spotlight on the heels of publicity about prominent situations, such as a hotly contended link between mold and severe illnessand one deathin 10 Ohio infants in 1993 and 1994 a major 2001 insurance battle over the moldy Dripping Springs, Texas, house of Melinda Ballard and her family the mushrooming mold infestations indoors and out along the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita slammed ashore in 2005 and the mold infestation that helped spur the February 2007 outcry over the treatment given to recuperating soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As recently as 25 years ago, inhaled mold was considered primarily a nuisance, not a serious health threat. But the growing scientific and medical evidence suggests the threat is widespread and, for some people, quite serious.
But many of the puzzle piecesexactly who is vulnerable, to what extent, and under what conditionsare still missing. The vast information gaps that remain continue to feed significant controversy in the legal, insurance, political, scientific, medical, public health, and building design, construction, management, and maintenance arenas.
Don’t Miss: Are Black Mold Symptoms Reversible
How Do I Remove Black Mold
Black mold can be removed with a variety of commercial cleaners, bleaches, and/or disinfectants. It is important to follow the instructions on the product label and take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to black mold spores. Once black mold has been removed, take steps to prevent it from returning, such as fixing leaky pipes and ensuring good ventilation.
Identifying Mold In Your Home
- Appearance or dark spots or clusters. Look for spots or clustered growths, especially in warm, moist rooms.
- Musty smell. You may be able to identify mold by a musty smell.
- Allergies or asthma. If you experience asthma attacks or allergy symptoms in your home, that may also indicate theres mold.
- Potential causes. Look for causes of mold growth, like a leak, water damage, lack of ventilation, or old food, papers, or wood.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mold In Crawl Space
How To Know If You Have Black Mold In Your House
Mold isnt always visible. If you can see mold, its only a sign of the real potential health risk the unhealthy levels of harmful types mold in the air of your home or workplace.
Airborne mold is all around us in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold determines the potential health risk. Most of us are accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.
Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture , many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or your pets.
These signs could mean you have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:
- Allergic symptoms
- A damp or musty odor in one or more places
- Frequent headaches
- The air in the home feels different
- Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
- You previously tried removing mold yourself
Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when youre out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you cant see mold.
Getting A Diagnosis For Mold Sickness
While symptoms to mold exposure are not uncommon , many health care professionals struggle to pinpoint the cause behind these symptoms.
Often only a few people or one person and not everyone, in a home or workplace experience symptoms. This is frustrating and confusing for the sick person. When their doctors cant find any reason for the illness, they can start to feel like the sickness is all in their mind.
People suffering from mold exposure can often be misdiagnosed with disorders such as:
Also Check: Can Black Mold Cause Nausea
What Should I Do If I Have Black Mold In My House
Black mold can cause health problems, so living in a house with black mold is not advisable. If you must stay in your house while black mold is being removed, make sure to seal off any areas where black mold is present and avoid coming into contact with it. Wear a mask and gloves when handling anything that may contain black mold spores. Once black mold has been removed, take steps to prevent it from returning, such as fixing leaky pipes and ensuring good ventilation.
Mold In The Workplace
Some workplaces, such as poorly ventilated factories, greenhouses, and vineyards, may house large amounts of mold.
Any workplace that contains lots of old paper products, such as used book stores, may be a source of mold. Paper contains cellulose, an organic food source that certain mold species thrive upon. Old books thatve been housed in humid conditions may be filled with millions of mold spores.
Farms and stables may also harbor large amounts of moldy hay. Mold toxins often develop in hay after a delayed harvest. Hay that contains mold is dangerous for humans to breathe in and for horses to eat.
Recommended Reading: How To Rid Body Of Mold
How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick, inform your doctor about the mold and your symptoms right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
- Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
- IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
- Urine mycotoxins test
- A fungal culture of the nasal sinuses
The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.