Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Can Mold Exposure Kill You

What Does It Look Like

How Mold Can Kill You | True Horror | Gizmodo

You wonder, how will I know if I have black mold inside my home?

First and foremost, there will be an odor of a musty mildew-type smell. The smell could be in a room, or a small area depending on the presence of mold.

Since there is a variety of mold species, it may be difficult to tell if the mold that is present in your home is toxic or not.

Green or gray mold is likely to not be harmful to you or your home. If the mold appears to be dark green or black, it could be black mold.

In addition, the black mold could look slimy and wet and resemble something like Jell-O. When the black mold looks like this, there is a water source nearby.

Check in areas where there could potentially be water damage and also near hot water heaters, sump pumps, and HVAC systems to find possible mold colonies.

Without water, black mold can look like a powder or even black dust and will be dry.

Even without seeing mold, the toxic spores could still be in the air. Take notice if you find yourself coughing, sneezing, or having breathing difficulties when going into a certain room or area.

If you have any concerns about the possibilities of black mold being in your home, contact a mold remediation specialist to identify and remove any mold in your home.

Ok So Can Black Mold Kill You

Just because black toxic mold is the most dangerous type of mold, does not mean other types wont affect you. I know this kind of contradicts the theme layed out so far that the Mycotoxins gets you sick and not the mold itself.

But hear me out

If you have an allergy to a particular type of mold, it doesnt necessarily matter if it produces mycotoxins or not.

For example, you may have one child in your home that is experiencing upper respiratory issues after a leak caused mold in your home and another child who is having none at all.

That could be because the one child has an allergy to whatever mold is growing and the other child is not because they have no allergies.

Every person is different

Its not just allergies. It also depends on the health of a person. If a person has an autoimmune disorder and they are exposed to certain types of mold, it may be fatal.

That is why I cannot simply answer the question, can mold kill you?

Because the answer may be yes to one person and no to another.

There are links to health effects of mold exposure, but even the CDC does not list death as one of them:

A link between other adverse health effects, such as acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants, memory loss, or lethargy, and molds, including the mold Stachybotrys chartarum , has not been proven. Further studies are needed to find out what causes acute idiopathic hemorrhage and other adverse health effects.

Mold Toxicity Vs Mold Allergies

Often times confusion surrounds the different mold illnesses, specifically mold toxicity and mold allergies. These two separate illnesses illicit different reactions in the body and can affect a person differently.

Mold allergies are caused by mold spores that become inhaled and stimulate symptoms similar to those of hay fever . Mold toxicity, in comparison to mold allergies, is caused by the volatile toxic vapors that are dispersed by mold that in turn elicits a chronic inflammatory response.

Diagnosing this condition is very hard, especially for medical professionals who often misdiagnose it because of the wide variation of possible symptoms. The first step in diagnosing mold toxicity or even mold allergies is identifying mold within your environment, particularly in your home.

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Allergic Reactions Asthma Attacks Irritant Effects

Allergic reactions to mold are common and can be immediate or delayed. Repeated or single exposure to mold, mold spores, or mold fragments may cause non-sensitive individuals to become sensitive to mold, and repeated exposure has the potential to increase sensitivity. Allergic responses include hay fever-like symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Allergic reactions
  • Aggravated asthma symptoms

These and other symptoms may be associated with exposure to mold. But all of these symptoms may be caused by other exposures or conditions unrelated to mold growth. Therefore, it is important not to assume that, whenever any of these symptoms occurs, mold is the cause.

For more detailed information on mold and its health effects, consult:

Common Foods That Can Grow Mold

7 Symptoms of Mold Toxicity That You Should Look Out For ...

Fruits: Fruits with a high water content such as strawberries, oranges, grapes, apples, and raspberries

Veggies:Tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, and carrots

Bread: The likelihood of mold growth in homemade bread is higher due to the lack of preservatives.

Cheese: Both soft and hard kinds of cheese

Other foods like milk, nuts, meat, and processed foods, etc are also vulnerable to mold growth. Most molds need oxygen to carry out their metabolic reactions. Therefore, foods packed in air-tight containers serve a poor environment for the mold to grow.

Some molds love dryness and thrive in dry and sugary foods such as chocolate, dried fruits, and baked goods.

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How Does Black Mold Get Inside A House

Mold spores find their way inside by hitchhiking on clothes, pet fur, and air currents into your home. But spores cant get comfortable without plenty of water. This is why youll usually find black mold around water-damaged areas impacted by plumbing issues like floods or leaky pipes.

Materials like drywall, carpet, or gypsum board can soak up water, creating a perfect home for a black mold colony. If you find water damage at home, its crucial to remove all the affected materials to prevent mold from growing.

From Concise To Confused

Out of nowhere, Kimberlyn went from a highly-effective, busy, working mother, to a disorganized, uninvolved, confused individual who couldnt focus long enough to put together cohesive, coherent thoughts. She was no longer able to make decisions for herself and struggled to even get dressed in the morning. Insomnia, anxiety, and a loss of appetite accompanied the confusion. It was like I lost my personality, says Kimberlyn.

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Exposure Sources And Prevention

The primary sources of mold exposure are from the indoor air in buildings with substantial mold growth and the ingestion of food with mold growths.

While mold and related microbial agents can be found both inside and outside, specific factors can lead to significantly higher levels of these microbes, creating a potential health hazard. Several notable factors are water damage in buildings, the use of building materials which provide a suitable substrate and source of food to amplify mold growth, relative humidity, and energy-efficient building designs, which can prevent proper circulation of outside air and create a unique ecology in the built environment. A common issue with mold hazards in the household can be the placement of furniture, resulting in a lack of ventilation of the nearby wall. The simplest method of avoiding mold in a home so affected is to move the furniture in question.

Prevention of mold exposure and its ensuing health issues begins with the prevention of mold growth in the first place by avoiding a mold-supporting environment. Extensive flooding and water damage can support extensive mold growth. Following hurricanes, homes with greater flood damage, especially those with more than 3 feet of indoor flooding, demonstrated far higher levels of mold growth compared with homes with little or no flooding.

What To Do About Black Dust Around Air Vents

Mold Can Make You Sick After Floods

Whats an even better solution to stopping black mold? Keeping it from ever growing in your air ducts or anywhere in your house in the first place.

You can save yourself money, stress, and health issues by taking steps to prevent mold infestations before they occur. There are a few tactics you can use to stopping black mold from growing in your air ducts and home.

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Black Mold And Toxicity

When you read about molds, you may definitely want to know about black mold, as it is frequently singled out as the biggest culprit. Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold is a greenish-black mold. It was thought to be the reason behind a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis among infants living in a water-damaged environment in Cleveland, Ohio. However, there is not much research to prove the association between acute pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis in infants and exposure to molds, specifically stachybotrys chartarum.15 The guidelines from federal organizations suggest that mold growth, regardless of the type, should be controlled in an appropriate manner.16

Retrace Your Past Experiences

A case in point is a young male patient who came to Amen Clinics with complaints of sleep disturbance, anxiety, and brain fog. He was initially seen by one of our psychiatrists and referred to me for further workup. A careful history-taking found that these symptoms all started when he moved back home from college into his parents basement apartment. The whole family seems to have forgotten that the basement flooded on several occasions. Mold diagnostic testing revealed the patient had high levels of mold toxins in his body.

The first step is always to remove oneself from the moldy environment, and then treatment can begin. Treatment for a Toxic Brain typically consists of binding agents and other medications, such as antifungals, and metabolic support supplements. This patient improved with proper treatment and remediation of the mold problem. Here was a patient who didnt need any psychiatric medications he simply needed the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. What would have been the outcome for this patient without the proper diagnosis? He almost certainly would have been misdiagnosed as having a mental illness and treated with psychiatric medications.

The good news is that there are ways to determine if a patient has been exposed to toxic mold and that there are successful treatments available.

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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.

Health Effects Of Black Mold

Is this black mold? Never had an issue with mold before ...

According to the EPA, various types of mold can cause health problems for some people. Those health problems are primarily in the form of allergies such as stuffy head, headache, itchy eyes, trouble breathing, etc. These ailments can be more severe in the young, the old, and those with other health issues. The CDC basically says the same thing that mold can cause health issues in some people, or no issues in other people.

According to the CDC, Stachybotrys black mold is unproven to cause serious medical issues beyond those mentioned above. In other words, symptoms of black mold are only proven to be similar to other molds. The CDC simply states that various types of mold may cause health symptoms, to consult with a doctor if symptoms persist, and that no color or type of mold belongs in a building.

You may be thinking: If all we know for sure is that mold causes allergies in some people, and maybe some serious health problems in a small percentage of other people, then whats the big deal?

Well, our answer to that is to imagine yourself as one of those people who are sensitive to mold. Constant allergies, constantly feeling sick, and miserable in your own home. Theres even a scientific name for it: Sick Building Syndrome . Mold, along with other problems such as radon, Chinese drywall, etc., can cause Sick Building Syndrome. Suffering through Sick Building Syndrome is a terrible way to live, and we wouldnt wish it upon our worst enemy!

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Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

  • Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
  • There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  • If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  • Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  • Reduce indoor humidity to decrease mold growth by:
  • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
  • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
  • Increasing ventilation
  • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  • Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  • Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  • Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces by adding insulation.
  • In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting .
  • Molds can be found almost anywhere they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
  • 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.

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    At What Humidity Does Mold Die

    One way of controlling mold growth is maintaining proper humidity levels in your home. The volume of moisture in one cubic meter of air differs as a function of the air temperature. In other words, warm air absorbs moisture more than cold air. The ideal relative humidity inside your home is anywhere between 30% and 50% if you want to prevent mold.

    Using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens where steam tends to accumulate from cooking and showering, improving ventilation, and investing in a dehumidifier are all simple ways of keeping relative humidity low. Open widows frequently to allow for sufficient air exchange, but close them when it rains to avoid moisture intrusion and condensation.

    Mold In Air Vents: Harmful Or Nothing To Worry About

    Why Mold Is So Hard To Kill

    Your eyes are itchy and watery. Youre sneezing and coughing. You might expect these symptoms when you walk outside or play with your dogs, especially during the times of year that seasonal allergies are a problem.

    What if this starts happening inside your own home?

    If youre noticing nose stuffiness, wheezing or throat irritation whenever youre indoors at your house, the problem could be hiding in your air vents. You might be dealing with black mold.

    You can usually spot mold on the walls, floors, ceilings and fabrics around your home. But sometimes, harmful mold lurks in a place you cant see: inside your air vents.

    If you suspect you may have black mold hiding in your air vents, youll need to take action to determine what your problem is and take steps to make sure your family is not at risk. This comprehensive guide will help you understand symptoms, solutions and other important information about this health-threatening problem. It will also explain howpreventative maintenance from an AC professional can prevent black mold from ever coming into your duct system to begin with.

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    How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last

    The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:

    • What type of mold they are exposed to,
    • How long the exposure has been,
    • How well their bodies eliminate toxins

    Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.

    Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.

    A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results

    Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.

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