Any Mold Can Be Dangerous
The pigmentation in molds and their toxicity are not in any way connected. There are a number of molds that happen to be black or dark green in color, resembling Stachybotrys, but do not contain any of the toxins that make black mold so dangerous.
It is fundamentally impossible to look at a mold and determine if its dangerous or not. Thats why its important to contact a professional when you discover mold. This holds true in the reverse scenario as well just because a mold isnt black, doesnt indicate that it is safe or non-toxic. Ultimately, while some molds may not be toxic or poisonous, they still indicate a problem and should be properly handled by an expert.
Dont attempt to remove them unless youre 100% sure theyre safe and youre wearing protective equipment. Its always better to contact a professional who can attack mold at its source by repairing cracked foundations or other sources of moisture.
How To Prevent Black Mold Growth
Conducting routine home inspections and maintenance are the best ways to deal with a black mold problem. Keep an eye out for evidence of water damage and visible mold on a regular basis. The conditions that cause mold should be corrected in a timely manner to prevent mold from growing further.
The extent of structural damage black mold can cause to your home, depends on how quickly you act to fix it.
Some of the ways you can keep mold out of your home is by:
To completely get rid of black mold from your home, you must address the root cause of the problem, so that there is no recurrence of mold. For example, just cleaning up the mold without addressing the moisture problem will not solve the issue because the mold will very likely return.
How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
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How To Remove Black Mold
Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.
Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â
Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:
- Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
- Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
- Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
- Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
- Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
- Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â
Does Mold Cause Tuberculosis
Despite recent progress and advances in medicine, tuberculosis is still not a disease of the past. In Canada alone around 1 600 new cases of tuberculosis are reported each year.
On March 24 this year, the Ontario Lung Association stated that tuberculosis remains a serious public health concern in Ontario, with one-third of all cases in 2009 occurring primarily in the Greater Toronto Area.
With that in mind, learning more about tuberculosis causes and what you can do to prevent it is the key to keep you and your loved ones safe from this disease. In fact many things we do in our daily routine can be the cause behind the weak immune system and increase risk of tuberculosis. Living with mold is definitely one of those things
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How Fast Does Black Mold Spread
Mold begins to grow as soon as its spores land on a damp, fibre-rich material and it can spread around the house within 24 to 48 hours. It colonizes in one to twelve days and grows at one square inch per day. In less than a week, it can cover surface areas of several square feet.
Unfortunately in most cases, mold is widespread and already a big problem before a problem is even suspected by the homeowners.
What To Do If You Find Mold
It’s pretty easy to determine if you’ve got a mold problem in your home, because you will usually see or smell it. There’s generally no need to do any kind of testing or sampling, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And you typically don’t need to hire someone to remove it, either, unless you’ve got a significant area covered in mold say, larger than 10 square feet . For typical infestations, here’s what to do.
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Preventing Mold In Your Home
The best way to keep your family safe from black mold is to prevent it from growing. Since mold grows in damp, dark places, you should aim to improve ventilation and reduce humidity in areas that are prone to mold.
In your bathrooms, for example, you can use a shower squeegee to remove excess water from shower walls and bathroom mirrors. You can also install a vent fan or open a window when showering to allow humidity to leave the room. These steps help reduce the moisture in your bathroom and make it more difficult for black mold to grow.
Make searching for black mold or potential growth areas a part of your spring cleaning routine. The sooner you catch a mold growth, the better chance you have to get rid of it before it causes health problems.
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Use A Humidity Monitor
Lastly, put up a humidity monitor in your home. This will let you know if the humidity levels are within a healthy range. By watching over the humidity level, you can prevent your home from being a breeding ground of black molds.
On average, the ideal humidity level for household settings is 30% to 50%. Once it goes beyond 55%, your home becomes an ideal place for mold growth. This is what you need to avoid.
A humidity monitor will keep an eye on the moisture level. This way, you can act fast to fix leaks and remove other sources of dampness.
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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 don’t 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.
To Test Or Not To Test
Stachybotrys is usually greenish-black and somewhat slimy or wet, but may also appear grayish with a sooty, powdery texture. Additionally, other molds may look similar. That’s why it is impossible to tell if any given mold is black mold by looks, smell or even location. The only way to determine a mold species is examination under a microscope. Testing is costly, advises the CDC, and isn’t really necessary. Any mold can cause health problems, as they point out. Therefore, you should arrange to have any mold in your home removed, no matter what type it is.
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Whos At Greater Risk Of Mold Exposure
Some people are more sensitive to mold, whether this is because of their genetic makeup or the current state of their health. Individuals with already-compromised immune systems infants and small children the elderly and asthmatics are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure.
Remember that reactions to mold are uniquely individual, since no two immune systems are alike.
What Are Black Mold Health Symptoms
We all know mold isnt welcomed in the home, but did you know too that breathing in the presence of mold can harm your health? There are over 2,000 different species of mold and the most dangerous of all is called Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as black mold or the invisible killer.
Why is black mold so dangerous? Black mold releases toxic spores that linger in the air and attack your respiratory health. The potency of these toxic spores has proved to be the most detrimental to human health.
Black mold often appears as slimy and greenish-black. If its water source runs out, black mold can also appear as dry and powdery. Black mold is also dangerous because its sometimes difficult to distinguish from other species of mold.
How Do I Know If My House Has A Moisture Problem
One of the best ways to tell is by checking the humidity. A home with high humidity likely has a moisture problem. Musty smells suggest mold, mildew or rot. Household odors that linger may indicate too much moisture in the air. Frost and ice on cold surfaces from condensation can be a sign of excess moisture in the air as well.
Who Is Most At Risk Of Mold Exposure
We come into contact with mold in three primary ways: inhalation, physical contact or ingestion. But every reaction to mold is different, as no two immune systems are the same.
Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Both your genetic makeup and your current state of health are factors that will influence your reaction.
The following groups of people are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure, because their bodies may be weak to begin with:
- Infants and small children
If youve been experiencing some of these symptoms and are concerned, .
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How Do You Know If Subfloor Mold Is Present
When mold grows on your subfloor it can be very difficult to find. Since it is under your finished flooring, you usually cannot see it. You may however smell it. Most molds produce a musty, pungent, earthy odor. Sometimes a mold-sensitive person will suffer from allergic symptoms when exposed by just spending time in a room containing mold.
Natural Ways To Clean Mold Off Of Carpet
There are natural ways to remove and clean black mold from carpet and they can be very useful if you prefer avoiding chemicals, As we discuss three natural options, keep in mind that they may or may not be ideal depending on your rug and mold situation.
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Is It Really Mold
Mold is a type of fungus that produces pigmented spores and can grow on the surface of wood packaging. There are thousands of molds that grow on wood, feeding on the structural polymers, sugars, and proteins in the wood. Generally, molds produce spores that are clearly visible as black, white, green, orange, or purple spots on the wood. There are even some molds that are not visible to the naked eye.
Mold spores can easily spread to other damp surfaces, including other woods products. Depending on the mold species, surfaces available, and environmental conditions, spores can grow and spread in a few days, but can also take months or even years to spread and grow. In addition, different wood species are affected differently by molds, due to the woods stored sugar content. Any untreated wood can be at risk of acquiring mold without the proper care.
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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, exposure to black mold can lead to black mold 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.
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How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Molds are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. We do not have precise information about how often different molds are found in buildings and homes.
How Are Mold Allergies And Exposure Diagnosed
There are no proven tests that show when or where you may have been exposed to mold. However, your doctor may check for mold allergies by reviewing your symptoms and performing one of the following tests:
- Blood test. Your doctor takes a blood sample and then sends it to a laboratory to measure the number of certain antibodies, which can indicate your immune systems sensitivity to different mold species.
- Skin prick test. Your doctor takes small amounts of mold and applies it to your skin using a tiny needle. Your skin will break out in bumps, a rash, or hives if youre allergic to that type of mold.
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