Sunday, February 18, 2024

How Do You Know If Mold Is Dangerous

How Does Black Mold Get Inside A House

9 Signs You Have Toxic Mold In Your Home

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.

A water leak sensor can alert you to leaks in hard-to-reach places where the water damage would otherwise go unnoticed.

What Does White Mold Look Like

White molds can either remain white or change to green, black, grey, or practically any other colour over time.

When they first develop, white molds are very hard to detect since the spores are so tiny that they can only be seen under a microscope. Once colonies form, however, white molds appear as spots on a surface. They can be flaky, powdery, stringy or filmy at first glance. They can also resemble mildew, which is the early stages of mold. However, mildew is relatively harmless when compared to white mold, which can grow not just on surfaces but also deep within organic materials.

How Fast Do Molds Grow

Moisture behind baseboards and cabinets, wet carpet tack strips, in crawl spaces, basements, and other hard to reach areas are a ticking mold time bomb. Once enough moisture is present, molds can begin to grow in less than 48 hours! Even with fans going and mopping up the water, it may not be enough to prevent mold growth.

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Water In The Foundation

Look out for a build-up of water around your homes base. This can lead to foundational problems for your home if there is a lot of water. At your homes foundation, gathering rainwater can be prevented by sloping your yard outwards from your foundation. In the same line of thought, damp basements are another culprit. Usually, there is no good ventilation in basements. This is an indication that basements could contain higher humidity or moisture amounts compared to other rooms in the home. Also, basements are often colder which means more condensation occurs which leads to humidity and basement.

How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure

How to Know if Mold Is in Your Walls

If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick let the doctor know that 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 nose 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.

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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.

The Importance Of Removing Molds Moisture Source

One of the most common mistakes when dealing with mold is cleaning up the visible mold and calling it a day. This is not unlike treating the symptoms of an illness instead of the cause. Until you fix the source of moisture that is feeding the mold, it will continue to come back no matter what. Every time you clean up small spots of mold without correcting the issue, you expose yourself to more spores and possible toxins.

Its possible to perform some basic DIY waterproofing, but for the bigger issues, its best to leave it to the pros.

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Health Consequences Of Exposure To Dangerous Mold Types

Before we get into how to tell if mold is toxic, lets talk about why you need to take this so seriously.

One of the most frightening things about exposure to mold is that it will impact everyone differently. This means that, in some cases, you could go for months potentially even years without even realizing that youre being exposed to it. This long-term exposure makes you much more likely to suffer more severe consequences.

The first sign of exposure to black mold is usually some kind of respiratory illness. If you have a history of asthma and other breathing problems already or if you have a weakened immune system in general the respiratory symptoms will be more severe.

Youll notice yourself sniffling, coughing, and feeling like its hard to catch your breath. You may even feel like youre suffering from a cold, right down to itchy and watery eyes. Expect to experience headaches, exhaustion, and potentially even rashes across the body.

In more severe cases, the consequences to your health are incredibly serious. This is because the spores of the black mold have impacted your lungs.

You may experience nosebleeds, nausea and extensive vomiting, and even bleeding in your lungs. Youre also much more likely to develop bronchitis and other lasting respiratory infections.

In some cases, you may even experience extreme depression and mood swings due to a presence of toxic mold.

Worst of all, toxic mold has been linked to brain damage.

What Are The Health Effects Of Mold

How to determine if you have mold and mildew

The health effects of mold will differ depending on the type with black mold, for example, people can suffer from multiple health issues after long-term exposure. Symptoms that may appear if toxic mold is present in your home include problems with breathing, fatigue, sinusitis, depression, aches and pains in the sinus cavities, as well as respiratory symptoms such as burning of the throat and lungs, chest pain, and a cough that doesnt go away. Black mold can also cause fever and migraines.

Some symptoms of overexposure to Chaetomium mold include trouble breathing, allergy symptoms, neurological damage, and the onset of autoimmune disease. Other types of mold that can negatively affect health do so minimally and are usually characterized as asthmatic or allergy symptoms.

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How Do You Store Magic Mushrooms Properly

The best way to store magic mushrooms is to keep them in a container that minimizes their exposure to oxygen, heat, UV light, and bacterial or fungal spores.

For dried shrooms, an airtight container like a mason jar or ziplock bags with a food-safe desiccant packet can be sufficient for years if its kept in a cool, dark place. Some shroom users grind their mushrooms and mix with chocolate to preserve the psilocybin, while others submerge the dried mushrooms in honey for long-term storage.

How Can You Tell If Mold Is Dangerous 2

How to Tell If Mold is Toxic Watch out for a nasty smell: The most common sign that you arent dealing with any ordinary mold is a musty odor, sort of like rotting dirt of rotting leaves. Look for visible growth: While toxic mold often hides in your walls, crawlspace, or attic, sometimes it is out in the open, too.

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Musty Odor Often In The Basement

Mold gives off a clear smell of mildew. Unfortunately, some have come to associate this smell with basements and often dont realize that a musty smell isnt normal in a healthy environment. Because mold can hide out of plain sight, or often behind walls, its not uncommon to get used to the smell instead of realizing something is wrong.

How To Test For Toxic Mold

Health Risks of Black Mold (Stachybotrys chartarum)

If you have mold in your home, your nose is one of the most inexpensive devises you can use to detect it. Mold smells, and chances are, youll be able to detect the distinctive odor that taints the air around moldy walls, carpeting and other objects. The struggle is in understanding when mold is dangerous to your family or home.

The term toxic mold is a little confusing. Some molds, like Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold, produce mycotoxins, toxic substances that cause health problems in some people. There is no direct link yet between mold-produced toxins and serious conditions like idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in infants, but there are concerns that exposure to these toxins can exacerbate existing lung conditions and allergies, and possibly cause problems in otherwise healthy people. Common molds that arent considered toxic also have the potential to cause reactions in some people, which makes it important to get rid of any type of mold you find in your home as soon as possible, particularly if you suspect that someone in your family is having a reaction to it.

Mold can be scary. There are potential health implications for your family, and a mold outbreak can take a financial toll, too. Once established, mold can be very invasive, releasing millions of spores into your home. Many homeowners insurance policies now exclude or limit coverage for mold related problems.

First up, lets learn a little more about household mold.

  • Keeping Mold Away
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    Seek Social Support Restorative Resources And Adjunct Therapies

    Recovering from illness caused by mold exposure can be exhausting, isolating and incredibly stressful. Social support is essential for your overall wellbeing and for a return to optimal health. Additionally, specific tools may also be beneficial in bringing your body back into balance after an overactive stress response.

    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.

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    What Are The Health Risks Associated With Mold In The House

    The effect of mold has been studied for more than three decades, and it has been discovered that its a combination of a number of fungi which grow in filaments, and reproduce spores that drift away and are not detectable to the naked eye.

    Mold, because of its size is everywhere in homes, outside, and even in our food, and may not be obvious. Homes provide a very viable environment for mold to grow, particularly in a damp basement.

    Symptoms of mold in house

    The severity of mold symptoms is dependent on the number of spores inhaled and the length of exposure. Some of the symptoms include:

    Chronic Sinus Problems

    If you have a stuffy nose, it may not be a cold, particularly if you dont have any other symptoms. A study that was conducted suggests that as much as 90 percent of chronic nasal problems can be traced to mold in the house or in the workplace.


    Mold can also result in a nosebleed in some cases as a result of dryness in your home. You should pay attention to nosebleeds, especially if you dont normally get them. Cleaning your house with bleach-based products and ventilating your home can reduce the risk of having nosebleeds.

    Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

    Exposure to toxic molds can lead to Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis although the cases are rare. This is a result of inflammation of the lungs due to breathing impurities.

    Mold-Induced Asthma

    Skin Infections

    Neurological Problems

    Other non-specific symptoms have been reported and are listed below:

    Some Natural Recipes To Stop Mold

    5 Ways to Know There’s Mold in Your Home and Where to Find it
    • Tea Tree Oil

    Tea tree oil is one of several natural mold killers that can be used as an alternative to chemicals such as bleach. Combine about 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture where you see the black mold. Allow it to saturate, then reapply if necessary. Tea tree oil is said to be one of the best natural mold killers.

    • Baking Soda

    Baking soda works as a remedy for mold because of its antifungal content. Mix baking soda with water, and spray the content on the moldy area. Scrub off the mold using a brush, then rinse and respray the surface, without scrubbing allow it to dry.

    • Vinegar

    Spay undiluted vinegar on moldy areas, do not rinse or wash off. After a while, the presence of the mold will begin to fade and so will the vinegar smell.

    • Grapefruit Seed Extract

    Grapefruit seed extract offers an alternative to vinegar because it is odorless and contains an antifungal property that helps fight off mold. Add grapefruit seed to water and spray on the affected area.

    • Hydrogen Peroxide

    Hydrogen peroxide can be used to fight black mold. Spray the hydrogen peroxide around the affected area, let it saturate for about 10 minutes and then scrub thoroughly. Wipe the area with hydrogen peroxide when youre done scrubbing.

    Hire Professionals

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    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.

    How To Tell If Magic Mushrooms Have Gone Bad

    Regardless of the storage method and timeframe, understanding what to look for to identify shrooms that have gone bad or are dangerous to consume is essential.

    There are four things you should look out for before consuming shrooms that have been stored: visible mold growth, a sweet or unusual odor, spots on the surface, and any signs of discoloration.

    If your mushrooms are rotten, throw them out magic mushrooms arent that expensive, so it isnt worth the risk to consume potentially toxic bacteria or mold.

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    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 .

    I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family

    Do you have black colored or black toxic mold in your home ...

    There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.

    Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.

    Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.

    There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.

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