Preventing Black Mold Growth
Prevention is the best medicinethis is particularly true for black mold exposure.
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The most important factor in preventing mold growth is controlling the moisture levels in your home. Be sure to check areas particularly susceptible to water leakage and high humidity, and quickly address any leaks or areas where water may be getting into your home. For high humidity rooms such as your bathroom, be sure to install an exhaust fan and ensure the room receives a steady airflow and plenty of natural sunlight if possible.
Overall, you should aim to keep the humidity level in your home below 50 percent. If you live in a humid climate, dehumidifiers and air conditioners can radically reduce the risk of black mold buildup. Even smaller measures like hanging up your towels after taking a shower or properly drying your utensils can go a long way in preventing black mold growth.
If you do have a black mold outbreak, its critical to find the source of it in your home and eliminate it as soon as possible. This begins by conducting a mold analysis throughout your home. Make sure to target trouble areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. From there, you can then remove the mold using either chemical or natural cleaning methods. Do note that even if you are able to identify the mold sources in your home, it may grow back again. You need to routinely check trouble areas and keep them clean.
Reporting Black Mold In Your Workplace
How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
Are you sick and suspect it might be from mold?
Determining whether exposure to mold is making you sick isnt always easy.
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression.
Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure. Many people suffering from mold illness struggle to get a proper diagnosis and investigation.
Its common to think my house is clean it cant be mold! However, mold comes in many forms. In this article, well share what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
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When Should You Test Your Home For Mold Exposure
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , if visible mold is present on inspection, testing is usually unnecessary. There are no Environmental Protection Agency or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room complies with any health regulations concerning mold exposure. Likewise, the CDC does not recommend routine sampling and testing of mold in the home. Health officials havenât defined tolerable or acceptable limits of mold exposure for humans, and since individuals vary in their susceptibility to mold, testing cannot reliably predict the degree of health risks from any occurrence of mold.
When mold has previously been identified and cleanup procedures have been undertaken, sampling and testing may be carried out if necessary by qualified professionals to determine that adequate cleaning of a building has occurred.
What Is A Mold Allergy
If you have an allergy that occurs over several seasons, you may be allergic to the spores of molds or other fungi. Molds live everywhere. Upsetting a mold source can send the spores into the air.
Mold and mildew are fungi. They are different from plants or animals in how they reproduce and grow. The seeds, called spores, travel through the air. Some spores spread in dry, windy weather. Others spread with the fog or dew when humidity is high.
Inhaling the spores causes allergic reactions in some people. Allergic symptoms from fungus spores are most common from July to early fall. But fungi grow in many places, both indoors and outside, so allergic reactions can occur year round.
Although there are many types of molds, only a few dozen cause allergic reactions. Many molds grow on rotting logs and fallen leaves, in compost piles and on grasses and grains. Unlike pollens, molds do not die with the first killing frost. Most outdoor molds become inactive during the winter. In the spring they grow on plants killed by the cold. Indoors, fungi grow in damp areas. They can often be found in the bathroom, kitchen or basement.
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Who Pays For Mold Remediation
Mold remediation may be covered by homeowner’s insurance policies under the “fungi” section. The typical amount covered by homeowner’s insurance is $10,000 per occurrence. In certain cases, when an uncovered loss on the policy caused mold growth, this will be excluded.
Knowing your homeowner’s insurance policy is always a good idea when determining if you are covered or not.
If homeowner’s insurance does not cover you, there is a good chance you will be responsible financially.
What To Do For Black Mold
If you see a patch of what you think might be black mold, donât touch it remember, says Anderson, that disturbing the mold is what causes the spores to release its toxins. âDonât attempt to wipe it or spray it or put any chemical on itthatâs just going to make it angry,â she says. âThe best thing to do is contain it.â She recommends covering the entire area with plastica bag or dropcloth will worksecured around the outer edge of the mold area . âIf you have HVAC running into that room, shut the vents so theyâre not pulling anything into the other rooms,â Anderson adds.
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Ive Found That 99% Of My Clients Have Mold Toxicity But Once They Detoxify Mold Correctly They Can Significantly Reduce Their Mast Cell Activation
A lot of advice out there for people with major health issues, though, doesnt take into account Mold Toxicity.
Many people with Mold Toxicity are often highly sensitive and have trouble detoxifying.
As a result, they tend to not get better from that advice. Worse yet, it can make them even sicker.
I have taken the wrong advice and suffered badly from the consequences many times. I dont want that to happen to you.
If you have some of the symptoms above, it is likely that you have inflammation and toxicity from mold. So, I recommend getting tested and addressing Mold Toxins.
However, it is important to do it correctly and slowly, step-by-step. Detoxifying mold in the wrong order or too fast can make you very sick.
My MC360 Precision Mold Detox Protocol is science-based and optimized through working with over 600 very sensitive clients with Mold Toxicity.
Currently, my practice has a 1-year waiting list.
But I know there are people who need this information who cant wait a year. So, Im teaching my detox method, along with all the science, in my MC360 Precision Mold Master Class.
I want you to experience your own health breakthroughs, just like I did. I want you to get back to living your best life!
Your Wallpaper Is Peeling
Moist, peeling wallpaper is an ideal location for mold to thrive. Like all types of mold, black mold spreads when it is able to attach to a host like paper or wallboard, and is able to remain moist.
A plus for the mold colony is that the peeling paper provides ample cover for it to avoid the drying effects of sunlight.
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Mold Toxicity: Pathways Diseases & Interventions
Read Time: 9 Minutes
Mold, fungi, and bacteria that thrive in damp environments with inadequate ventilation emit spores, allergens, mycotoxins, endotoxins, -glucans, and microbial volatile organic compounds into the air.1 These submicron fungal fragments may contribute to adverse health effects like asthma due to their small size and biological composition.2 Fungal fragments can stay airborne longer than fungal spores, which are larger, and can penetrate deeply into lungs and be deposited due to their small aerodynamic diameter.2
Evidence suggests these emissions may act as inflammatory mediators and may damage airways, leading to respiratory disease.3 The causative agents of adverse health effects involving mold have not been identified conclusively, but the World Health Organization considers an excess level of any of these agents in the indoor environment a potential health hazard.1 Extreme dampness, mold, and fungal fragments also contribute to indoor air pollution, which is considered a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.1
- Condensation on surfaces or in structures such as windows
- Visible mold, especially black mold
- Perceived moldy odor
- Poorly maintained air conditioning systems
- A history of water damage 1
Asthma & Allergic Respiratory Diseases
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Can Black Mold Be Cleaned
Because black mold can be toxic, it should always be removed and never cleaned. Personal Protective Equipment will need to be used when removing. Furthermore, if Stachybotrys has been confirmed present, a proper containment barrier should be installed to prevent cross-contamination of airborne mold spores.
Is this something you should try for yourself?
Well, sort of
Here they say:
“Who should do the cleanup depends on several factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet , in most cases, you can handle the job yourself.”
Which is excellent and for the most part correct, but in my professional opinion too black and white and doesn’t cover the grey areas.
They do say “one consideration” so they are indicating it’s not the absolute rule.
Black mold because it can be harmful to one’s health should always be handled by a trained professional.
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How To Test For Mold Exposure
Testing for mold exposure can confirm whether individuals have internal indications of exposure to harmful fungus. Homes and commercial buildings can be tested to determine whether high concentrations of fungus spores, microbial volatile organic compounds or mycotoxins are present that may make exposure more significant.
The best mold tests are performed by trained medical or mold remediation experts and return results confirmed by lab analysis. This applies to analysis of air, batch or surface samples taken at a location as well as medical lab testing for immunological indications of mold exposure.
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What Makes Black Mold Dangerous
Theres a lot of controversy surrounding black mold and its health effects. While some people are relatively unaffected by exposure to black mold, others have allergic reactions. Research suggests that in cases of acute exposure, a person may even experience severe symptoms, including lung disease and neurotoxic effects.
The health effects of black mold not only depends on the individual exposed, but also on the particular mold colony. Black mold can release a number of byproducts, including spores, mold fragments, microbial volatile organic compounds and mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are the most dangerous of these byproducts, but not all black mold colonies release them.
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Clear Out Other Pathogens
Mold illness can inhibit your immune system. Then, chronic infections such as Lyme disease may flare. And parasites may move in.
On the flip side, parasites and other infections can weaken your immune system. That makes you more vulnerable to mold toxicity.
Either way, kicking out unwanted critters helps reduce the strain on your immune system.
Moreover, mold spores may hide inside parasites. And, some parasitic worms can block your bile ducts, interfering with toxin drainage. This means you may not be able to fully recover from mold illness until you give parasites the boot.
In short, there are many strategies to help you overcome mold toxicity.
Still, youll be fighting an uphill battle if you continue to live or work in a moldy building. That can make you sensitive to health measures and other get-well strategies. So, dont overlook this elephant in the room.
How Do I Get Rid Of Black Mold
Your best option for getting rid of it involves calling a professional remediation service. The remediation contractors use professional equipment and cleaning chemicals to kill the spores and eliminate infestations. They also wear safety gear like goggles and respirator masks to avoid breathing it in and cordon off the areas where they work to prevent spores from spreading to other parts of your home.
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What Is Mycotoxin Poisoning
The most serious problems caused by mold are caused by small molecules call mycotoxins, which are produced by mold when they feel threatened. Think of this like the ink an octopus produces or when a skunk sprays someone. For some mycotoxins, low levels are not problematic for most individuals.
These mycotoxins are found in low amounts in food. However, other mycotoxins such as the Trichothecenes are toxic in much smaller quantities, but only in water-damaged buildings, and they are much more toxic. Trichothecenes are produced by Stachybotrys, otherwise known as black mold.
There are multiple different health effects that are caused by mycotoxins, and these symptoms are influenced by genetics, sex, age of the patient. The number of mycotoxins patients absorbed and the type of mycotoxin also play a role in symptoms . However, common signs are chronic fatigue, ADHD, rashes, COPD, and depression. Less common symptoms include dementia, Parkinsons, and cancer. Mycotoxins also weaken the immune system, which leads to other secondary infections to occur .
Early Signs Of Black Mold In Your Home
Identifying mold growth typically happens after a water breach. This may be a leak, a flood, or even simply a condensation that is allowed to remain.
As water is a necessary ingredient for mold growth, discovering this type of breach is an indication that you may also find mold thriving in your home.
Some of the signs of black mold in your house may be a musty smell, dark-colored tile grout, and warped drywall.
In many cases, homeowners are able to easily identify the obvious places where mold has spread. The issue comes in the more hidden spaces that require professional assistance to identify and properly dry, disinfect, and restore.
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What About Tiny Mold Toxins Aka Mycotoxins
As mentioned above, though the Stachybotrys spores may be sticky and not easily airborne, there are other airborne contaminants to worry about: tiny fragments of mold and special toxins called mycotoxins. These contaminants may cause illness in those who are exposed, with mycotoxins being the most concerning.
You can think about mycotoxins as the molds defense: they are used for protection from environmental threats. Mycotoxins are minute organic compounds as small as 0.03 microns. These tiny molecules can stick to particles already floating through the air. Studies have found Stachybotrys mycotoxins on mold fragments that have broken off from a mold colony after it has been disturbed . This can be harmfulairborne particles less than 1.0 microns are easily breathed into the respiratory system, where they can cause irritation and potential allergic reactions. If this occurs, mycotoxins could accumulate onto local tissue and ultimately enter the bloodstream. The study by Brasel cited above showed that trichothecenes could be measured in the blood of people exposed to an indoor environment that had Stachybotrys.
Stachybotrys creates a class of mycotoxins referred to as trichothecenes. Trichothecenes have been widely studied and have been proven to be detrimental to the health of humans, animals and plants. In fact, trichothecenes have been investigated for the purpose of biological warfare needless to say, they are not something to which you want to be exposed.
How To Prevent Mold And Mildew
- Keep things clean.
Mold is a nasty problem to deal with for any home or business-owner. In the wake of a disaster such as a storm, its possible for mold to start growing in as quickly as 1-2 days. Whats even more alarming is when that mold turns out to be toxic, posing a serious risk to you and anyone else on your property.
To clarify, its not that the mold you are dealing with in and of itself is toxic. Its that certain strains of mold, like the notorious Stachybotrys chartarummore commonly known as black moldproduce mycotoxins. Its these mycotoxins which may cause a burning sensation in the throat and lungs, chest pain, persistent coughing, fever, rashes, and migraines. Prolonged exposure to Stachybotrys may lead to serious health issues, including breathing problems, fatigue, sinusitis and other pain in the sinus cavities, and even depression.
How to tell if you may be dealing with toxic mold in your home:
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