What Are The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
If you find black mold on your property, theres no need to panic. But black mold presents more health risks to sensitive groups like those with respiratory conditions or immune conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control , black mold spores can generate cold- or flu-like symptoms such as:
- Stuffy nose
- Shortness of breath
So while black mold probably wont kill you, it can make you feel sick and should be removed as soon as possible.
Does Bleach Kill Black Mold On Drywall
While bleach works well to kill surface fungus and remove the ugly marks on the walls caused by mold, it doesnt penetrate deeply into the drywall and so it leaves the molds roots undisturbed. To kill mold beneath the surface, simply spray undiluted white vinegar onto the affected area and let it dry.
What Are The Common Effects Of Black Toxic Mold
Black toxic mold can cause all manner of health issues when inhaled or ingested. The seriousness of health issues generally varies depending on the exposure length.
Even with non-toxic molds, allergic reactions may still occur. This is especially true for people who are more sensitive with their lungs. Alternaria in particular, although its a non-toxic mold stain, is known to cause severe allergy symptoms.
To prevent mold successfully, you must be able to find the cause of the moisture problem. Naturally, mold spores float in the air, much like pollen. In a wet environment, the spores will settle and multiply in numbers. In fact, mold spores can multiple in excess of a million spores in one square inch of drywall in a matter of days.
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Should I Move If I Have Black Mold
Not only does mold damage the surfaces it grows on, it can also cause serious health problems. Depending on your sensitivity to mold and the extent of the mold growth, it could be a good idea to move out of your apartment if mold is present.
How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic
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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Is Black Mold Dangerous
The short answer isnot really. But that doesnt mean you should keep black mold as a pet.
Everyone has different levels of tolerance to allergens like mold spores, but thats all black mold isan allergen.1 Those with asthma, respiratory allergies, or immune suppression will feel the effects of black molds mycotoxins more than most folks.
As one source put it, Previous reports of toxic mold syndrome or toxic black mold have been shown to be no more than media hype and mass hysteria. 2
But whether you feel black mold symptoms or not, its best to get rid of black mold as soon as you find it.
Health Effects Of Black Mold
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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Signs Of Black Mold And How To Get Rid Of It
Do you know if theres mold in your home? Mold grows in areas that are dark and damp, like bathrooms or around heating and cooling units that produce condensation.
The thought of any type of mold growing in your home might have you reaching for the nearest scrub brush and cleaning agent. Before you start scrubbing, be sure to evaluate what type of mold youre facing. While you dont want any mold in your house, black mold may pose more health risks than other types.
Learn more about black mold so you can identify it and prevent it from contaminating your home.
Types Of Mold By Color
Different types of molds come in varying colors and often spark distinct allergic reactions.
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How Does Mold Get Into Your House
Mold can get into your house from open doorways, windows and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that take air in from outside. Spores that begin mold growth can also attach themselves to people from outside their clothing, animals, shoes and carrying cases or handbags. Some materials inside your home are designed to encourage mold growth too. Wet cellulose material, including paper and paper products, cardboard, wood and wood products and ceiling tiles are primary culprits. Other materials like dust, carpet, paints, wallpaper, fabric and upholstery, insulation and drywall are common mold conductors.
What Is The Difference Between Black Mold And Regular Mold
The only two things you know for sure when you see black mold is you have mold and that it is black in color. Thats all. Scientifically, there is no mold genera or species that is called black mold or toxic black mold. Of the million-plus species of mold, about 20,000 species are indeed black.
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Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Individuals sensitive to molds may experience symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation when exposed to molds. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Exposure to black mold does not always present a health problem unless the person exposed to black mold is immunocompromised.
Stachybotrys chartarum is the infamous black mold initially associated with respiratory distress and the deaths of infants in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1990s. When wet, Stachybotrys looks greenish black and slimy, but can also look sooty and black. Its been associated with a number of symptoms some of which are highly controversial, including inflammation of the skin, cough, running nose, nose bleeds, a burning sensation in the mouth and nasal passage, cold and flu symptoms, headache, general fatigue, and fever. It may also cause pathological respiratory changes.
Aspergillus niger is dark gray to black, looks dry, and is very different from Stachybotrys. Health effects associated with Aspergillus niger include allergy and infection of the respiratory system especially in individuals with weak immune system.
How Can Toxic Mold Be Controlled
As mentioned earlier, molds are ubiquitous in nature, that is they are found everywhere â including your home and workplace, and hence it is nearly impossible to get rid of them. However, it is possible to control the growth of mold on surfaces by taking some precautionary measures which ensure that the conditions hospitable for mold growth donât occur in the first place. Discussed below are some simple measures which will help you do away with mold, and the health hazards they pose.
In conclusion, it is very important to monitor the humidity levels in your surroundings and take necessary precautions to make sure that you donât provide haven for molds by leaving damp corners in your house. If you live in some area wherein high humidity levels prevail, then you need to keep an eye for black mold growth and health hazards associated with it.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only. It should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.
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What Causes Black Mold To Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors.
When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as bathrooms, basements where sewer backup or leakage may have occurred, roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of mold. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Is Black Mold The Worst
Many people believe something called “black mold,” or “toxic black mold,” is a specific type of noxious mold that can severely sicken or even kill you because it releases noxious mycotoxins or mold poisons. But that’s not totally accurate. First, molds of all colors can cause illness. And second, there are many types of black-colored molds. The one most people have in mind when they refer to black mold, or toxic black mold, is Stachybotrys chartarum , a greenish-black mold.
Research published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry suggests S. chartarum may be linked to serious health problems such as mycotoxicosis, or mold poisoning. Other possible ill effects include body aches, headaches, memory loss, mood swings and nosebleeds. But the science isn’t definitive. A 2017 report published in Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology states, “There is no scientific evidence that exposure to visible black mold in apartments and buildings can lead to the vague and subjective symptoms of memory loss, inability to focus, fatigue, and headaches that were reported by people who erroneously believed that they were suffering from ‘mycotoxicosis.’ Similarly, a causal relationship between cases of infant pulmonary hemorrhage and exposure to ‘black mold’ has never been proven. Finally, there is no evidence of a link between autoimmune disease and mold exposure.”
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How To Prevent Mold
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold from growing in your home. The following tips will help stop mold from becoming a problem:
- Keep the humidity in your house below 50%. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help with this.
- Make sure your house is clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
- Fix any water leaks immediately.
- Use ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms that are likely to become wet such as the basement, kitchen, or bathrooms.
- Make sure wet floor mats are dried quickly.
Watery Or Irritated Eyes
When allergens are present, the body releases histamines as part of its immune response. This histamine release is what causes the eyes to water excessively when exposed to toxins from mold.
This reaction from histamine may be the bodys way of flushing out allergens and toxins. It can serve as a warning to you that your environment may contain dangerous black mold.
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Does The Term Toxic Black Mold Have Scientific Validation
If you have ever been in a damp, musty basement, chances are you were exposed to elevated levels of mold. Many of us have seen that little line of greenish black coating near a bathroom tub or window. In case you havent guessed it yet, thats more than likely mold. What happens next do you vacate the home is it dangerous what if I have kids. First, dont panic. How much growth do you see? If its a very small amount it can be cleaned with little danger of contaminating other parts of the living space. If more is visible its time to call a qualified environmental professional. They can help determine the best course of action to keep occupants safe and to remediate the issue.
Most everyone these days has heard that exposure to mold is dangerous. We hear news reports every now and then that toxic black mold is deadly. But just what is toxic black mold?
The term Toxic Black Mold has absolutely no scientific validation. It is a term made up by the media. Unfortunately, much like a video that goes viral, the term has resonated with both private companies that use it to exemplify potential dangers, and public officials, who seek to regulate the industry.
Signs Of Black Mold In The Home
If you live in a moisture-prone home, its important to keep an eye out for signs of black mold. Not only can you see and smell a mold infestation, but you can also monitor your family for any changes in health conditions.
Black mold signs and symptoms include:
- Musty odor or mildew smell
- Visible signs of growth on surfaces
- Discovering water leaks or water stains
- Sudden onset or increase in allergy symptoms
- New respiratory issues in otherwise healthy family members
Because these symptoms are similar to symptoms of other, more common illnesses, many people never attribute their health problems to black mold. Its important for all families to perform regular inspections and take a proactive approach in spotting the signs.
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Navigating All Of The Confusing And Concerning Information About Black Mold Is Hard But Were Here To Tell You The Truth
Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.
Few topics get us more upset than seeing misinformation publicized about toxic black mold, and mold in general, by unscrupulous companies and zealous media articles that seem more interested in sensationalism than fact-based reporting.
When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.
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.
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