Monday, May 9, 2022

What Are The Effects Of Black Mold In Your House

Health Problems Caused By Black Mold

What are the Health Hazards of Black Mold

Black mold in houses can lead to numerous health problems, though some people seem to experience more problems than others. Infants and young children, elderly people, people with chronic respiratory problems like asthma and those with compromised immune systems such as people with HIV often experience more health problems as a result of black mold than others. However, many people that typically enjoy good health begin to suffer health problems after being exposed to black mold on a regular basis.

Some health problems that may be caused by black mold include:

  • Headaches
  • General feeling of malaise
  • Chronic sinus infections

Unfortunately, these symptoms do not usually respond well to medications as long as you continue to be exposed to black mold in your home. The black mold in homes must be removed in order for recovery to begin, and even then it can take some time to feel well again.

This video explains how mold can affect your body.

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Where Is Mold Found In A Home

A research study found that Stachybotrys preferred a very high relative humidity within wallsapproximately 97%which indicates that relative humidity could be an important risk factor . For black mold, you may consider smaller microclimates that may harbor such humidity levels: sweating pipes, under sink cabinets, front loading washing machines, standing water, roof leaks, damp cars, windows with condensation, etc. Generally, common places to check for mold growth include the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.

However, humidity alone is not the only requirement for mold growthmold requires nutrients to grow. Any environment that has nutrients like cellulose or other organic matter can harbor mold if the humidity level is right. To further enable mold growth, an environment that has poor air flow and minimal disruption is ideal. For example, you can find mold on wallpaper, furniture, drywall, overly-packed bookshelves or overstuffed closets.

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What Is The Taxonomy Of Black Mold

Black mold is a fungus with the Latin name Stachybotrys chartarum. It is most commonly found in buildings that have experienced water damage or are generally damp. It consumes cellulose, meaning that it can live on things like:

Wallpaper

  • Those with allergies
  • People with weakened immune systems

In general, anyone who has problems with skin irritation, allergies, or respiratory problems can be susceptible to mold spores. If you do live with one of the above groups, you should be especially aware of mold if anyone demonstrates symptoms you should immediately consult with a physician.

Sneezing And Nasal Congestion

black mold in house pictures

While many things can trigger sneezing, its also a symptom of mold toxicity that should get your attention. If youve never had allergies or hay fever symptoms and youre positive you dont have a cold, those sneezes could be indicative of mold exposure.

Sneezing is the immune systems standard response to allergens. It could also be a warning sign that your home has a mold problem.

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What Are The Mental & Neurological Symptoms Associated With Black Mold Exposure

Black mold produces toxins that can kill neurons in the brain and can impair a persons mental faculties. Exposure to black mold toxins may cause mental & neurological conditions, like nervous disorders. Symptoms of mental & neurological effects of black mold exposure include altered behavior, mood swings, and irritability.

Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure In Adults

Exposure to black molds must be avoided at all times. With or without sensitivities, you can still experience poisoning. The following are the symptoms of black mold exposure in adults:

  • Itchy and red eyes
  • Respiratory irritations

Those with asthma and other breathing problems must be extra careful. The mold spores are enough to trigger an attack. If you inhaled the mycotoxins, the effect would be much worse.

The same goes for immunocompromised individuals. They are at a higher risk of developing an infection when exposed to black molds for long periods.

Aside from adults, infants and children are also vulnerable when exposed to black molds. Its actually a risk factor for asthma among children.

If you suspect that youre experiencing black mold poisoning, you should seek medical care right away. Youll undergo a blood test and skin prick test to determine if you have an allergic reaction to black molds. The doctor can also provide prescriptions to ease the symptoms. Ultimately, an allergy shot will help reduce your flaring immune system.

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Moisture: Investigating And Solving Problems

Mould will grow indoors if moisture is present. Moisture problems in homes may result from:

  • daily activities such as showering or bathing, washing clothes or cooking, if exhaust fans are not working properly or are not used
  • infiltration of water from the outside when there are cracks or leaks in the foundation, floor, walls or roof
  • plumbing leaks
  • moisture condensation on cold surfaces
  • flooding due to weather conditions
  • inadequate ventilation.

Moisture indoors accumulates when it cannot be vented outside and becomes a problem when building materials become damp or wet.

Moisture problems are preventable.

Unless the cause of the moisture problem has been identified and solved, mould will reappear. Once the moisture problem and its causes have been identified, they must be fixed. To prevent future problems, measures should be put in place to control sources of moisture in your home, for example:

  • Ensure rain, irrigation water and snowmelt drain away from the house by sloping the grade away from the building.
  • Keep eavestroughs and downspouts clean of debris and ensure that the outflow runs away from the house and not into neighbouring foundations.
  • Repair plumbing leaks promptly.
  • Use exhaust fans, ventilation and air conditioning systems to vent moisture outdoors.
  • Use moisture tolerant materials in areas likely to get wet .

Run a dehumidifier in damp areas such as basements or if you observe that moisture is condensing on cold surfaces such as window panes.

Is Black Mold Dangerous

10 Warning Signs of Mold Toxicity in Your Home – Black Mold Symptoms

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.

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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.

Nosebleeds

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:

Who Is At Risk For Mold Toxicity

While anyone can become ill from exposure to mold and its mycotoxins, some are more susceptible than others.

People who already have allergies or asthma can be more severely affected by mold toxicity than those who do not have allergies.

Also, people who are already ill, have immune suppression, or who have respiratory illnesses are more likely to have noticeable and intense symptoms resulting from mold exposure.

Symptoms of mold toxicity are relatively persistent and should not be ignored.

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Prevent Mold Growth With Routine Maintenance

To prevent mold growth, we suggest using a dehumidifier during the warm months and providing your home or business with the proper ventilation. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Clean surfaces with mold-killing products.

Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. Humidity levels shift throughout the day. Inspecting your structure for mold growth is an important part of routine building maintenance.

Seek treatment from a doctor soon as you notice any eye irritation, skin irritation or other common symptoms after exposure to mold, especially when symptoms persist. Its better to be safe than sorry. ECOS Environmental is happy to step in and test your home or business for mold and assist with the cleanup and renovation.

Mould Is Poisoning Australians

black mold in house images

Could invisible mould be the cause of your health issues? Exhaustion, sleep deprivation, body aches, triggered asthma, lack of motivation & brain fog are just some toxic mould illness symptoms.

I drag myself out of bed still exhausted despite sleeping for more than 11 hours. I prepare a bowl of food for my dog, and as I put it down on the floor, she looks up at me. Shes not eating. Again.

I wander into the bathroom and peer in the mirror the stupid rash around my eyes has spread even further.

My body aches, my hair looks stringy, oily and limp no matter how much I wash it. I have zero motivation and I cant think straight. Even stringing a sentence together is hard these days. Im sick really sick. And I have no idea what was wrong with me.

Id been to the doctor four times in the last 2 months each time I went in I was given another drug.

Oh youve got a rash around your eyes? Here, use this steroid cream for a week.

Yeah, but whats causing the rash? Ive never had skin problems. I ask.

Oh nothing. These things just happen.

I have no idea whats going on.

That is Chantelles story, and unfortunately a common story for many Australians. Her house was killing her and she didnt work out how until it was almost too late.

We spend an average of 16 hours a day at home and even more when aged under seven and over 64.

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How To Test And Remove Indoor Mold:

There are many ways in which you can test your property for mold, including:

  • ARMI testsThe American Relative Moldiness Index test is cost-effective however, it is not the most thorough as it can only detect a select few types of mold.
  • ERMI testsThe Environmental Relative Moldiness Index test was developed by the EPA and can detect up to 36 different types of mold within a home. Despite being able to identify more molds than ARMI tests, an ERMI test does not provide information on the source of mold production.
  • Mold clearance testingThis is a series of tests conducted by professionals to make certain that the areas of your home where mold was removed have returned to normal conditions.
  • MSQ/PCRThese tests can help homeowners identify the genus and species of mold.
  • Petri dish testsPetri dish tests are common and often sold in hardware stores. However, homeowners should be wary of the accuracy of these tests. There have even been numerous instances where at-home petri-dish test results have been wrong. Some unopened test kits have even been moldy upon purchase.
  • Presence Absence:These are simple swab applicators that detect mold in a home. If the swab comes back as green, then there is mold present in a home. However, these tests do not give homeowners an idea of the level of toxicity/classification of the mold or the moist area of the home that caused it to grow.

What Are Black Molds

Black molds is actually an umbrella term for several mold species bearing a black or dark green color. One of the most common is the Stachybotrys chartarum. But as much as its dark, the mold color has nothing to do with how dangerous it can be.

As with any mold type, black molds like warm, moist, and dark environments. At home, this could easily be your basement, bathroom, kitchen, or hidden parts of your room. Molds also thrive on materials that absorb moisture like paper, wood, and even dirt.

Many homeowners have a firm belief that black molds have an adverse effect on a persons health. This is mainly due to the dark color, but its beyond what you see with the naked eye.

Black molds are dangerous because it produces mycotoxins. These toxins are substances fungi, like molds, produce. Mycotoxins are also the culprit behind mold poisoning.

Also, mycotoxins can go airborne. This will make it easy for a person to inhale it. The bigger the mold infestation is, the higher the mycotoxin levels will be.

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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 .

Mold Prevention Is The Key To A Healthy Environment

Mold Toxicity: The Effects of Living in a House with Mold

The saying goes better safe than sorry for a reason. Many things, including mold, can be prevented from making a harmful impact on your health by following a few simple steps. Most of them can be done on a daily basis, without interrupting any other daily habits.

First of all, fresh air is your weapon in the fight against mold. It will lower the humidity level and dry wet surfaces such as walls, windows, curtains, etc. Try to keep your windows open as often as possible, especially in rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom. In case there are no windows, or if its too cold outside, your next best weapon are air vents, and even dehumidifiers if the humidity level is extremely high.

Secondly, you have to ensure your house is clean, because dust, spoiled food, and any similar dirt are molds favorite food. Of course, it doesnt mean you should be obsessed with cleaning, but things like washing the dishes every day, cleaning the excess water after the shower and vacuuming at least once a week will do the job.

And last but not least, if mold is already present in your home, there is little you can do on your own. In that case it is best to call professionals to test and confirm the mold type after which they will give you information about the remediation process and future prevention.

If youd like to get in touch with a professional mold inspector, contact Mold Busters. We provide all-inclusive mold testing, inspection and removal services at affordable prices.

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How Bad Is Black Mold Really

    You don’t want mold in your home. Black, green, orange, yellow no matter the color, it’s all undesirable. Yet you don’t necessarily have to panic if you see it growing on your walls or windowsills. Because while mold can negatively affect your health, and sometimes dramatically, you may suffer no ill effects at all from mold exposure.

    Mold is a type of fungus, and it’s everywhere indoors, outdoors and even in the air. That’s not too surprising when you consider there are more than 100,000 types of mold in existence, and possibly even millions. Mold gets into homes and buildings through open windows, doors, vents and ductwork. It can also attach itself to your clothes or pets when you’re outside, so you inadvertently bring it indoors with you.

    Once indoors, mold grows wherever there’s a lot of a lot of moisture. That’s why you’ll often see mold around leaky windows or pipes, or on drywall after flooding. It also grows easily on paper and on fabric, carpet, upholstery, insulation and even in dust.

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