Is Black Mold Dangerous
There have been reports about black mold leading to illness. Black mold has been linked to lung problems in babies and children, including bleeding in the lungs. There is no scientific evidence to support that link.
Researchers have not found evidence that allergies to black mold are worse than allergies to other types of mold. People who develop respiratory symptoms associated with sick building syndrome have blamed black mold. The evidence suggests that mold-related illness can result from multiple types of mold, not just black mold.
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.
Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
You may wonder if you are experiencing symptoms of black mold exposure or if youre dealing with ordinary environmental allergies such as hay fever or something else. We cant diagnose you or offer medical advice, but we can tell you about the typical black mold health risks and what to do if you think black mold is making you sick.
But lets start at the beginning.
Read Also: How To Remove Mold From Skin
What Does Harmless Black Mold Look Like
Harmless black mold looks like any other type of mold, but its a little more common in certain areas.
Like all molds, harmless black mold is a fungus that thrives on moisture and grows on surfaces that are damp or wet. It can be found in places like the bathroom and kitchen, where humidity is higher and the temperature tends to be warmer.
As with all molds, harmless black molds growth depends on how much water there is available for it to feed on. If you find a patch of harmless black mold growing on your shower curtain or in your basement, it could be due to excessive moisture in those areas.
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, it can also appear as dry and powdery. Black mold is also dangerous because its sometimes difficult to distinguish from other species of mold.
The following are health symptoms associated with black mold exposure:
- Eye irritation
In severe cases, symptoms caused by inhaling black mold can lead to the following health troubles:
- Respiratory complications
Sometimes mold invades spaces that are hard to see and reach. It spreads fast, burrowing into walls and ceilings and hiding in cupboards and under carpets. Quite often, people are exposed to black mold without even knowing it. If you or anyone in your home is experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms without knowing why, you may be exposed to mold.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Mold In The Closet
How To Treat Mold Symptoms
When you are experiencing the health effects of black mold, two steps need to be taken in order to correct the problem: First, it is necessary to visit the doctor and treat the health effects with medical techniques and second, it is very important to clean up the home in order to minimize the dangers of black mold.
This cleanup process is a critical part of stopping the symptoms because if you simply treat the health problems while you continue to be exposed, then the health problems will only continue to get worse. Medical treatments will not effectively heal your body until you have removed the source of mold exposure.
Cleaning up the mold involves identifying all of the areas of the home that are growing mold. These areas are usually exposed to high levels of humidity or wetness, and the building materials usually need to be replaced. For example, if there is mold growth in the bathroom, then it is likely that the walls need to be opened in order to clean up mold growth within as well. The area should be repaired with brand new materials.
If you are doing the cleanup yourself, then the dangers of black mold increase during the cleanup process because you will be increasing your exposure to the mold. In order to avoid the health effects of black mold, it is necessary to take precautionary steps in order to prevent cross contamination and also minimize the exposure. Wearing goggles, a mask, and other protective clothing can help you to avoid exposure to the spores.
How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They 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 where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many 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 some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Read Also: What Kills Black Mold On Drywall
Can Black Mold Cause Respiratory Problems
In a residential setting, people are generally exposed to black mold through breathing in mold spores and mycotoxins. When ingested, mold spores have the potential to cause irritation and a burning sensation in air passages, such as the nasal cavity, mouth, and throat.
Some common symptoms for respiratory issues from black mold exposure include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Nose bleeds
- Runny, itchy, or stuffy nose
- Bleeding gums
- Burning sensation of the mouth
- Bleeding or swelling in the lungs
What Type Of Doctor Should I See For Black Mold Health Problems
The CDC recommends first consulting a family or general health care provider that can refer you to a specialist if necessary. The type of specialist depends on the health problem. Allergists treat patients with mold allergies, infectious disease physicians treat mold infections, and pulmonologists treat lung infections.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Black Mold Off Wood Deck
What Causes Black Mold
Molds are an important part of our environment. They decompose dead plants and animals. All types of mold will grow if the conditions are right. Mold grows and spreads quickly in the right conditions, which include:
- Moisture level at or over 70%
- Adequate food source
- Temperatures that range from 40 to 100 degrees F
Mold can grow anywhere in your house that provides these conditions. The most likely places mold will grow are:
- Anywhere that there has been a water leak.
- Damp rooms without adequate ventilation, such as bathrooms.
- Basements where humidity tends to be higher.
- Any areas with a lot of water condensation.
- Any areas where flooding has occurred.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Mold And Mildew
How Does Black Mold Form
The main reason behind the formation of black mold is moisture, which can be caused by several things, such as, water leakage, lack of proper ventilation, flooding, irregular maintenance, humidifiers, condensation, clogged-up gutters, damp clothes, humid basements, or even water accumulation around the foundation of your house.
Did you know?
Signs And Symptoms Of Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold exposure may often present with your typical allergic complaints that are listed above. However, one must be mindful that other non-allergic, mold-related illnesses exist and may present similarly to a mold allergy, but often with more seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Research has found that people who have been exposed to mixed mold, mold spores and mycotoxins have experienced neurological and behavioral symptoms. These symptoms have been corroborated by other studies like Gordon et al. and Rea et al. .
Such non-allergic symptoms to mold may include, but are not limited to:
- Cognitive impairment
Also Check: Where To Get Mold Tested
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Mold is very common in homes and buildings.
One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.
Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.
What Is Black Mold
Stachybotrys chartarum is a common black mold. It can also be a greenish color. It grows on cotton, wood, and paper products. It sometimes produces toxic chemicals that are found in its airborne spores and fungus fragments.
These are called mycotoxins and are dangerous if they’re eaten. There’s no link to inhaled Stachybotrys chartarum mycotoxins and deadly diseases. But there are risks for people with allergies, asthma, and other hypersensitivities.
There is no evidence that black mold causes symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, an inability to focus, or a headache. These symptoms have been referred to as “toxic mold syndrome” but are largely due to media hype. Yet some people are allergic to mold. It should always be removed from your home.
Read Also: How To Remove Mold From Air Conditioner
Contact Hrs Restoration Services Today
No matter if you have found mold growing in your home, have suffered a fire or traumatic event, our certified team is ready to help.
At HRS Restoration Services, we are ready for your call. Together we can find the mold, stop the water that allows it to grow, and get you back home quickly. Protect your home and family, and call when a loss occurs.
IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Formed nearly 40 years ago, it is a non-profit organization that establishes globally recognized standards for the cleaning and restoration industry, as well as providing certifications, journeyman and master designation, and education.
How Is Black Mold Exposure Diagnosed
Illness caused by mold exposure often leads people to seek medical care.
Once at the doctors office, a blood test can determine black mold exposure. Called the radioallergosorbent test, this blood test can measure your immune systems response to black mold.
Other symptoms may require X-rays, and doctors can identify black mold exposure in some cases viewing lung damage.
Recommended Reading: Can Mold Cause Lung Cancer
Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Symptoms of mold exposure can include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
- Sneezing / Sneezing fits
Health effects linking to asthma
Adverse respiratory health effects are associated with occupancy in buildings with moisture and mold damage. Infants may develop respiratory symptoms due to exposure to a specific type of fungal mold, called Penicillium. Signs that an infant may have mold-related respiratory problems include a persistent cough and wheeze. Increased exposure increases the probability of developing respiratory symptoms during their first year of life. Studies have shown that a correlation exists between the probability of developing asthma and increased exposure to Penicillium. The levels are deemed ‘no mold’ to ‘low level’, from ‘low’ to ‘intermediate’, and ‘intermediate’ to ‘high’.
Mold exposures have a variety of health effects depending on the person. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Exposure to mold can cause several health issues such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, cough, and wheezing, as well as skin irritation in some cases. Exposure to mold may also cause heightened sensitivity depending on the time and nature of exposure. People at higher risk for mold allergies are people with chronic lung illnesses and weak immune systems, which can often result in more severe reactions when exposed to mold.
Why Choose Hrs Restoration Services
HRS Restoration Services is the leader in mold restoration in Denver, helping homeowners return their properties back to life after mold, water, fire, or other traumatic damage-causing events.
With two decades of experience helping homeowners like you, our certified technicians, licensed contractors, and customer service professionals are able to complete the restoration and mitigation process in as little time and with as little stress as possible.
It is our mission to be with you from the first call. When a loss occurs, we help your family get back to health and home.
Read Also: How Much Does Mold Restoration Cost
What Is Toxic Mold
Black mould buildup in the corner of an old house
The term toxic mold refers to several types of mold that are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins. There are several types of toxic black mold. Among the most significant of these is stachybotrys chartarum which is greenish-black in color. It is often found in water-damaged buildings, as it proliferates on items that have high cellulose content.
Surfaces like wood, drywall, fiberboard, and paper that are exposed to moisture are ideal breeding grounds for this black mold.
Toxic mold is most dangerous when it is airborne. Possibly due to seeming advances in modern building technology, there has been a rise in cases of toxic mold exposure traced back to industrial and medical heating and cooling units, which can vaporize the mold spores and lead to an increased risk of infections and complications.
Can Black Mold Spores Travel In The Air
Yes. Mold spores are airborne and can attach themselves to peoples skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags, furniture, carpets, and even pets. Once spores enter your home, they can settle onto any surface and start to multiply. They can also enter your house through open doorways, open windows, and HVAC systems.
Mold spores are microscopic and are virtually found everywhere. They are naturally found in the air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors. Since spores are tiny and lightweight, they become airborne easily, every time we vacuum or walk on the carpets or even sit on our couch.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Yard Mold
What Are Signs Of Mold
You can detect the growth of toxic mold within your house or building by looking out for some telltale signs of the same. These telltale signs of mold growth, which range from formation of greenish-black colored patches on the walls to increasing instances of health issues in people occupying the âsaidâ structure, are discussed below.
âªMoisture on the Surfaces: Moisture or dampness on surfaces can be treated as the very first sign of mildew growth. While moisture does not necessarily indicate the presence of mold, it is an important condition for mold formation and growth. If you reside in a region wherein Relative Humidity exceeds 55 percent, you but obviously need to keep an eye for mold infestation in your home.
âªStains on the Wall: Yellowish stains on the wall caused due to moisture help initial growth of mold. You need to look out for the greenish, blackish or brownish-colored patches on the damp wall as these patches characterize mold growth on the walls. Other than these black damp spores on walls, cracked or peeling paint can also be a sign of the presence of mold.
âªRespiratory System Response in People: If one or more people occupying the structure experience some kind of allergic reaction or respiratory problem when they are indoors, then there is a possibility of high mold growth. Again this is just one of the several signs, and you need to look out for other signs to ascertain the presence of mold within the house.
How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment
Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.
Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.
It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly after any flooding. Dig out mud and dirt . Use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces with soapy water and a bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with water and dish detergent. Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have a fan, air conditioner or dehumidifier that wasnt affected by flooding use it to help the surfaces dry after you finish cleaning
Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
Also Check: How To Detect Mold Under Flooring