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.
Health Problems Caused By 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:
- 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.
Do All Front Load Washers Have Mold Problems
Do All Front Load Washers Have Mold Problems? Mold problems in front-load washing machines are very common, but not inevitable! Factor in lingering residue from detergents and fabric softeners, and youve got a perfect environment for front-load washer mildew growth, especially inside the rubber ring of the door seal.
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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.
Possible Symptoms And Health Effects
When there is black mold inside of the walls, it often causes allergy-like symptoms, including watery eyes, sneezing and running nose. If anyone in your home has respiratory problems, such as asthma and those with a weakened immune system may have a higher risk of infections from exposure to the mold. Black mold can also cause more serious illness, such as sleep disorders, memory loss, bleeding lungs in infants and sudden infant death syndrome.
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An Evolutionary Perspective On Mold Illness
Humans have interacted with environmental molds throughout our evolutionary history. As a result, our bodies have developed natural defense systems for addressing these toxins, including the mucociliary clearance mechanism in the lungs and the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system. However, in an unwitting example of evolutionary mismatch, our natural defense systems are no match for the potent mold strains found in the modern buildings in which we work and live. These buildings are designed in ways that promote mold growth, with poor airflow and myriad opportunities for water leakage. Most peoples defense systems cannot keep up with chronic mold and mycotoxin exposure, causing them to succumb to illness.
The cognitive symptoms of mold exposure also have an evolutionary component. Mold illness triggers an evolutionarily conserved phenomenon called sickness behavior, which includes sleepiness, depression, apathy, and social withdrawal.
Mold-induced sickness behavior is the result of an immune response that is intended to help you survive the current mold exposure and avoid future exposures. However, many people do not make the connection between their symptoms and their environment, instead living in a vicious cycle of constant mold exposure and illness.
Is There A Test To Determine If I Have Been Exposed To Mold
Some physicians have recommended testing for mold-specific antibodies. Thepresence of antibodies only indicates that you have been exposed to a substanceat some time. It does not tell you when you were exposed, where the exposuretook place, or how much of the mold you were exposed to. Having a positive testfor mold-specific antibodies alone is generally considered insufficient toprove that health effects reported by individuals in moisture-damaged buildingsare caused by exposure to mold.
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Coughing And Shortness Of Breath
The irritation and inflammation caused by mold often lead to frequent coughing that is otherwise unexplained.
The throat and lungs are irritated continuously when repeatedly exposed to mycotoxins. If the issue isnt addressed, this coughing can develop into more severe conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
The same inflammation that causes irritated, constricted airways that lead to wheezing and coughing can eventually lead to shortness of breath.
This gives a feeling of tightness in the chest. It may feel like you are unable to take in a full breath.
Is Black Mold Dangerous Heres The Truth
The truth is, many people arent negatively affected by mold. However, mold can cause allergies in some people who are sensitive to mold. In these cases, it can make their lives miserable. Mold can also cause severe medical issues with a small percentage of people who have other health complications.
If youve seen a concerning growth in your home or been told that you have a black mold issue, you probably have a lot of questions.
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Clean Your Air Conditioners Regularly
Home air conditioners often trap moisture within them, creating favorable conditions for mold breeding. Regular cleaning and maintenance of these conditioners keeps the moisture away. Keeping ducts clean and dust-free eliminates the food that mold feeds off of. Homeowners are highly encouraged to replace filters after no more than 3 months. Lastly, running your air conditioner at a low level will help with air circulation and prevent a rise in humidity levels.
Where Black Mold Most Often Grows
Black mold grows in areas that stay consistently wet over long periods of timeso you wonât find it immediately after your toilet overflows, but you might notice it under the bathroom or kitchen sink where a slow drip has gone undetected. Look for it in âutility closets where your water heater is, basements, bathroomsanywhere you have the probability for moisture, or even groundwater seepagebasements are famous for that,â says Andersen. âIt doesnât need dark at all.â Itâs also important to note that black mold isnât the same gunk you might find on grout around an old bathtubthatâs more likely to be mildew, which thrives on residual dampness and dirt in your shower.
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How Does Black Mold Affect Children
Black mold exposure can impact a childs health if they inhale, ingest, or come into skin or eye contact with mold spores. According to the Centers for Disease Control , black mold exposure is linked to respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. In addition, black mold exposure can cause some children to develop asthma, especially those who have genetically compromised immune systems.
How Much Mold Exposure Is Harmful
While there is no magic number for how much black mold you need to be exposed to before it poses health risks, no level of contact is truly healthy, and you should take steps to avoid or limit your exposure. Every persons body reacts differently, and some individuals may have a higher tolerance before exhibiting symptoms of harmful exposure.
If you suspect you were exposed to black mold, look at the symptoms below and contact your physician if youre experiencing any of them.
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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 Do Black Mold Spores Affect Pets
Unlike humans, pets are more likely to consume moldy food and tend to spend more time in places prone to black mold growth. When exposed to black mold for a prolonged period, pets can exhibit allergy symptoms such as respiratory difficulties, pulmonary hemorrhage, nose bleeds, runny noses, fatigue, and more.
Pets can be affected by mold through ingestion. Spoiled items such as cheese or sour cream may contain mold that releases poisonous chemicals known as mycotoxins. Pets that eat food containing mycotoxins may exhibit muscle spasms or body tremors. Dont allow your pets to eat spoiled food. Take your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect theyve been exposed to black mold.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Mold In Plant Soil
How Do I Get Rid of the Mold on My Plant Soil? Some gardeners swear by cinnamon as a natural anti-fungal. Simply wipe off the mold and sprinkle the spot with some cinnamon from your spice drawer. If cinnamon doesnt work, Gaumond says to try a houseplant fungicide spray or a homemade baking soda and water mixture.
What Does Black Mold Do To U
What does black mold do to u? The most common black mold symptoms and health effects are associated with a respiratory response. Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches can all be symptomatic of black mold exposure or black mold poisoning.
How do you know if mold is making you sick? Symptoms of mold exposure may include headache, sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and fatigue. In those with asthma, asthma attacks can occur. In those with impaired immune systems, serious infection can occur.
Can black mold kill me? The short answer for most healthy people is no, black mold wont kill you and is unlikely to make you sick.
How quickly does black mold affect you? Symptoms of HP can vary. Some persons have shortness of breath, cough, muscle aches, chills, fever, night sweats, and profound fatigue. These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss.
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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:
Common Types Of Mold To Look Out For
The most common types of fungi are Aspergillus, Penicillium and Stachybotrys chartarum .
While getting rid of mold in your home, you need to be very careful. Black mold can cause respiratory problems and other health issues.
Black mold is a greenish-black fungus thats found in damp and moist areas, such as basements or bathrooms. Its often identified by its distinctive smell, which may be described as musty or earthy.
If youre unsure what this fungus looks like, consider asking a professional who knows what it looks like to inspect your home immediately after you notice it growing.
Mold is a serious problem. It can result in breathing problems and other health issues. In some circumstances, it may even be deadly.
That is why its critical to understand how mold forms in your home and what it looks like so that you know how to prevent it from getting out of hand if you detect any indications of black mold growing inside or outside your home.
In this blog post, I have provided in-depth information on what black mold looks like and the risks of black mold. Additionally, I have shared some tips on how to get rid of it and keep your loved ones safe from its harmful effects. Thanks for reading!
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What Are Some Physical Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
The extent of symptoms depends on ones sensitivity. A wide variety of reactions are attributed to the toxic effects of mold, including:
- Chronic clogged throat
- Persistent cold-like or flu-like symptoms
- Burning, itching, watering eyes
- Serious swelling of legs, ankles, and feet
- Serious swelling in the torso or stomach
- Prolonged muscle cramps and joint pain
What Are The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Black mold, also known as toxic black mold or Stachubotrys, can cause many serious heath problems if found inside a home. There are numerous negative health effects from mold exposure, such as mental impairment, breathing problems, internal organ damage, and in some cases, even death. The symptoms of black mold exposure can be separated into different groups depending upon the area affected by mold presence.
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Rental Properties With Mould Issues
When a rental property has mould, the owner should fix any mould caused by faults in gutters or other fixtures, but the tenant should ensure that extractor fans are used when available and the home is aired regularly where possible.
Sometimes, the cause of the mould growth may be due to a building fault that may not be easily rectified.
If as a tenant, you have taken measures to make sure the building is properly ventilated and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner.
Information on mould in rental properties is available on Consumer Affairs Victorias website.
Tenants seeking further advice on their rights can also contact the Tenants Union of Victoria on .
Why Is Black Mold Dangerous
When people refer to black mold or toxic black mold, theyre generally talking about Stachybotrys chartarum a specific variety of microfungus. Not all black-colored mold is black mold there are many types of nontoxic molds that are black in color. What makes black mold dangerous is its byproducts.
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