They Will Deceive You With Their Innocent Look
They have septate hyphae with conidiophores at the tip. Conidiophores produce the asexual, non-motile spores of black toxic molds, called conidia, which are rounded and may be translucent or pigmented, 1-celled, and in clusters.
The conidiophores may be simple or branched but are always attached with phialides. Phialides are flask-shaped stalks that project from the dilated peak of the conidiophore. These may be translucent or pigmented, cylindrically-shaped, and form clusters made of 3 to 10.
During the earlier stage of the S. species, the hyphae and the conidiophores are translucent. As time goes by, greenish-black pigmentation accumulates in these areas.
It takes only four days for Stachybotrys to grow a mature colony.
Black Mold Is Toxigenic
Certain molds prove toxigenic, which means that they produce mycotoxins that cause ill health effects. A little mold is everywhere, but not all mold is poisonous. That doesnt mean you should ignore mold.
Most are familiar with black mold, which is toxigenic and produces mold spores. These form colonies and grow with other spores. High concentrations of these mycotoxins can cause mold poisoning in healthy people, too.
Mold poisoning is also known as mycotoxicosis. This condition affects the upper respiratory system with harmful cold or flu-like symptoms. Additional symptoms due to mycotoxins can prove fatal. Thats especially true for those with severe allergies, asthma or other conditions.
Green-black mold is also harmful. Its found on paper, dust, lint, fiberboard and other low-nitrogen content materials. It can develop and spread after water leaks, floods and condensation.
Until you know more, treat all molds the same due to the potential long-term side effects and health risks. Take mold growth seriously. You will usually see the mold colony and smell the signature musty smell.
How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Trying to kill or remove toxic black mold yourself is not advisable. If not handled properly, you could end up disturbing the black mold and releasing millions of spores and mycotoxins into the air. This could worsen you indoor air quality and cause damage to your home.
Since black mold is toxic, youre better off contacting a professional mold remediation company with experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
Mold removal specialists will be able to accurately determine the extent of the mold infestation and can suggest the right course of action for your home. If you suspect that your home has black moldthat is, if you can see and/or smell it .
A healthy, mold-free home ensures a healthy, happy family.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing/shortness of breath
- Long standing or frequent sinusitis
And, serious pain and neurological symptoms, such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle cramping, aches and pains
- Persistent nerve pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Poor memory, brain fog, difficulty with focus
In some cases, the spores from mold take root and grow in specific parts of the body, such as the lungs and sinuses. This can cause serious respiratory illnesses and infections.
How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick let the doctor know that right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
- Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
- IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
- Urine mycotoxins test
- A fungal culture of the nose sinuses
The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.
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Symptoms Of Black Mold
What Does Black Mold Look Like?
Stachybotrys is commonly known as black mold because its black in color. We see black mold most often when there is flooding or water damage, such as attics, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.What does black mold look like? Check out these photos of black mold in basements that experienced flooding:
Is black mold dangerous?
The answer to the above question is It can be, but the vast majority of black mold situations we see are nothing to panic about.If you search black mold youll be sure to find plenty of websites and articles that tout the dangers of it. Weve seen quite the long, sensational list everything from seizures to cancer to death. But the truth is that it most situations are nothing to panic about because:It has never been scientifically proven that black mold is any more harmful than other types and colors of mold.Only a small percentage of people are especially sensitive to mold .Most horror stories come from people with severe, prolonged exposure to mold while most situations are small areas of mold growth that get cleaned up rather quickly.So why does black mold get so much hype? Well, a lot of it has to do with a general lack of information about a strange substance that looks especially ugly and threatening.
What are mycotoxins?Can black mold make you sick, cause cancer, or kill you?
How To Detox Your Body From Mold
Even if youre not especially sensitive to mold, your body still needs help safely clearing out mycotoxins. When these arent removed properly and completely, they can cycle back around, and cause ongoing damage and symptoms.
The best way to clear out these toxins is with proven toxin-binders. Its important to make sure youre working with safe, gentle detoxing agents so they dont overtax your bodys clearance system . At the same time, you must use proven binders that dont allow toxins to be reabsorbed in the intestines rather than excreted from the body.
One prescription cholesterol-lowering medication called Cholestyramine binds strongly to some mycotoxins especially ochratoxin and keeps them getting reabsorbed.
On the natural front, modified citrus pectin has been extensively researched as an effective detoxifying agent. Because MCP works so gently, its safe for long-term use, which is often necessary for completely removing mycotoxins from your system. MCP works especially well when paired with another natural detoxifier: seaweed-derived alginates, natural gel-like substances that bind tightly to toxins.
The combination of MCP and alginate prevents toxins including mycotoxins and heavy metals from being reabsorbed in the intestines. And although they make a strong detoxifying team, MCP and alginate are easily tolerated and their gentle action wont strip essential minerals from your body.
Other mycotoxin detoxifiers include:
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The Hidden Dangers Of Black Mold
Physical signs of mold exposure can range from itchy, water eyes to asthma and airway problems. The body reacts to a mold that may not otherwise be toxic by exhibiting allergy-related symptoms, such as an irritated throat, coughing, or a runny nose. For some people, the reaction may be more severe, causing nausea, fatigue, sinus infections or trouble breathing. In more extreme cases, fungus can produce volatile organic compounds, which can affect the central nervous system and cause headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and decreased attention span, according to www.toxic-black-mold-info.com. The Environmental Protection Agency also has information on mold and how to combat it and protect yourself and your home.Documentation of the dangers of mold, the result of studies being undertaken by countries around the world, is pointing toward an increase in the prevalence of the health problems mold can cause, particularly in children.
The Mold You BreatheMethods for Preventing and Dealing With Mold
Are You A Clean Freak?
It’s easy to spot a clean freak when you see one in action. What’s not so easy is recognizing the signs of compulsive obsession with cleanliness when you’re the one who’s obsessing. Having a clean house doesn’t mean that you are a clean freak.
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.
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How To Prevent Mold Growth
As mentioned earlier, mold is everywhere, including outside. Which is why Industrial Hygienist always tests outside the affected structure to get a baseline level of what is acceptable inside a structure. It is impossible to completely eliminate mold from your home. However, you can dramatically reduce the amount of mold and future growth of mold in your home by reducing and controlling the moisture.Some ways to control moisture in your home include:
Monitor humidity: make sure your home is dry. Ideal humidity levels to prevent mold growth are at or below 50%.
Use exhaust fans and vents: Turn on exhausts in your kitchen, bathroom, and the laundry room, especially when cooking or taking a shower. If you dont have an exhaust fan, open the nearest window to provide ventilation.
Clean up spills immediately: Spills provide a breeding ground for mold. The longer you let them sit, the better chance moisture has to soak into carpets and floorboards.
Fix leaks: Leaking pipes are a leading cause of mold buildup, especially in bathrooms and basements. Take note of areas with plumbing in your home and check them regularly. Fix any leaks immediately.
Run HVAC: Your HVAC acts like a dehumidifier removing moisture from the air, make sure you keep your HVAC system running year round.Mold and Your Health
Testing For Mold Toxicity
If you find mold in your home or workplace, it is important to test for mold toxicity in your body. Oftentimes, people who are struggling to get healthy , are dealing with mold toxicity.
Mold toxins increase the burden on the liver and create chronic inflammation in the body. These toxins are highly indicated in neurological disorders and symptoms like brain fog, depression, and anxiety. One very effective option for testing mold toxins in the body is the GPL-MycoTOX Profile.
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Nose And Throat Problems
Nasal mold allergy symptoms include a runny nose, swollen sinuses and post-nasal drip. The cumulative effect often causes a painful throat and difficulty in swallowing.
Treatment: OTC antihistamines help control nasal and throat symptoms. A salt water gargle or cold popsicles are good home remedies for sore throats.
What Symptoms Would I Experience If Mold Is An Issue For Me
If youre experiencing allergy symptoms in your home, similar to a dust or pollen allergylike itchy, watery eyes, coughing, a stuffy, runny nose, or even a rash or eczemamold might be playing a role, Dr. Parikh says. The same goes for more severe asthma symptoms than usual, like frequent asthma attacks, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Your symptoms would be different if you have a mold-related infection youll likely have a fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and you may experience low blood pressure, dizziness, and even shortness of breath. But, Mold infections are actually pretty rare unless you have a very weak immune system, says Dr. Parikh. If youre immune-compromised, youll need to take any infection more seriously anyway, she adds.
Treatment for mold-related allergies and infection varies from person to person. If you think there might be mold in your house, and you develop allergy or asthma symptoms, its best to visit an allergist or pulmonologist to have testing done. An allergist might prescribe eye drops, nasal spray, or antihistamines, depending on your case .
Allergy shots have also proven to be effective in treating mold allergies by halting the immune systems reactions in some cases, studies show. For more severe respiratory symptoms related to asthma, a doctor might prescribe you an inhaler, or additional medications such as steroids.
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Test After Test With No Answers
That was the first episode, lasting for three months starting in November of 2010. In that time she lost twenty-five pounds, was forced to abandon her practice, and withdrew from activities outside the home. Her doctor, family, and friends told her that they thought she had depression or even bipolar disorder. She resisted, even in her confused and debilitated state, and insisted on further testing, believing that something was terribly wrong.
After a series of blood tests, her general practitioner diagnosed Kimberlyn with heavy metal poisoning and recommended she undergo chelation therapy. After undergoing this treatment, she did feel better. However, within five months the illness returned.
During her second cycle of illness, Kimberlyn sought out another doctor who performed a series of tests and suggested that maybe Kimberlyn was suffering from mold illness, also known as toxic mold syndrome. This was the first time mold had been suggested as a possible cause for Kimberlyns symptoms and was unexpected due to the arid climate of Arizona. Yet after having her home tested, three different types of toxic mold were found, including Stachybotrys, also known as black mold.
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.
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Mold Toxicity And Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Mold toxicity obstructs the proper transmission of electrical signals for proper hormone regulation. This could trigger the excessive production of androgen . High levels of androgen disrupt the normal menstrual cycle, which can cause delayed periods and difficulty getting pregnant.
The uterine lining starts to thicken during the reproductive stage. Regular menstruation sheds off the thickened layered, and then another cycle begins if the menstrual cycle is not normal, abnormal buildup inside the womb.
Abnormally high androgen levels hinder the development of the egg from the ovarian follicles, causing infertility.
PCOS is also associated with hirsutism , acne, and weight problems.
How To Prevent Black Mold Growth
Conducting routine home inspections and maintenance are the best ways to deal with a black mold problem. Keep an eye out for evidence of water damage and visible mold on a regular basis. The conditions that cause mold should be corrected in a timely manner to prevent mold from growing further.
The extent of structural damage black mold can cause to your home, depends on how quickly you act to fix it.
Some of the ways you can keep mold out of your home is by:
To completely get rid of black mold from your home, you must address the root cause of the problem, so that there is no recurrence of mold. For example, just cleaning up the mold without addressing the moisture problem will not solve the issue because the mold will very likely return.
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Different Types Of Mold
Allergenic Molds. Allergenic molds are on the low end of the danger scale. They only cause problems for those with asthma and a predisposed allergy to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have mold allergies than adults.
Pathogenic Molds. Pathogenic molds will cause some infection. This is a big problem for those with a suppressed immune system. An acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia is commonly found with those exposed to these types of mold.
Toxigenic Molds. As the name implies, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health effects. They have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. The toxic chemicals found in these types of molds can be absorbed into the body when one inhales them, eats them, or even touches them.