Understanding The Health Problems Associated With Black Mold
While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce mycotoxins, the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous. However, that doesnt mean that certain types of toxic molds cant cause serious health problems. In fact, there are reports that Stachybotrys chartarum causes memory loss in adults in acute pulmonary hemorrhaging among infants. The sooner you have your home or business tested for black mold , the sooner the mold will be removed, and the less likely you will be to suffer from the following health problems.
Respiratory Difficulties People living in homes or working in businesses with toxic mold are exposed mainly through breathing in mold spores and mycotoxins in the air. Exposure to black mold can cause minor respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Long-term exposure can lead to more serious difficulties, including pulmonary edema and pulmonary hemorrhage .
Circulatory Difficulties The mycotoxins produced by black mold can be breathed in, ingested, or absorbed through a persons skin. After prolonged exposure, these mycotoxins find their way into the persons bloodstream. The circulatory difficulties stemming from black mold exposure include irregular heartbeat, heart inflammation, internal bleeding, and blood clots. If your doctor has diagnosed any such circulatory problems, schedule a mold inspection today.
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.
How Does Mould Affect Health
Mould associated with damp buildings can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheeze, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions.
People who are more susceptible to these symptoms and other serious health effects include those with:
- weakened immune systems
- chronic, obstructive, or allergic lung diseases.
You should seek medical advice if you are concerned about the effects of mould.
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How Can I Check For Mold
Its best to hire a professional to help you identify and remove mold, especially if youre allergic or vulnerable to it.
You should also consider hiring help if the mold covers more than 10 square feet or if its hidden behind wallpaper, ceiling tiles, or other areas.
Here are some steps for identifying and removing mold.
Health Effects Of Black Mold
Are you worried about black mold? Despite fearing black mold, many people dont actually understand its implications for human health. If youre one of those people, it may be time to educate yourself on the topic. Research suggests that as the climate changes, black mold could become more prevalent in homes.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency , regions of the U.S. will experience heavier rains, hotter weather and more frequent and intense natural disasters in the coming years. These weather events will likely accelerate wear and tear on homes and cause water damage that leads to mold growth, including black mold growth.
Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to reduce mold and avoid sickness. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to run a high-quality air purifier for mold. Keep reading to learn about the health effects of black mold and how to prevent mold sickness.
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Black Mold Allergy And Asthma
If you have a mold allergy and asthma, your asthma symptoms can be triggered by exposure to black mold spores. In some people, exposure to certain molds can cause a severe asthma attack. Consult your doctor if you experience a stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, shortness of breath, wheezing, or other unpleasant symptoms that persist.
How Do You Recover From Mold Poisoning
Treatment avoiding the allergen whenever possible. a nasal rinse, to flush mold spores out of the nose. antihistamines, to stop a runny nose, sneezing, and itchiness. decongestant nasal sprays, a short term remedy for congestion. nasal corticosteroids, to reduce inflammation. oral decongestants, to reduce congestion.
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The most difficult challenge for many homeowners is identifying first that mold is present in the home and second what type of mold they are dealing with as well as the best plan of attack for each type. We are gonna break down the most common types of household molds and the how best to identify each varying type.
Mold in your home, especially black mold is something to take very seriously. Having knowledge of the effects of black mold and the health effects it can have on you, can help you become better prepared in defense against black mold in your home.
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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.
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Problems With Clinical Studies
Such findings may explain the confusing results of earlier studies. For example, some authors have claimed links between childhood asthma and damp, moldy housing . While retrospective questionnaires reported more wheezing, cough, and chest cold symptoms in children from affected houses, the degree of bronchospasm was not different between groups. Thus, despite the claim that there was a causal association between moldy houses and wheezing, there was no supporting objective evidence. Some studies which claim that moisture and mold were associated with respiratory infections, cough, and wheezing also fail to show differences in asthma prevalence between case and control schools . Other authors report that despite claims of symptoms being more prevalent in case groups , actual asthma prevalence was no different .
Is Black Mold Toxic
Some fungi produce substances called mycotoxins which are harmful to people or animals. You typically have to consume mycotoxins for them to affect your health. However, certain mycotoxins cause problems through inhalation or skin contact.
Black mold can produce a type of substance called trichothecene mycotoxins. Research shows that it doesn’t typically affect humans through inhalation. Illness from trichothecene mycotoxins usually only occurs after eating food with high contamination levels from the toxins. The symptoms include gastrointestinal problems and anemia.
There have been cases where people with significant exposure to black mold had negative health effects. These cases arose in people who lived in buildings with widespread mold. Crew members who came in to clean up the mold reported similar symptoms, including:
- Sinus irritation and congestion
- Mental fatigue
The mental symptoms from heavy mold exposure are consistent with the effects of a severe mold allergy Mental issues are not symptoms of trichothecene mycotoxicity. Experts in allergies note that people often report fatigue and “mental fog” when they are suffering from allergies.
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All Carpet Cleaning Companies Should Give You A Precise Quote Over The Phone
As much as you would like to know exactly how much you will have pay for carpet cleaning, a serious company will rarely give you a quote over the phone.
The price will depend on the type of carpet, the amount of dirt and the amount of furniture that has to be moved. None of these can be determined over the phone, so cleaners will have to come to your house to perform an assessment. Only then will they be able to give you an accurate quote.
Who Is At Risk
Some people are at greater risk for mold-related health problems than others, although even healthy young adults can be affected. Doctors dont always know why some people become ill when exposed to mold but others dont. Those at greatest risk for mold-related health problems include:
- Infants, especially premature infants
- Elderly people
- Those with known allergies to mold or other environmental allergies, such as hay fever
- Those with pre-existing respiratory disorders, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
- Those with disorders affecting the immune system, like HIV, AIDS, or autoimmune disorders
- Others with compromised immune systems, such as people undergoing chemotherapy, taking certain medications, or who have had an organ transplant
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Diseases Caused By Toxic Mold
There are many serious diseases caused by toxic mold, and if you have mold growth in your home it is essential to clean up the mess in order to avoid the symptoms of toxic mold exposure. Even though the mold may seem harmless, microscopic spores can enter your body and cause a number of serious illnesses. Dont delay in cleaning up the mold growth, because continued exposure will increase your risk of developing health problems.
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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Health Problems Related To Dampness And Mold
Allergies or allergic responses to pollen or animal dander are the most common types of health problems related to mold. Typical symptoms include:
- Nose, mouth, or throat irritation
- Irritation of the nose, mouth, or throat
- Nasal stuffiness and runny nose
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes
Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores can cause a person to become allergic to mold. Molds can trigger asthma symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, or cough in people with known allergies. People who do not have allergies can also become irritated. Studies indicate that exposure to molds in the workplace can make pre-existing asthma worse. NIOSH investigates associations between damp buildings and developing new asthma.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a kind of lung inflammation that occurs when people develop immune system sensitization to inhaled organic dust. Immune system sensitization is similar to an allergy. It can seem like pneumonia, but it does not get better with antibiotics for infection. Symptoms of HP can vary. Some persons have:
- Shortness of breath
- Night sweats
- 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.
This lung disease has also occurred in workers who worked in water-damaged buildings with:
- Roof leaks
- Poorly draining condensation pans
- High indoor relative humidity
- Shortness of breath
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?
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Signs Of A Mold Illness
Exposure Sources And Prevention
The primary sources of mold exposure are from the indoor air in buildings with substantial mold growth and the ingestion of food with mold growths.
While mold and related microbial agents can be found both inside and outside, specific factors can lead to significantly higher levels of these microbes, creating a potential health hazard. Several notable factors are water damage in buildings, the use of building materials which provide a suitable substrate and source of food to amplify mold growth, relative humidity, and energy-efficient building designs, which can prevent proper circulation of outside air and create a unique ecology in the built environment. A common issue with mold hazards in the household can be the placement of furniture, resulting in a lack of ventilation of the nearby wall. The simplest method of avoiding mold in a home so affected is to move the furniture in question.
Prevention of mold exposure and its ensuing health issues begins with the prevention of mold growth in the first place by avoiding a mold-supporting environment. Extensive flooding and water damage can support extensive mold growth. Following hurricanes, homes with greater flood damage, especially those with more than 3 feet of indoor flooding, demonstrated far higher levels of mold growth compared with homes with little or no flooding.
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Q: Can Eating Mold Make You Sick
A: Yes, it is possible that eating mold can cause health issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. According to the Cleveland Clinic, if you can visibly see mold on food, dont risk it. Throw it out.
Mold spores are everywhere, and they can be found in food, water, air, soil, and plants. The best way to avoid getting sick from mold is to wash your hands frequently, and to keep your home clean. If you have a concern, wait the day and see if any symptoms show up. If not, you are probably ok.
What Causes Mold Allergy
Molds produce spores. Allergies happen when your immune system is very sensitive to outside substances, such as mold spores. Your body produces antibodies against the mold spores. As youre repeatedly exposed to the mold spores over time, your body sees the mold spores as something to be destroyed and your immune system creates bigger reactions to protect you.
Its also possible to allergic to fungi in food, like mushrooms or fermented foods. This type of allergy generally causes local symptoms in the mouth and can cause rashes or even affect breathing.
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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.
Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Many types of indoor mold, not just black mold, can cause symptoms if you are sensitive to them or are exposed to them for a prolonged period of time. Symptoms of mold exposure include:
Symptoms of mold exposure may be worse in people who are most at risk, including:
- People with an allergy to mold
- People with a weakened immune system, who may develop infections
- Older people
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.
Black Mold Exposure Can Damage Your Circulatory System
Black mold spores can be inhaled, consumed, or absorbed through a persons skin or eyes. When mycotoxins find their way into the bloodstream, mycotoxins have the potential to cause serious damage.
Symptoms of circulatory system damage from black mold include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Bleeding in the brain
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