Horrors Of Black Mold
Black mold is the widely known villain of the mold world. All mold is bad, but this one is notoriously sinister and ominous. Its dark, its dreary, and its foul. Greenish-black in color, it grows and spreads, slowly oozing black poison into any area it can with its filth.
Black mold comes with a name just as villainous as its reputation. Whereas most of us know it simply as black mold or toxic black mold an appropriate description its official, scientific name is Stachybotrys chartarum. This sometimes makes news headlines for “black mold poisoning.”
Stachybotrys is a saprophytic fungus, which means that it feeds on dead or decaying organic matter kind of like a blood-sucking vulture in fungal form. Black mold can grow on many surfaces, but its especially fond of places and things that are wet and contain cellulose. Cellulose is found in building materials, bookbinding glue, cardboard, ceiling tiles, fabric, paper, plastic wrap, wall board, and wood.
That means that youll most often see black mold slithering its dank way up your walls, which are frequently made of mold-friendly drywall. But beware: black mold may also invade your books, clothing, documents, furniture, linens, and photographs.
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.
Can I Clean Black Mold Myself
The short answer to this question is yes, you can absolutely clean black mold on your own. There are both store-bought cleaners and home remedies that have been proven to kill off and remove the spores altogether.
While DIY cleaning is possible, we want to make you aware that some mold issues are worse than others and may require the attention of a professional.
For example, mold can hide in places that may not be noticeable to the untrained eye. Professional cleaners, plumbers, and restoration experts know exactly where to look and can help to identify the source of the problem and find ways to stop the mold from growing again.
Many home remedies are temporary treatments, which is why you may need to reach out to our professionals for deeper inspection and cleaning.
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Toxic Mold Syndrome: It Was Like I Lost My Personality
Kimberlyn, a 46-year-old married mother living in Arizona is not your average patient. She is highly detailed, analytical, logical, and carries with her a masters degree in pattern analysis. When Kimberlyn got sick, she applied as much as she could from her work life to try to uncover what was adversely affecting her. Even so, coming to the right diagnoses took a lot of work and required outside help.
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
An ongoing inflammatory response to mold or other biotoxins can lead to chronic inflammatory response syndrome , also referred to as biotoxin illness. In this condition, inflammation affects multiple body systems.
Chronic exposure to a water-damaged building is the most common trigger of CIRS. Chronic Lyme disease is another cause. Some people have both. Thats a double whammy to your system.
The following can be linked to CIRS from mold-induced toxicity:
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Natural Ways To Deal With Black Mold Symptoms
If you already see or smell black mold, remove it immediately and thoroughly.
If youre experiencing black mold poisoning, there are thankfully some natural ways to help with your black mold symptoms, including:
1. Raw Garlic
Raw garlic has amazing antifungal abilities, which is just what your body needs when it has been exposed to black mold. Garlic helps to kill off fungi, molds and yeasts. Two to four grams of fresh garlic per day, or 600 milligrams to 900 milligrams of garlic tablets daily, is recommended for toxic mold exposure.
2. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal can be taken as a supplement for mold cleansing. Most people dont think about mold living in their bodies, but it can, and activated charcoal is a potent natural treatment. It traps toxins in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesnt reabsorb them. Activated charcoal is made from a variety of sources, but when used for natural healing, its important to select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources.
Its so much more than a green pigment found in plants. Im talking about chlorophyll, which has shown an ability to protect DNA from damage caused by toxic molds like aflatoxin. Chlorophyll also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a highly recommended part of any healthy diet, but especially one that is looking to fight black mold symptoms.
4. Cut Down or Cut Out Sugar
5. Identify the Moisture Source
6. Fix the Source
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.
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Removing Mold From Your Home
Resolve any issues causing mold growth, and throw away anything affected by mold or contributing to mold growth that you cant clean.
- Wear protective gear. As youre dealing with the moldy area, cover yourself with a mask, gloves, goggles, and rubber boots. If youre cleaning a lot of mold, you can also wear disposable clothing or a mold-resistant suit.
- Ventilate the room. Open all doors and windows to increase ventilation.
- Sort and discard. Remove any objects from the area that havent been touched by mold growth. Throw away any items that cant be cleaned.
- Replace moldy housing materials. Cut away and replace mold-damaged drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpet.
- Scrub and disinfect. Cover and scrub nonporous surfaces affected by mold with bleach, a fungicide, or detergent and water, then dry them. Dont mix cleaning products together.
- Address any water issues. Make sure any water problems are fixed and the area is dry before you renovate the room.
You cant prevent all mold, but you can reduce the amount in your home. Here are some dos and donts for managing mold and keeping it from growing indoors.
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Molds are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. We do not have precise information about how often different molds are found in buildings and homes.
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What Exactly Is Black Mold
Black mold refers to several species of mold that have a dark green or black appearance. One such type is Stachybotrys chartarum. Molds thrive in warm, frequently moist environments, including baths, showers, toilets, kitchens, and basements. They can also grow on wood, dirt, or paper. Black mold is a bit different than most molds because some types are toxigenic. For the mycotoxins, to cause mold poisoning you have to be exposed to a large amount of black mold for an extended period.
How To Treat Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold, scientifically referred to as Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, is typically black or dark green and often linked to serious health problems.
In fact, black mold exposure can lead to poisoning, or stachybotryotoxicosis a condition thats dangerous, particularly for young children and the elderly.
Even though black mold poisoning typically affects horses, cows, and pigs, humans can become infected if they inhale or ingest the spores.
Symptoms of stachybotryotoxicosis include skin rashes , throat and sinus irritation, burning eyes, and a decrease in the production of white blood cells.
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Is It Safe To Live In A House With Black Mold
The short answer is yes but not for too long I would suggest days only but if you are showing any of the symptoms mentioned above take action. Exposure to mold can be harmful in the long term, especially for people with respiratory conditions and other risk factors. mold can be one of several different species of fungus, including Stachybotrys chartarum. Short term exposure to mold is unlikely to cause harm in healthy people
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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How Much Of A Priority Should I Make Cleansing My Home Of Mold
Theres no need to panic about small amounts of mold. Of course, if you recently had a flood or water damage, its worth contacting a mold inspector. Or, if youre in a high-risk immune category or have allergy and asthma symptoms that might be related to mold, you should definitely address it, Dr. Parikh says. Regular home inspections should be able to detect mold, though.
To prevent mold growth in your house to begin with, the ideal scenario is to use central air conditioning with a certified allergy and asthma-friendly filter, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
If you dont have access to A/C, try to use a dehumidifier, especially when its hazy and humid outside. When youre showering, turn on an exhaust fan or crack a window so mold doesnt appear over time. Cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room regularly with an anti-mildew cleaner is your best bet to zap mold in its tracks.
How Did I Get Mold
Like any other living thing, mold needs food and water to thrive. Mold problems start when a mold spore thats floating in the air lands on a wet piece of organic material , takes root and starts to multiply. Mold spores are everywhere in the air, including in the cleanest of homes.
In fact, every breath you take likely has some mold spores in it at low levels! In the home, mold usually grows wherever there is dampness and moisture, like basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms, or areas that have experienced flooding.
With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it impossible to tell what type of mold you have without testing by a certified mold inspection professional.
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Q: Can Mold On Toothbrush Make You Sick
A: Yes, mold on toothbrushes can cause health issues such as asthma, sinusitis, and allergies. The best way to prevent mold from growing on your toothbrush is to keep it clean and dry. If you do not want to throw away your toothbrush, then you should soak it in hot water for 10 minutes. After soaking, rinse it thoroughly with soap and water.
Find The Moisture Source
Black mold removal is important. But first, one must identify that it is black mold. First, look at the color, followed by the smell. Black mold is black or even dark grey in color, and often smells wet and musty, as it usually grows in areas with a lot of moisture. Black mold is also usually noticeable in the home if you experience a burning or scratching sensation in your throat or lungs. Black mold is dangerous, and can greatly affect your health if left untreated, so it’s important to remove it as soon as you’re aware of it.
Before you can begin any black mold treatment, youll need to perform a black mold test and find the source. Its often the result of excess moisture in a particular area. Youre most likely to find black mold in areas of your home that you dont visit as often like the basement, but it can pop up anywhere. Here are a few common moisture sources to look for:
- Faucets and fixtures. Sink, shower and bathtub faucets and fixtures that are leaking can lead to the growth of black mold over time.
- Exposed plumbing. Damaged or leaking pipes, especially in warmer temperatures, can often create black mold in areas like basements.
- Water heaters. A small leak can create black mold in your basement or water heater closet.
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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.
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Where Black Mold Most Often Grows
Black mold grows in areas that stay consistently wet over long periods of timeso you won’t 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 “utility closets where your water heater is, basements, bathroomsanywhere you have the probability for moisture, or even groundwater seepagebasements are famous for that,” says Andersen. “It doesn’t need dark at all.” It’s also important to note that black mold isn’t the same gunk you might find on grout around an old bathtubthat’s more likely to be mildew, which thrives on residual dampness and dirt in your shower.
How To Test For Mold
The workup for CIRS includes tests that are widely available via LabCorp and Quest, although they are somewhat esoteric tests, including MMP9, TGF beta 1, MSH, VEGF, and others. Urine testing for actual mold toxins circulating in the body can also be utilized, however, these results are questioned by some in the field of CIRS treatment.
Brain toxicity due to mold or other toxins and the psychiatric and cognitive health issues associated with it cant wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to normal is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.
At Amen Clinics, were here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834or visit our contact page here.
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