How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .
The Truth About Black Toxic Mold
The truth is there really is black mold over 20,000 species in fact. However, Stachybotrys, the toxic black mold of most concern, is not always toxic. The truth is, none of the million-plus mold species are always toxic. Another truth is that mycotoxins, while real, are one of the lesser of the several evils of mold.
We cant say this often enough. The only two things you know for sure when you see black mold is you have mold and that it is black in color. Thats all. Scientifically, there is no mold genera or species that is called black mold or toxic black mold. Of the million-plus species of mold, about 20,000 species are indeed black. Most species appear green, brown, orange, white, or even pink. Stachybotrys, a common type of mold thought to be the most toxic, is actually a greenish-black in color but can be white or a slight pink color depending on the environment it is growing in and the food it eats. Mold of any color can be toxic under the right conditions, so using color as a red flag is a bad idea.
How Do You Get Rid Of Black Mold
Black mold can be hard to remove and can require many steps to completely rid your environment of its toxins. The first step to getting rid of black mold would be to remove any and all moisture from the area and make sure that you seal off or rectify the moisture issue. Also, you want to make sure you seal the doors of the infected area so that the mold will be contained in the small confinements with no room to spread. Once you have contained the mold, the best next step is to have this area professionally mitigated by a mold-remediation specialist. You may think that after this process is done your environment will be free of all toxins and molds but think again.
After a mold-remediation specialist has come in and removed the mold, this process can cause mold spores to get released into the air and cause health problems for those in the environment. The EnviroKlenz UV Mobile System was designed to trap and destroy air contaminants in your indoor air such as particulates and molds. This air purification system contains a two-stage filtration system, utilizing a patented earth mineral air cartridge to remove odors and chemicals from the air, as well as a hospital grade HEPA filter to capture and trap small particulates as small as .3 microns in size. The HEPA filter will catch the mold spores in the air, allowing the ultraviolet germicidal radiation to do their job of shining on top of the HEPA, killing the spores with a high efficiency of kill.
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How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
Possible Health Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Black molds notoriety is largely based upon the substances it releases called mycotoxins. Symptoms of black mold exposure are a result of inhaling or otherwise ingesting these mycotoxins and can include persistent coughing, sneezing, eye irritation, and other symptoms that are typically synonymous with allergies. More severe black mold symptoms are quite rare. People with allergies or weakened immune systems may experience worsened reactions, although any healthy person who is exposed to a large amount of mold spores for extended periods of time can be susceptible.3
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Keep It Clean And Dry
It never hurts to clean regularly. Make sure humid areas and rooms with plumbing get regular spot checks. Add mold and mildew removal products to your cleaning routine, especially for the bathroom and kitchen.
Mold thrives on moisture, so use dehumidifiers in humid areas of your home like bathrooms, basements, or closets.
Why Does Mold Grow On Clothes
Similar to the reasons why mold appears in your home, mold on clothes can grow because of dampness and lack of ventilation. Mold disperses spores and toxins that travel through the air and are attracted to damp materials that are fibre-rich, such as wood, drywall, and fabric.
If your clothes remain wet for an extended period of time, mold will be attracted to it fairly quickly anywhere between 24-48 hours. Keeping wet or even moist clothes in unventilated areas or closely together becomes a breeding ground to grow mold on clothes.
If you have recently washed your clothes, it is always best to dry the clothes in sunlight as soon as possible. If you do not have a way to dry clothes outside, dry them in the dryer. Do not let the clothes remain in the washing machine in their damp state for too long.
Dampness is only one of the causes for mold on clothes. If your home is too humid, or if the room where your clothes are stored does not have enough ventilation, chances of finding mold on clothes increases significantly.
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How To Tell If You Have Black Mold Poisoning
There is always some mold around. It enters through doors, windows, and vents. Mold can even be transported indoors on people and pets. You might spot black mold growth near areas of leaky roofs, pipes, or recent flooding in the home. Mold grows and thrives when moisture from continuous or unrepaired leaks or flooding in the house wasnt cleaned up properly. You might see it growing in high moisture areas or on the wall, under the sink, and under rugs or carpet. You may be able to smell the pungent, musty odor of black mold. Even in the absence of odor and obvious leaks, black mold could still be lingering sight unseen in places where condensation and moisture prevail.
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.
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Can Black Mold Kill You
Inhaling toxic mold spores on a daily basis will eventually lead to respiratory problems. If the source of the problem is not discovered and the person continues inhaling the spores, it can lead to irreversible consequences and eventual death.
Some people are more affected by toxic mold than others. For example, children, pregnant women, and elderly, whose immune system is not as strong as an average adults, feel the effect of black mold spores faster and suffer the most. The same is true for people with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma.
Basically, if you are prone to respiratory problems, the mold spores will take full advantage of this lack of defense.
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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When Is Mold Abatement Necessary
Mold abatement is necessary even if you find the slightest presence of mold in your home. The toxins connected to mold can cause any of the following conditions: headaches, cough, red eyes, breathing difficulty, nausea, rashes or hives on the skin, memory loss or loss of concentration, irregular blood pressure, damaged digestive system, and in some extreme cases, infertility.
Mold cleanup must begin with identifying the source of the moisture problem that assists the mold growing. After you have identified the problem and fixed it especially if there is a leak or a problem with water gathering somewhere in your house you should make sure you have properly cleaned the exposed surfaces to prevent the problem from recurring.
Health Effects Of Black Mold
According to the EPA, various types of mold can cause health problems for some people. Those health problems are primarily in the form of allergies such as stuffy head, headache, itchy eyes, trouble breathing, etc. These ailments can be more severe in the young, the old, and those with other health issues. The CDC basically says the same thing that mold can cause health issues in some people, or no issues in other people.
According to the CDC, Stachybotrys black mold is unproven to cause serious medical issues beyond those mentioned above. In other words, symptoms of black mold are only proven to be similar to other molds. The CDC simply states that various types of mold may cause health symptoms, to consult with a doctor if symptoms persist, and that no color or type of mold belongs in a building.
You may be thinking: If all we know for sure is that mold causes allergies in some people, and maybe some serious health problems in a small percentage of other people, then whats the big deal?
Well, our answer to that is to imagine yourself as one of those people who are sensitive to mold. Constant allergies, constantly feeling sick, and miserable in your own home. Theres even a scientific name for it: Sick Building Syndrome . Mold, along with other problems such as radon, Chinese drywall, etc., can cause Sick Building Syndrome. Suffering through Sick Building Syndrome is a terrible way to live, and we wouldnt wish it upon our worst enemy!
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How To Prevent Mold
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold from growing in your home. The following tips will help stop mold from becoming a problem:
- Keep the humidity in your house below 50%. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help with this.
- Make sure your house is clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
- Fix any water leaks immediately.
- Use ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms that are likely to become wet such as the basement, kitchen, or bathrooms.
- Make sure wet floor mats are dried quickly.
How To Remove Black Mold
Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.
Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â
Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:
- Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
- Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
- Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
- Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
- Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
- Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â
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How Does Mold Get Into Your House
Mold can get into your house from open doorways, windows and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that take air in from outside. Spores that begin mold growth can also attach themselves to people from outside their clothing, animals, shoes and carrying cases or handbags. Some materials inside your home are designed to encourage mold growth too. Wet cellulose material, including paper and paper products, cardboard, wood and wood products and ceiling tiles are primary culprits. Other materials like dust, carpet, paints, wallpaper, fabric and upholstery, insulation and drywall are common mold conductors.
How We Can Help
At the Sponaugle Wellness Institute, we assist in the healing of patients with chronic illness. Dr. Sponaugle specializes in treating Mold Toxicity, Industrial Toxicity, Gut Toxicity, Lyme Disease, and more.
Now you know the answer to the question, Why is black mold dangerous? Just listen to some of the lives that weve changed through our treatments.
If you have any additional questions/concerns, please feel free to reach out to us today!
About Sponaugle Wellness Institute
At Sponaugle Wellness Institute we practice integrative medicine, combining the best of conventional and alternative medicine to focus on outcome-based treatments for patient. Our mission is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of our patients illness rather than to treat their symptoms. Dr. Rick Sponaugle, Director of Sponaugle Wellness Institute, is an integrative physician with extraordinary brain expertise having treated over 8,000 patients who were suffering with various psychological and neurological disorders.aView all posts by Sponaugle Wellness Institute
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What Does Black Mold Smell Like
The smell of black mold is a little more difficult to pinpoint than the look. Like most molds, you need to get up close and have a good sniff, which for obvious reasons is not advisable.
For those of you with a stronger sense of smell, you might be able to detect a musty odor from a safe distance, however most fungi share this same smell, so its not really possible to detect from smell alone.
What Does Mold Look Like
Identifying mold in your home can be a challenge, as the color of mold can range depending on the different type of mold growing in the environment. Mold can come in a variety of colors from black, white, green, or even orange. Sometimes though, mold can take on an unusual color such as a whitish thread-like color or possibly a cluster of black spots can form as the mold grows. The most common types of mold that can form in your home can include Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Black Mold. For many molds, they tend to have a greenish-blue appearance, but there are some cases where a mold can take on an orange-red color. The molds that appear this color tend to be found outdoors, as it thrives on moist wood or decaying plants. The most concerning color you should be examined for in your home is a greenish-black color that is associated with the formation of black mold. Black mold is a mold that takes on a very dark color that can typically be spotted fairly quickly.
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