Why Is Black Mold So Dangerous
Black mold is commonly referred to as toxic mold, and for good reason. Aside from causing all kinds of respiratory reactions like coughing, sneezing, sore and itchy throats, and watery and itchy eyes, prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.Black mold is toxic, and prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.
One study found that exposure to mold during infancy led to asthma at 7 years of age, while others have linked exposure to brain inflammation, behavioral dysfunction, movement disorders, and neurological deterioration.
In short, black mold warrants its reputation as a toxin, and should be treated as soon as its discovered. Below are several signs it may be inhabiting your home.
Effects Of Breathing Black Mold Spores
Inhaling black mold spores can have no effect on some people and dramatic effects on others. The effects of breathing black mold spores depend on several factors, including the following:
- Overall health. People who have mold allergies, asthma or other immune conditions are at higher risk for adverse reactions to mold exposure.
- Age. Infants, young children and the elderly are more likely to experience negative health consequences after inhaling mold spores.
- Mycotoxins and mVOCs. Although mold spores can cause sickness on their own, they are more dangerous to health when they carry mycotoxins and mVOCs.
- Exposure. People who live or work in buildings with black mold are at a higher risk for developing mold-related illness than people who are only briefly exposed.
- Genetics. Research indicates that certain genetic predispositions can make someone more susceptible to black mold toxins.
Even if the spores are from the same mold colony, they can trigger drastically different reactions in people. In general, people with asthma, autoimmune diseases and chronic respiratory conditions are more vulnerable to the effects of breathing black mold spores than others.
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?
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Who Is At Risk For Mold Toxicity
While anyone can become ill from exposure to mold and its mycotoxins, some are more susceptible than others.
People who already have allergies or asthma can be more severely affected by mold toxicity than those who do not have allergies.
Also, people who are already ill, have immune suppression, or who have respiratory illnesses are more likely to have noticeable and intense symptoms resulting from mold exposure.
Symptoms of mold toxicity are relatively persistent and should not be ignored.
Test The Air To Determine What Kind And How Much Mold Is Present
Im going to let you in on a little secret
You actually can get the same air sampling technology that the expensive mold inspectors have a literally a fraction of the cost.
A quick lesson on how mold air sampling works:
Air sampling for mold involves obtaining a negative air pump that captures usually 75 or 150 Liters of air inside a tiny cassette. The cassette is then put under a microscope where it is determined how much and what kind of mold is present in the air sample.
Cool, but how can you do it yourself?
There is a company out there that offers one of these pumps called MyMoldDetective at a very affordable rate. It does the exact same thing as the $1200 machine a mold inspection company may be using.
You dont need to be a genius or really even know what your doing to operate one of these machines.
Take a look for yourself
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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.
Black Mold Releases Mycotoxins
Black mold is considered more toxic than other molds because it releases mycotoxins, which can be toxic to individuals who are sensitive to them. It is worth noting that all molds not just black mold are capable of releasing mycotoxins . The World Health Organization points out that moldy foods can also produce mycotoxins. Common items that are prone to developing mycotoxins are nuts, dried fruits, apples, coffee beans, and spices.
Concern about the dangers linked to black mold arose in 1993 and 1994, when 10 babies developed acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage, a condition that caused their lungs to bleed. This led people to believe that black mold was extremely toxic and could even kill people. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that the homes in which the babies lived had high levels of mold caused by water damage, but scientists could not prove that the mycotoxins caused the illnesses.
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How Bad Is Black Mold Really
You don’t want mold in your home. Black, green, orange, yellow no matter the color, it’s all undesirable. Yet you don’t necessarily have to panic if you see it growing on your walls or windowsills. Because while mold can negatively affect your health, and sometimes dramatically, you may suffer no ill effects at all from mold exposure.
Mold is a type of fungus, and it’s everywhere indoors, outdoors and even in the air. That’s not too surprising when you consider there are more than 100,000 types of mold in existence, and possibly even millions. Mold gets into homes and buildings through open windows, doors, vents and ductwork. It can also attach itself to your clothes or pets when you’re outside, so you inadvertently bring it indoors with you.
Once indoors, mold grows wherever there’s a lot of a lot of moisture. That’s why you’ll often see mold around leaky windows or pipes, or on drywall after flooding. It also grows easily on paper and on fabric, carpet, upholstery, insulation and even in dust.
What Happens When You Inhale Black Mold Spores
We live in a moldy world. Like it or not, mold is all around us, both outside and inside. Mold spores exist in practically every indoor environment, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency , eliminating them from indoors completely is impossible.
Like many other fungi and plants, mold spreads by producing spores that travel on the air. Everyone encounters mold spores, and the vast majority of time, they dont trigger adverse health effects. However, it depends on the type of mold spore.
Researchers have long established that Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly called black mold, is capable of harming human health. However, the specific effects of breathing black mold spores depend on several factors, including what those spores carry. If youre concerned about how breathing black mold might affect you, keep reading.
From chemicals and viruses to allergens and molds, a wide variety of contaminants harm indoor air quality. Luckily, you can address all of them by running a high-quality air purifier from Air Oasis. Visit us online to find the perfect air purifier for you.
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What Causes Black Mold
Molds are an important part of our environment. They decompose dead plants and animals. All types of mold will grow if the conditions are right. Mold grows and spreads quickly in the right conditions, which include:
- Moisture level at or over 70%
- Adequate food source
- Temperatures that range from 40 to 100 degrees F
Mold can grow anywhere in your house that provides these conditions. The most likely places mold will grow are:
- Anywhere that there has been a water leak.
- Damp rooms without adequate ventilation, such as bathrooms.
- Basements where humidity tends to be higher.
- Any areas with a lot of water condensation.
- Any areas where flooding has occurred.
Where Does Black Mold Come From
Black Mold can originate from many different sources. It thrives in damp areas with a lot of cellulose, such as cardboard or paper items. Black mold is also present in some foods that are high in cellulose and low acidity .
However, mold can grow in any warm, wet areas of the house such as basements, showers, crawlspaces, and especially on windows. It can form as the result of your ventilation not working properly or if you have leaky pipes.
If you suspect you have leaky pipes in your house, you should check your basement thoroughly for mold. You should also check showers, corners, and crawlspaces if you think your ventilation is not working properly.
If left unchecked it will cause serious damage to your home.
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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.
How Black Mold Spores Spread
Stachybotrys chartarum spores dont easily disseminate in the air because their clusters are generally covered with a layer of slime. However, when the clusters dry and are disturbed, spores can become aerosolized, as well as latch on to dust particles. Although black mold grows and spreads more slowly than other molds, research indicates that its aerosolized spores are present in as many as 13% of dwellings.
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Diagnosis Of Mold Toxicity
The conventional medical community is slow to acknowledge that chronic mold-induced illness is common. However, many functional and foundational medicine practitioners have expertise in mold toxicity and CIRS.
A common and simple test for mold toxicity is a urine mycotoxin test. Excreting an elevated level of mycotoxins is a sign of mold illness. Still, if your body is holding onto these toxins, your level may be falsely low.
Some functional medicine doctors also check specific immune system and inflammatory markers via blood tests. Examples are C4a, TGF Beta-1, and MMP-9. Elevated levels of these markers dont prove you have mold illness, but they contribute to the evidence.
Urine mycotoxin and inflammatory markers are best considered in the context of other signs and symptoms of mold illness. These include the following five areas:
The more of these criteria you meet, the more likely it is you have mold-related toxicity. And if you meet all five criteria, its more likely your mold illness is advanced and longstanding.
What About Eating Moldy Food
Fun fact of the day
Did you know what the antibiotic Penicillin is actually derived from mold?
Dr. Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered that a species of mold called Penicillium can cure patients of infectious diseases. Taking it one step further doctors couldnt perfect the antibiotic, and it was mold found on a cantaloupe which sealed the fate of this medical breakthrough.
Think about where this world would be today with Penicillin
All throughout human history, illnesses that are now looked at as minor, people were dying from until Penicillin hit the mainstream.
That being said, dont go thinking you can eat that moldy loaf of bread and be cured of any illness or disease!
In all likelihood, if you were to eat food with mold on it and are healthy, you may get mildly sick, but in most cases, it probably will not be fatal.
Disclaimer: Dont be the jackass to find out!
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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.
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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What Happens If You Eat Moldy Bread
Eating moldy bread can cause certain problems. However, it usually depends on the type of mold you eat because some of them are more dangerous and can cause a serious illness. A number of fungi or bacterium can grow on bread the most common examples are alimentary toxic aleukia, gangrenous ergotisms, Stachybotryschartarum, and aflatoxicosis.
- The most common issue after eating moldy bread is stomachache however, what happens definitely depends on the type of mold you eat, but another factor determining its effects is how sensitive you are to mold. Some people are more sensitive than others and they are going to have a serious reaction too. In this case, you may have an upset stomach and find it difficult to breathe. This may require hospitalization as well. Some studies have also found that eating mold can lead to serious nervous system disorders and depression.
- Another very important thing to understand is that sometimes there are multiple chains of mold on bread. It is therefore difficult to determine if the moldy bread you have eaten will lead to a serious reaction. In many instances, people have eaten moldy bread and became seriously ill some have died as well. Eating moldy bread does not always result in complications because many types of mold are not harmful some examples include fusarium venenatum, penicilliumroquefortii, and aspergillus oryzae. As you cannot tell what type of mold has grown on your bread, you should simply avoid eating it.
How Does Black Mold Get Inside A House
Mold spores find their way inside by hitchhiking on clothes, pet fur, and air currents into your home. But spores cant get comfortable without plenty of water. This is why youll usually find black mold around water-damaged areas impacted by plumbing issues like floods or leaky pipes.
Materials like drywall, carpet, or gypsum board can soak up water, creating a perfect home for a black mold colony. If you find water damage at home, its crucial to remove all the affected materials to prevent mold from growing.
A water leak sensor can alert you to leaks in hard-to-reach places where the water damage would otherwise go unnoticed.
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Help Your Body Get Rid Of Mycotoxins
Note: you have to get rid of mold in your environment before you can hope to successfully detox from mycotoxins. If you dont, youll just keep accumulating new mycotoxins as you get rid of old ones. You may stall mold poisoning, but you wont start to get rid of it especially considering that it takes 35 days for your kidneys and bladder to flush out the more stubborn mycotoxins.
Once youve gotten rid of the source of mold, its time to get your body back into fighting shape. Mycotoxins mostly target your mitochondria, which explains why mold poisoning affects brain and heart function more than anything else .
To recover from mold toxicity, you want to boost your mitochondria as much as possible, while also clearing out lingering mycotoxins. These mold recovery therapies will help:
Mold exposure can be incredibly frustrating. It can make you feel like you have no control over your environment, your health, your weight, your emotions your life in general. If youre dealing with mold, dont despair. These tools can help you get rid of mold and mycotoxins and return to your healthy, high-performing self.