What is Black Mold?
There is a common notion that when you speak of black molds, they are assumed to be toxic. However, this is not always the case. Of the thousands of various fungi species around the world, there are about a thousand species found in the US.
Toxic Black Mold: An Overview
Some molds are generally harmless but look very similar to toxic molds. This makes it difficult to identify which ones are toxic and which ones are not. It is vital to properly categorize black mold from the rest to be able to know the next steps to take towards mold remediation.
How to Identify Black molds
Mold differs in shapes, sizes, and colors like yellow, green, white, blue, orange, and black. You can identify the type of molds by looking at its profile and textures. You may notice that some molds are flat while others appear bumpy or hairy. And remember, these microscopic organisms can grow indoors and outdoors. The danger lies on the mold spores spreading when disturbed or windblown.
Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as black mold, is just one of thousands of species common to homes and building structures. It feeds off moisture and creates a slimy green-black blend of discoloration on the infected areas. This sets apart black mold from the rest of groups or species of fungi. Compared to other species, the mold spores are dampened down, causing less chance of air contamination.
Symptoms and Dangers of Black Molds
Your pet or child’s health may be at risk because black mold produces mycotoxins which they may accidentally or touch, inhale, or ingest. Common symptoms caused by black mold exposure include:
- Itching and redness of nose, mouth, and the eyes
- Difficulty in breathing
- Respiratory distress
- Coughing and sneezing with occasional presence of blood in the cough
- Memory loss
- Irritated mucous membrane
- Discomfort with the bladder or kidney
- Suppression of the immune system
- Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea
- Excessive fatigue
- Tiredness or headaches
The severity of symptoms depends on how long the victim is exposed to the toxic mold. Infants, elderly, and pregnant women are more susceptible to bigger health issues. The contamination needs to be stopped at the soonest time possible.
What Contributes to its Growth?
Black mold can grow almost anywhere—schools, business establishments, and homes. Humidity or moisture causes mold spores to build up and colonize the area until it rots when left unnoticed or untreated. Keep in mind that this is something that easily comes and goes. You need to inspect your property for a possible leak or moisture buildup to quickly remove mold and address the source of the problem. If you see irregular stains or dirt on any surface of your home, you should conduct mold tests for proper mold identification.
Hire a mold inspector to check on possible mold growth. It is vital to protect your health and your property from the harmful effects of untreated mold infestation and microbial contamination. Don’t take chances when it comes to yours or your family’s health.