Molds can come in different forms and colors because they belong to a number of different species. Some mold species are relatively harmless and will only cause small allergies like cough and skin irritation. On the other hand, some species of mold can release deadly toxins in the air and cause a number of serious health problems. One such species of this fungus is commonly referred to as “black mold”.
What is Black Mold?
The fungal species stachybotrys chartarum is commonly referred to as black mold because of its appearance. It’s slimy, dark, and can stand out starkly against the drywall and furniture. While there are other molds that have the same color and appear similar to the naked eye, the stachybotrys chartarum is most-feared by property owners and for good reason.
Where Does it Grow?
Black mold can grow anywhere, if the conditions are right. It needs a constantly damp environment, little to no sunlight, and a food source. Most modern building materials provide ample organic matter for mold to thrive so black mold will simply settle in drywalls, carpets, and wooden furniture to get nutrition. You’re also likely to find black mold in air conditioning ducts and near air conditioners where there’s constant supply of moisture.
The Truth About Mycotoxins
People fear black mold because it can produce a toxic compound called mycotoxin. The mold itself isn’t toxic but it can provide mycotoxin in some conditions. You can find black mold without mycotoxin because it’s produced under specific circumstances, but it’s safer to eliminate the mold completely instead of letting it linger. The mycotoxins can cause a number of problems like:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Sneezing, coughing, and cold-like symptoms
- Sore throats
- Watery and irritated eyes
- Sensitive and irritated skin
- Asthma attacks
- Chronic sinus infections
- Tiredness and fatigue
In some cases, the mycotoxins are also known to cause depression and restlessness. If you expose yourself to this toxin for an extended period of time, you can suffer its ill-effects.
Who is Most Vulnerable to Black Mold?
Healthy people can suffer symptoms from prolonged exposure to black mold; however, this fungus causes more problems in people with weaker immune systems. Children and infants, the sick or elderly, individuals with autoimmune conditions, and people with respiratory problems like asthma, etc., are more vulnerable to black mold and can develop a severe reaction to it.
How to Handle Black Mold Removal?
Many people try DIY solutions like bleach to remove black mold from their environments but that’s risky and can place your health at risk. You should call a professional to handle the problem because:
- Professionals will conduct a thorough black mold inspection and find all the existing pockets in your home.
- They will wear proper protective gear and ensure the spores don’t spread to other rooms in your property.
- They will eliminate black mold using tried and tested solutions.
Black mold is dangerous and should be eliminated from your environment as quickly as possible. The longer it stays the more health problems you will face.