Black Mold Health Risks
Black mold, known by its scientific name Stachybotrys chartarum, is a toxic fungus that occurs naturally and is capable of growing both indoors and out. When growing outdoors, it is relatively benign growing in moist soils, rotting wood, and manure. Inside it will grow in a wide variety of materials that absorb moisture including drywall, plaster lathe, carpet, cellulose insulation, wood framing and flooring, among others.
Mold that grows indoors poses an increasing health risk due to the poor ventilation found in older buildings and the increasing energy efficiency (tight building practices) found in newer buildings and homes. Anywhere excess moisture occurs, particularly after floods or some other form of water damage, black mold fungi will thrive.
The most common black mold health risks are;
These are usually hay-fever type reactions that make sufferers miserable but aren’t that serious. Unfortunately, there are certain allergic reactions to mold that are much more severe.
People with mold allergies can have an asthma attack if they breathe in airborne spores. These attacks can be much more severe than a “normal” asthma attack leading to heat problems that can worsen.Those who are susceptible to them need to have an emergency plan in place if and when they occur.
This happens when fungal spores get stuck in the sinus cavities and begin to grow to create a fungal ball that in some instances can only be removed through surgery.
Black mold is poisonous when exposed to it cause a body to produce insufficient insulin that results to diabetes disease that is the hazard to the human body.
Although rare this condition, in which the lungs become inflamed, can be caused by exposure to mold spores and other airborne particles.
Infections, or invasive diseases, caused by mold exposure can cause some symptoms. These include flu-like symptoms, skin infections, and in severe cases pneumonia. Most often infectious fungus diseases are limited to infants, the young, and the elderly. Those with compromised immune systems from auto-immune disorders and those receiving immunosuppressive drugs for transplants or chemotherapy are also at a high risk for these types of infections.
Irritation and toxic reactions are caused by substances known as mycotoxins which are secondary metabolites (toxins) produced by molds. Different molds produce different mycotoxins, but in most cases, these substances are toxic chemicals that cause adverse reactions in other living organisms, including humans. Most often they cause irritation and reactions in the central nervous system and mucous membranes. Symptoms include eye irritation, runny nose, a cough, and headache and skin irritations. In more extreme cases you may have trouble concentrating, experience dizziness or nervousness, and have severe fatigue.
There is a myriad of black mold health risks, some more serious than others. If you think you have a toxic mold problem, it is important to get you home or building tested. This can be done by local company Mold Testing Houston professionals, or you can find do-it-yourself kits by doing an online search or at your local big box store. The best way to combat the health risks associated with mold is to remove it and prevent its re-growth. Now you can see why there is an importance of testing for mold.