What are the Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure? Is it Dangerous?

Symptoms of Mold

Black Mold- A Common Misconception

We aren’t betting people at Mold Zero but, if you’ve ever mentioned out in a public discussion that you found  mold growing in your home, we’d like to bet that one of the first comments would be, “hope it wasn’t black mold!”

Black mold has a negative reputation, as it should, and it can cause a number of health problems, but sometimes, it can also be harmless. No exposure to mold is good, especially for those with a sensitivity to mold, but the presence of black mold does not indicate that you are in any more immediate danger than with any other type of mold.

If you notice that there is black mold growing in your home, it is best to contact a mold removal specialist like Mold Zero to handle the problem thoroughly. We use a patented dry-fog technology that can take care of most problems within 1 -business day. For a free estimate call us at (626)671-8885

What is Black Mold?

Black mold (Latin: Stachybotrys Shartarum) is a type of mold that appears dark in color but does not refer to a specific type of mold. For various reasons, some people have tied the presence of black mold to chronic diseases like cancers & SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) but as we stated above, there is no direct correlation between the color of a mold and its danger.

This fear of black mold could be because of the fact that it emits mycotoxins — a dangerous fungal substance that affects our bodies negatively. There is research looking into black mold exposure and its links to health effects, such as mycotoxicosis- which includes mold poisoning, unnecessary mood swings, memory loss, cancer, and even arthritis but these studies are inconclusive and scientists have yet to find a solid link between the two.

Is Black Mold Dangerous to My Health?

Black mold often has a bad reputation and some may think it to be immediately life-threatening, but according to the Department of Health in Florida, there is no proof that the color of a mold type determines its effects on the human body. The symptoms of black mold are no different from other mold types and can affect your body all the same.  This is not to say that exposure to mold, in general, is not dangerous, simply that the color does not indicate how harmful it is.  Exposure to mold can affect our bodies negatively and should always be avoided, especially in those with a weakened immune system.

People with weakened immune systems should be especially concerned with their exposure to black mold, including those with mold allergies, uncontrolled diabetes, or people with prior respiratory issues- such as asthma. Because of their predisposed conditions, these groups of people have a hard time fighting off foreign microbes and should be extra careful when exposed to mold.

Diseases such as Mucormycosis can take over the body quickly and can even be life-threatening.  It must be noted that infections like Mucormycosis are rare, but if you or a loved one is immune-compromised, you may want to think about the amount of mold that you are exposed to and how to address it.

When exposed, those with a mold allergy will have a hypersensitive reaction. The respiratory system will react with an inflammatory response, and antihistamines will be released causing discomfort in the person exposed. These antihistamines work to activate the body’s defense mechanism forcing the foreign microbes out of the body. However, even without an allergic reaction to these microbes, the body can still exhibit certain symptoms when exposed to black mold.

These Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure Include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Skin rashes
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Increased asthma attacks 

If you are exhibiting some or all of the symptoms mentioned above, it is crucial that you seek medical advice from a licensed professional immediately.  Although health issues may start off minor in nature, they can quickly exacerbate and become chronic conditions, later on, affecting a person’s quality of life.

How Does Black Mold Grow In My Home? 

There are many factors that contribute to the growth of black mold in your home, but the main culprit is excess moisture. Water damage from leaks and storms can lead to damp and moist environments, where mold spores can attach and thrive.  This is why controlling the amount of moisture in your home is absolutely necessary.  According to the Center for Disease Control, the humidity level in your home should not exceed 50% in order to prevent mold growth.

How to Get Rid of Black Mold

If you have a small mold problem on a hard surface, a little bit of detergent and water should get rid of any visible signs of mold.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if you have a hard surface that has been affected by mold, you should scrub the area clean, and dry it thoroughly.

We must mention, however, that although you may not see any mold after you clean a specific area, it doesn’t mean that there is not still a background level of mold present.  Mold spores are all around us and as long as there is a source of excessive moisture, a mold colony will find a way to thrive off of it. 

To truly get rid of mold and to keep it away for a long time, you have to eliminate all sources of excess moisture.  In doing so, you will eliminate one of the largest contributing factors to its growth.

Common Area With Excess Moisture in Your Home:

  • Under the sink
  • Behind/under the laundry machine
  • Behind wallpaper or drywall
  • Dark corners of attics and basements
  • Bathroom
  • HVAC units

These areas should receive frequent attention as mold grows quickly in these common spaces.  If you do discover that you have a mold problem in one of the areas mentioned above, you should first determine the severity of the situation before attempting to tackle the issue.  In some cases when the mold problem has gotten out of hand, it is best to refer to a professional.  If you opt to clean up with mold by yourself, without a professional, there is a chance that you may expose yourself to even more mold spores in the removal process, further exacerbating the issue.

If you or a family member suspects that there may be black mold in your home, don’t hesitate to contact Mold Zero.  We utilize a 2-step dry-fog process to eliminate mold in your home. It is also an extremely effective method of removing mold.  Our patented process requires little to no demolition with most jobs taking only 1 business day!   If you have a mold problem, it’s no problem.  Call Mold Zero for a free estimate at (626) 671-8885.

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