Symptoms of Black Mold
Common and early symptoms associated with exposure to black mold may include respiratory problems such as runny nose, sore throat, wheezing, coughing; eye irritation which may be indicated by sore eyes, eye inflammation or even visual impairment; and skin irritation such as itchiness or rashes.
The trouble is that most of the symptoms are deceptively common and could also occur in any number of the so-called ‘sick building syndrome’ situations caused due to poor indoor air quality. Since a variety of other indoor environment pollutants can also be the cause of these symptoms it is important to understand the nature of toxic black mold so that you can identify it before it can cause long-term or permanent health damage due to prolonged exposure.
What exactly is Black Mold?
Toxic black mold is the common name given to ‘Stachybotrys chartarum’ or ‘Stachybotrys atra,’ a greenish-black mold with a slimy appearance. Black mold generally grows indoors in damp, dark conditions where there is excessive moisture or humidity caused by water leakage or flooding. Black mold is called toxic because it releases into the surrounding environment a toxin or poisonous substance called mycotoxin, which is airborne and therefore can easily infect human beings when they come in contact through breathing or touching.
Exposure to mycotoxins released by black mold can produce different reactions in people. Those with asthma or other respiratory problems including allergies are more susceptible and may show earlier symptoms of black mold exposure than others. Similarly children and elderly people as well as those with suppressed immune systems are more likely to show early symptoms of being infected.
Through early detection of exposure to black mold, it is possible to contain and remedy the damages caused by the mycotoxins. However, continued and prolonged exposure can have serious long-term consequences including permanent health problems and even in extreme cases lead to death. It is therefore important to identify the cause and source of black mold so that necessary steps can be taken to isolate and remove it from the infected environment.
Where does Black Mold grow when it causes symptoms?
Usually when black mold grows in indoor environment, it does in places which are normally hidden from sight such as corners and damp places on walls behind cupboards or bookshelves where light and air circulation is minimal. Black mold grows in conditions where there is a high level of cellulose and a low level of nitrogen which means most indoor building materials and surfaces are very likely to be affected such as fiberboard, gypsum board, wood, and wallpaper. Some of the common culprits to watch out for are dampness and humidity cause by undetected and hidden water leakage or seepage in walls and ceilings, in and around bathrooms.
Once detected, toxic mold should be immediately removed because the longer you are exposed to it the more chronic and permanent the damage it can cause. It is recommended that you call for professional and expert toxic black mold removal service because by attempting to do so without taking necessary precautions, it is possible that you may disturb the mold and release millions of mycotoxins which can potentially contaminate you and the environment.
Professional toxic black mold removal services will also ensure they test the mold and also conduct a thorough check to identify any other hidden sources. They will also advise you on the necessary precautions to take which may include evacuating the premises and isolating the environment for a specific period to clear the air of any residual mycotoxins.