Is Black Mold Dangerous?
Having molds in homes and buildings is dangerous. These are the molds, particularly the infestation of black molds. Which strike extreme fear in the heads of homeowners and business owners. But if you get to know what exactly black molds are and how can their growth be prevented and controlled. Therefore you can easily come to grips with these toxic black molds.
Before directly sliding to the hazardous aspects of black molds. Also it is important for you to first know what black molds are and how can you identify them in your homes.
What are black molds?
‘Black mold’ refers to various species of molds that are typically dark green or black in color. Therefore, they can be readily identified by their distinct color. The most common species of the black mold is Stachybotrys chartarum. Just because it is black, doesn’t imply that it is toxic.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding black molds.
- Are all black molds toxigenic?
- Are black molds potentially more hazardous than other types of molds?
- Where can we find them in our homes?
- What causes them to grow?
- How are black molds dangerous?
- How can we get rid of these organisms ourselves?
All these questions pop up in our heads whenever we think about black molds. This article is aimed to address all your questions regarding black molds and to inform you of the dangers caused by them.
Where can we find them in our homes?
These molds are known to flourish in warm, moist environments as of bathrooms, kitchens, shower cubicles, basements and the like. In addition target these breeding grounds of molds in your homes and buildings. Growth is because of the moisture that may result from condensation, water damage and leaks, excessive humidity, flooding, and water infiltrations.
Also, materials having high cellulose and low nitrogen content are said to be the food materials for black molds which largely include gypsum, cardboard, paper, lint, etc. Feeding on organic matter, they acquire potential to grow on household materials and furnishings such as wood, leather, carpets, walls, floorings, etc.
How are black molds dangerous?
They are a threat to the health status of each one of us. Accumulating evidence suggests that they appear to cause serious harms owing to their toxigenic nature.
Black mold poisoning- “Mycotoxicosis”
Most, but not all, black molds release mycotoxins that can cause health-related issues. Therefore accumulation of these toxins in the body can lead to mold poisoning not only in people with the suppressed immune system. But also in healthy individuals depending on the amount and the time of exposure of these toxins.
Symptoms of Mold Poisoning:
The signs and symptoms of mold poisoning are in line with those of upper respiratory tract infections. Thus taking into account the health status of individuals. The symptoms may range from mild to severe.
- Stuffy and runny nose
- Appearance of rashes
- Red eyes and skin
- Aching throat
- Coughing and sneezing
People having any preexisting condition are adversely affected. Thus their illness is worsened by longer exposure to these molds. As a result, they may acquire secondary infections as well. Above all if you are not medically fit and are suffering from chronic allergies, cystic fibrosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or any immunodeficiency disorder, you are likely to show severe symptoms.
Some of the severe symptoms are listed below:
- Severe headaches
- Frequent coughing
- Allergic responses
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest cold
- Swelling of sinuses – ‘sinusitis’
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Stomach pain
- Muscle cramps
Diagnosis of Mold Poisoning:
Always remember that mold poisoning cannot be detected by the symptoms alone. In addition blood tests and allergy tests are additionally required to assess allergic reactions as well as levels of mold toxins in your body.
Blood test– It tests your blood sample for the production of antibodies by your immune system in response to mold toxins. It also checks for the levels of toxins in your body.
Skin prick test- It employs diluted amounts of suspected allergens (molds). Using a tiny needle, small amounts of these molds are applied to your skin. If you’re allergic, you’ll begin to develop tiny bumps or a rash in the test location. Thus, this test is basically an allergy test.
How is mold allergy effectively treated?
It can be treated by using:
- Nasal sprays – to remove the stuffiness in nasal passages caused by mold allergies. Also, decongestants may be used to reduce the inflammation in breathing passageways.
- Anti-histamines – to prevent several allergic reactions and to decrease inflammation in airways
- Immunotherapy/allergy shots – to enhance tolerance against allergens by regular exposure to tiny amounts of these allergens
How to get rid of black molds?
It is crucial for you to avoid prolonged exposure to these organisms if you really don’t wish to develop mold poisoning or any mold allergy.
Removing molds from all the target sites in your homes and workplaces is fundamental to your own safety.
- Clean off all the hard surfaces where you suspect their presence using bleach with water
- Dry all the surfaces properly to ensure that they do not return
- Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity or control moisture
- Keep your rooms well ventilated to allow proper air flow
- Install exhaust fans in damp areas
It’s not at all difficult to prevent the entry of black molds in your homes and buildings. Thus controlling moisture content and keeping your space clean, can help eliminate these molds. This way you can avoid the development of any mold-related medical condition. So if you find yourself needing to contact a professional, call Dry Effect!