Photo by Alan Grinberg
Do You Have Signs of Black Mold in Your Home?
Most molds have the potential to inflict serious health problems on people who are exposed to it for long periods of time and great care should be taken to identify and remove it before long-term illness sets in. However, one species of mold in particular can wreak long-term havoc on your health, and can even result in death.
Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as toxic black mold, is widely recognized as the most deadly fungal growth. It requires a lot of water in order to develop, which is why it is most often found in dark, moist places that are hidden from view – you might discover it lurking underneath sinks, behind bathroom baseboards, around toilets, and anywhere with leaky pipes. This kind of mold is easily identified because of its thick, black, slimy appearance and its ability to spread over large areas. If you happen to find Stachybotrys Chartarum growing in your home, it is crucial to take immediate action.
This kind of mold earned the ‘toxic’ label because of its ability to inflict serious damage on the human body. Stachybotrys releases mycotoxins which, when inhaled or absorbed by the skin, cause a variety of nasty health issues.
Respiratory issues are often the first sign of a Stachybotrys problem as the mycotoxins irritate the airways. What starts as coughing, wheezing, and a sore throat often develops into breathing problems and a burning sensation in the mouth and lungs. Over time, this can result in bleeding and swelling in the lungs, which is potentially fatal. See Symptoms of Mold Exposure
If Stachybotrys mycotoxins enter the bloodstream a whole other nightmare can set in. Stachybotrys can cause problems with the circulatory system, such as low blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, vomiting blood, and and internal bleeding, including bleeding in the brain. That’s not the only brain-related complication of toxic black mold exposure. Mycotoxins can kill the neurons in our brains, resulting in damage to the nervous system. Symptoms range from confusion, disorientation and shock to dizziness, hallucinations, and seizures. In many cases, the damage is permanent.
Stachybotrys mycotoxins also weaken the immune system, leading to immunosuppression and the likelihood of more recurring health problems. When your immune system is compromised, the risk of catching a severe illness like pneumonia is heightened and your body is less able to fight off the infection. You may catch more colds due to the attack from the mold.
Other than removing the toxic mold and minimizing the risk of exposure to mycotoxins, there is no known cure for Stachybotrys symptoms. While some fade over time, others can be permanent, and if left unchecked for too long the symptoms of Stachybotrys can be deadly. If you suspect that your home or office is being effected by Stachybotrys, do not stay on site and seek professional help immediately to decontaminate the property.