Black mold exposure can be extremely dangerous, especially if you have breathing problems. But how can you tell if you’ve been exposed?
What is Black Mold?
Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is a mold that resides in high humidity areas (over 90% humidity). Black mold is a greenish-black color, due to the fact that it contains melanin. It enjoys high cellulose surfaces in the home such as paper, gypsum board, and fiberboard. Since black mold requires constant moisture, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms can be more susceptible to black mold colonies.
How Can I Be Exposed?
Large mold infestations can typically be seen or smelled. Black mold is particularly easy to spot due to its dark color. If you have black mold in your home exposure can happen in a number of ways, including eating food that contains the mold, touching a mold colony, or simply by breathing in mold spores, which are microscopic mold particles.
Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure
The real dangers of black mold exposure aren’t necessarily in the mold or spores themselves, but rather in the mycotoxins surrounding the mold. Mycotoxins are toxins and particles of mold that act as the mold’s defense against environmental threats, that are released when a mold colony is disturbed. Once inhaled, mycotoxins can cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues. They can also enter the bloodstream.
Some symptoms of general mold exposure are:
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Nasal congestion
- Skin or eye irritation
- Shortness of breath
Certain people are more susceptible to strong reactions to mold, including those receiving treatment for cancer, those who are immunocompromised, and individuals taking certain medications.
Mold exposure may have more severe consequences for infants and children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there may be a link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma in children. Additionally, a possible link exists between black mold and acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants, however further studies are needed to determine the cause of acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage.
Black Mold in the Home
Now that we’ve discussed the dangers of black mold exposure, let’s address black mold prevention and eradication. In order to prevent mold growth, keep humidity levels in the home low and fix and leaks as they occur. Additionally, make sure all areas of your home have proper ventilation. Removing black mold on your own is difficult and can end up making matters worse if executed improperly. For small colonies of black mold, you can spray the source with bleach diluted in water then clean the area thoroughly with a cloth. If the colony persists, seek professional help.
Contact Black Diamond Restoration
If you are experiencing symptoms of black mold exposure or have spotted signs of black mold within your home, get expert help and let us do it right the first time. Contact us at Black Diamond Restoration to get a quote today, your health and safety is of the utmost priority to us. We proudly serve the Salt Lake City and Murray, Utah areas with mold remediation, cleanup, and prevention services.