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Black Mold

Molds and black mold, are ubiquitous in nature, and mold spores are a common component of household dust. The term toxic mold is sometimes used to refer to mold-related indoor air quality problems.

Exposure to significant quantities of mold spores can cause allergic reactions. Under proper growing conditions, some species of molds may generate molecular compounds called mycotoxins. In large quatities or with chronic exposure, mycotoxins can be toxic to humans or animals.

symptoms of black mold poisoning

Our bodies can tolerate molds and mycotoxins in small quantities. In larger quantities, they can be a health hazard. Because exposure to mycotoxins is relatively rare, allergic effects are more common than toxic effects.

The health effects of mycotoxin exposure are different from allergic reactions to mold spores. Toxic mold symptoms display effects which include flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems, headaches, cognitive problems, and skin irritation. Environmental illnesses can be difficult for healthcare practitioners to diagnose.

Growing Conditions for black mold

For significant mold growth to occur, there must be a source of water and a substrate capable of sustaining the growth. Many common building materials, such as carpeting, drywall, and wood, are capable of sustaining mold growth.

History of toxic mold

Since Biblical times it has been known that indoor mold growth can be a health hazard. (See Leviticus 14:39-47.) In the 1930s, mold was identified as the cause behind the mysterious deaths of farm animals in Russia and other countries. Stachybotrys was found growing on wet grain used for animal feed. Today, the agriculture industry keeps a close eye on mold and mycotoxin levels in grains in order to prevent the contamination of animal feed and human food supplies.

In the 1970s, building construction techniques changed in response to the energy crises. As a result, homes and buildings became more air-tight. Also, cheaper materials such as drywall came into common use. This combination of increased moisture and a suitable substrates led to an increase in mold growth inside buildings.

causes of mold

Since common building materials are capable of sustaining mold growth and mold spores are ubiquitous, mold growth in an indoor environment is typically related to an indoor water or moisture problem. Leaky roofs, building maintenance problems, or indoor plumbing problems can lead to mold growth inside homes, schools, or office buildings. Another common source of mold growth is flooding.

remedies for black mold

The first step in solving an indoor mold problem is stopping the source of moisture. Next is to remove the mold growth. Here are the most common remedies for small occurrences of mold.

  • Sunlight
  • Ventilation
  • Non-porous building materials
  • Household cleansers

Significant mold growth may require a professional cleanup service and removal of affected building materials. A conservative strategy is to discard any building materials saturated by the water intrusion or having visible mold growth.

Posted by Staff at May 20, 2005 4:48 AM

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Comments Archive

just got results from lab myotoxic mold in my rental--plumber told when we moved in she had a broken stack--I didn't know this was serious--he took care of all the other plumbing problems--something was making me sick--normally I was constantly at dr and they looked at me like i was nuts when I tried to put all my symptoms together the I stated researching--I was nearly blind (bletharithia-STAPH--growth on chin--huffing and puffing after even one set of steps-landlord illegally locked me out ten days before lease default-not once but twice and wouldn't give my my things--I struck a deal with her--the mold and general horrific condition pictures in exchange for the rest of day to get my things out--her son--decided at 3pm--I'd had enough time--demanded the pictures and pushed me down and once again lock3ed me away from my belongings--touch her to court and lost--they charged me $4400. to power blast house--new carpeting etc

Posted by: kim kenney at October 29, 2005 8:30 AM

Do mold cause blister to appear on the skin? or soars to appear on the skin?

Posted by: Tina Hudson at September 15, 2006 6:22 PM

I live in a rental house (past 8yrs) and have had a basement that leaks when it rains a lot and it has also flooded twice ( about a foot of water each time) My children as well as myself have come down with all sorts of medical problems ( from asthma to sore throats to chronic fatigue) The landlord knows of the problem but won't fix it. Any advice on how to handle this and if it is black mold who do I contact to report this land lord?

either move, or contact a local lawyer whom provides free initial consults, and take detailed notes. Every state (and in some instances every county) has different laws regarding black mold and home owner responsibility.

Posted by: betty bee at September 21, 2006 5:04 PM

ewww i'm infested with this stuff it is disgusting

Posted by: marlette high school at October 23, 2006 7:30 PM

Ever since I moved into this apt. with
black mold in the bathroom floor
and basement, my skin has been
getting bumps, blisters, wart-like
sores on my hands and face. I also
developed a bad case of athletes
foot in my toenails.
Please advise!

Posted by: Nancy at October 31, 2006 9:19 PM

my son and i lived 9 years in cement slab house with leaky shower. he (17) became agressive & I became depressed. since 1992 i've studied amino acids to recover since stachybotris (black mold) stops all 3 actions of aminos. though I'll never be the same, I can help you heal liver and detoxify. we still react when exposed to any molds, but control symptoms with amino acids. wild oregano is great. just got PC, and will make web site to share what i've dedicated 14 years to learn. margi @ mauimedicine@hawaiiantel.net

Posted by: margie kronewitter at November 4, 2006 5:53 AM

i just had a question. what are the symptoms of someone that has been around this for 5 years? the severe symptoms are what?

Posted by: tawny at November 9, 2006 7:22 AM

My family and I live in a house that we are currently renting, and I believe that there is mold growing in our house. One place that it is growing is in the window A/C unit !!!!

My boyfriend and I are both unemployed, and I would like to know how and where we can test this mold --- in a "free", or a "cheap" manner ???

I would appreciate it if someone would/could get back to me as soon as possible --- 'cause I believe that a few of us, or maybe even all of us have alot of the symptoms of there being mold in the house, and I want to know how to get rid of it ????

Thank you very much !!!!!!!!!

Andrea D. Jones

Posted by: Andrea D. Jones at November 12, 2006 6:53 PM

i have been in a trailer with black mold and i was wondring where i can go to get tested and that is cheep i am a full time student and i have no money. i have alraedy been to the hospital and they said i had to go to a phasision to get help and i cant afford it. pleace help

Posted by: katie at November 22, 2006 8:33 PM

I have lived in an apt for about 4 months that has had mold. It is not only black spots but lifted white patches as well that have at least been 1/2 inch or more thick. This last weekend I found some mold of fungus growing in a corner. The growth almost lookes like a rippled up brown paper and was at least 1/2 inch thick. My baby has had a lot of asmatic symptoms. I cannot find anyone to give me any answers about how safe we are living here. Please help!!

It sounds like you have a serous mold problem. Short of going to a friends house for a week to see if the Baby's breathing gets better, I would consider taking a day away from your apartment, and have them seriously cleaned. In order to get mold as you have described, there must be some water leaking in from somewhere (or you are living in a rain forest). You may want to call around locally to see if any services are available to look at your appt. in more detail.

Posted by: Allison at February 21, 2007 6:18 PM

The City of Ft Worth's Housing (Weatherization) Dept let a contractor nail aluminun windows over my drafty old wood ones, causing condesation between the two & within a year there was mold all on the north side of my house. It was all in & on the windows & surrounding walls. It got into my window unit & blew it all around my house.

I went to an ENT for eye pain/irritation, breathing, sinus & memory problems. He did allergy tests & found I was allergic to nothing. He then had me blow into a tube thing & said I had asthma. I'm still having trouble even after the City replaced the windows w/ drafy vinyl ones as they didn't remove the mold.

Take this stuff seriously as asthma is forever. I'm just hoping I don't get worse lung problems as I'm still living in it.

And never put bleach on mold. Try CLR or LimeAway. I almost ended up in the ER using watered down bleach. I couldn't catch my breathe for a week.

Posted by: LDV at February 23, 2007 5:11 PM