Mold is a type of fungi growing in filaments and reproducing by forming spores. They have also been known as mildew, particularly the ones that are white or gray in color and grows in shower stalls or bathrooms. The most usual cases of household mold found indoors include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as “black mold”) is a greenish-black mold that can be found indoors.
Black mold is toxic. Black mold causes serious health problems such as mental impairment, breathing problems, internal damage and occasionally, even death. The symptoms of black mold can be bifurcated into the following groups:
The mycotoxins produced by black mold are neurotoxic i.e. they can kill nerve cells in the brain and impair a person’s mental ability. They can also cause nervous disorders and personality changes such as mood swings and temper. Usual symptoms would be:
- Abbreviated attention span
- Trouble focusing and paying attention
- Memory loss and retention problems
The fumes released by black mold can cause a burning sensation in the air passages of the nasal cavity, mouth, and throat. It could also potentially contribute to a sinus problem. Below are some typical symptoms:
- Pulmonary edema – swelling of the lungs
- Pulmonary hemorrhage – bleeding in the lungs
- Burning or stinging sensation in the mouth
- Bleeding of the gums
Black mold contains mycotoxins that can be absorbed by the body through a person’s skin or eyes. Afterward, they mix up with the person’s blood, causing heart damage and blood curdling. Here are some common symptoms:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Chronic inflammation of the heart
- Low blood pressure
- Bone marrow disruption
- Hemorrhage – internal bleeding
There have not been many instances that skin has been affected by black mold, but it has known to cause rashes as well as an increase in sweatiness. Here are the most common symptoms:
- Crawling skin
- Dermatitis – skin inflammation, rashes, and blisters
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
Black mold unleashes chemicals that hinder the efficiency of the immune system. In fact, many immunosuppressive drugs are created from black mold. The usual symptoms are:
- Immunosuppression – immune system is not functioning properly
- Infections re-occurring
Mycotoxins from black mold are teratogenic i.e. they can cause problems in the fetus during pregnancy that can contribute to birth defects. These mycotoxins are also mutagenic (cause cell mutations) and suppress protein synthesis. Below are some common symptoms:
Experts suspect that black mold can cause cancer although there is a considerable amount of research gap on this. It has also been proven that Aspergillus, which releases aflatoxin mycotoxins, is one of the most potent carcinogens.
Are black mold symptoms permanent?
If one is no longer in contact with the black mold, most of their symptoms would gradually diminish. Some of the health problems caused by black mold are permanent, though. For instance, after a person has been affected by black mold their immune system won’t be as effective as it used to be and they’ll be more prone to mold-induced health effects and mycotoxins after that.
Fact is, black mold is very serious and should not be taken likely. At Element850 we take our job very seriously. That is why we send our tech’s to the best nationally recognized courses. We specialize in water mitigation, mold remediation, fire restoration, and indoor air quality assessment. We are available 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, just call (850) 588-0410.