What is Black Mold?
What is Black Mold?
It is just a special name for some common species of mold that are black or dark green in appearance. Stachybotryschartarum is the specie seem to be the most popular.
These molds are favored in moist and warm environments, which includes showers, baths, toilets, basements, and kitchens. They can equally grow on dirt, paper or wood. They grow excellently well in places that have high humidity.
Black molds are usually fond of releasing toxins that are irritating or harmful to people who are already struggling with poor health conditions. Known as mycotoxins, they are formed whenever mold spores grow, eat or merge with other spores as they form a larger colony.
Mold poisoning is very possible when a healthy individual is exposed to an unhealthy level of mycotoxin concentration for a long time. And this can be very dangerous.
Discover how you can identify the symptoms of mold poisoning, how it can be diagnosed and treated, as well as how you can manage it and drastically reduce the toxic molds around you.
What are mold poisoning symptoms?
Mold poisoning can attack the upper part of the respiratory system with similar symptoms to those of flu or cold. Additional mycotoxins symptoms are devastating for someone with asthma or any other allergies.
Exposure to mold is not good for anyone, and it is even worse for children. In a study that was conducted in 2012, with 36 variety of molds in about 289 homes that had 8-month-old babies, it was reported that young children and infants who are exposed to mold have a higher chance of coming up with asthma later in life.
How can mold poisoning be diagnosed?
It is impossible to diagnose mold poisoning with only symptoms. You would need to undergo allergy tests, blood tests, as well as knowing the level of mold in your home before you can ensure a proper diagnosis.
To know whether you are suffering from an allergy or mold poisoning, your doctor may need to conduct any of the following tests:
Your doctor needs to send a sample of your blood to a testing lab where the reaction of certain antibodies that make up your immune system will be tested against various mod species, and that includes black mold. This is useful in discovering mold allergies as well as other reactions that are indicative of mold poisoning. A blood test can equally be used to confirm the presence of biotoxins in your bloodstream due to mold exposure, which is also an indication of mold poisoning.
The Skin prick test. This is when your doctor takes a small portion of mold and subjects your skin to it with the help of a small needle. If you are allergic to that particular species of mold, your skin will quickly develop some rash, hives or bumps.
How can mold exposure be treated?
Possible treatments for all mold allergies and symptoms of exposure could include:
Nasal sprays or rinses. Over-the-counter prescriptions like fluticasone can help reduce inflammation that is a product of mold allergies. You can shop Flonase online. Additionally, a solution of distilled, warm and salt water can rinse your nasal ducts of any mold spores as well as rid it of congestion.
Over-the-counter medications. Zyrtec or loratadine help to reduce immune system response, thereby reducing airway inflammation. Find Claritin and Zyrtec online. Decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) can help curb swellings that are produced by allergic reactions.
Montelukast (Singulair). This is an oral medication that can reduce the amount of mucus present in your airways, ultimately leading to reduced asthma and mold allergies.
Allergy shots. You might be advised by your doctor to get several shots of injection with little allergens to help boost your body’s immune system over molds.
How to look out for black mold?
Using a professional to spot and get rid of black mold will be your best bet, especially if you are vulnerable or allergic to it. A look at some quick tips to help identify and remove black mold.
Spotting mold around your home
Check for black, and possible clustered growths that are mostly in warm and moist rooms. Take note whether the room will make you sneeze or cough the moment you enter into it. Even if the mold are not visible to your eyes, spores can still evoke symptoms. Search for things that can encourage the growth of mold like poor ventilation, leaks, wood, papers or old food. Get rid of anything that can promote or cause the actual growth of mold, as well as anything that has been affected by mold.
Get rid of mold from around your home.
Take out items from such an area that is yet to have any contact with mold growth.
Seal windows and doors to rooms with plastic sheets.
Capture mold spores with HEPA purifier. Explore our HEPA air purifier collection here
Put on your gloves, mask, and cover yourself with a mold-resistant suit. Buy your protective masks here.
Change and replace any drywall that have been damaged by mold.
Non-porous surfaces that are easily affected by mold should be covered with fungicidal agent or bleach.
Allow affected areas to be dry before you commence your room renovation.
How to manage mold?
Here are some tips that can help you manage the molds that are indoors so they do not grow out of control.
- Ensure you vacuum and clean your home regularly.
- Doors and windows should be left open when you undergo any activity that could increase the moisture level in your house like bathing or showering.
- Employ a dehumidifier to keep relative humidity lower than 50% indoors. Have a look at our various dehumidifiers here.
- Implement any indoor purifier that has HEPA (high-efficiency particulate in air). Or you could install the necessary high-efficiency filter in your ventilation system or furnace.
- Ensure your rain gutters are not obstructing water drainage and they are clean.
- Don’t leave your old newspapers, books or woods for a long time unused.
- Don’t install carpets in bathrooms, basements, and kitchens.
- Don’t feel unconcerned about pipe leakages or groundwater. Try fixing them as soon as you can.
The bottom line
People with asthma, immune system difficulties and allergies are the most vulnerable to mold. However, it is not hard to control the overgrowth of mold. Just keep the humidity at a low level indoors and make sure the space is clean. Be on the lookout for small mold growths and make sure they are taken care of before they grow out of control. Should you ever think that your health is being threatened by exposure to mold, talk to your allergist or doctor.