Black mold, is often referred to as mold or mildew, is a type of fungus that produces a fluffy or powdery growth on surfaces.
Black mold is also known as stachybotrys. This type to grow on many household surfaces, such as Cloth, Leather, Insulation, Wood, Carpets and food.
Exposure to toxigenic black mold can lead to many different health problems, which vary according to the method of contact.
Symptoms of black mold exposure can be classified into four categories: Allergenic, Irritations, Infections and Toxigenic.
An allergenic response is the most common symptom of black mould exposure. Individuals who are allergic to mold may experience headaches, watery eyes, sneezing, itching and redness of the skin.
sneezing, watery eyes, redness and itching of the skin and headache.
Black Mold Irritations occur when the fungus degrades substances they feed on. This Process produces Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds. Essentially they are digestive gases, kind of a “mold burp” if you will. MVOCs cause the “earthy,moldy or mildew odour associated with the presence of molds.
Exposure to MVOCs can cause irritation of your mucous membranes and central nervous system. Symptoms associated with this type of exposure may include dizziness, constant headaches, decreased attention span, difficulty in concentrating, nosebleeds and coughing up black-appearing sputum.
Infections due to Mould exposure are extremely rare, but they can and do occur. People with weakened or compromised immune systems due to HIV/AIDS or chemotherapy will have an increased susceptibility to infection due to mold. The scientific name for the fungus that causes many lung infections is Aspergillus niger.
This lung infection known as aspergillosis may occur if large quantities of Aspergillus Niger are inhaled. Symptoms associated with aspergillosis include wheezing, fever and coughing up blood. Additionally, if these mould spores get into that ear canal, a fungal ear infection may occur. Symptoms associated with this ear infection include ear pain and temporary hearing loss. It’s also possible for the infection to damage the ear canal.
Black mold produces a poisonous substance called mycotoxins. Stachybotrys spores do not constantly produce mycotoxins. Black mold produce most mycotoxins in areas with constant and consistant moisture such as behind wall panels, in ceilings or under carpets. Michael Bains’ article titled “Black Mold Symptoms” on the website PlanetMold.com states that toxicity can occur when humans contact these mycotoxins either by ingestion or skin contact.
Black mold toxicity can cause life-altering or life-threatening medical conditions. It should be noted that toxicity from black mold exposure is extremely rare and the severity of this condition will differ from person to person depending on their age, health and physical condition.
However, black mold toxicity can lead to blindness, brain damage, permanent memory loss, bleeding lungs, cancer and even death. This type of mould has actually been used in creating biological weapons in Asia and the Middle East.
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