Facts about Stachybotrys chartarum
The Effects of Black Mold Exposure
Mold, a common type of fungus, is something that exists almost everywhere around our environment. Inside the home or outside the house, they can be found anywhere. Mold is not a problem for people if there is just the right amount of mold in our environment. As long as we are conducting our regular immune system functioning, the average amounts of mold are not going to cause any health issues in our bodies.
Many people think that “black mold” is a distinctive mold that comes in the color of black. Wrong! There are many types of molds that are black. But, the term “black mold” refers to Stachybotrys Chartarum, aka Stachybotrys Atra, a specific kind of mold.
The research could not be able to come up with any reliable evidence that S. Chartarum, specifically, is more deadly than other molds. However, they can still be the reason for various respiratory issues as a group of people are itchier to mold spores than others. But we cannot deny that if the existence of mold spores increases in the environment, it can lead almost everyone to face the consequences.
This is why you must take the necessary steps to get rid of mold spores and stop the growth of molds inside and outside your home. If you are one of the people who are trying to fight black mold exposure at home, then you have come to the right place. Today, in this article, we are going to demonstrate facts and myths that revolve around the prevention of black mold exposure and will help you to stop the growth of black mold, respectively.
Is Black Mold a Dangerous Issue?
Some people in some parts of the world refer to black mold as toxic mold. They believe that it can be the reason for various bodily issues as it generates mycotoxins. A mycotoxin is a kind of poisonous substance that can make humans and animals prone to severe diseases. In fact, many pieces of research have found that the mycotoxins that S. Chartarum produces, is more deadly for the people who belong to contaminated buildings. Because it can cause mycotoxicosis (mold poisoning) to human bodies, including many other diseases such as:
- Aches and Pains
- Mood Swings
Till now, there is still no strong evidence for these regarding the health issues that black mold spores can cause to us. However, other symptoms may take place due to mold exposure. Such symptoms may include:
Irritation and Allergy
People who are itchy to allergies may find it more challenging to deal with mold exposure than others. Coming in contact with mold may lead to various symptoms, such as:
- A blocked or runny nose
- Skin rashes
- Water, red eyes
- A sore throat
- A dry cough
- Sinusitis, etc.
Sometimes mold allergies can lead them to severe symptoms such as shortness of breath as well. If you have asthma, you should be careful when you have mold in your home because it can worsen your asthma or lung problems. So, be very cautious when you already have pre-existing lung conditions.
Molds can also be dangerous for infants and children as it can be the reason for the kids’ early age asthma development. Studies have been able to prove that asthma can is never health-friendly for people, especially when it comes to infants and young children. However, black mold or S. Chartarum is not one of the strongest molds that cause asthma development to a greater extent. The more you keep away yourself from spending time in a damp indoor place, the better for your lunges.
Molds are not likely to cause a problem in your health if you happen to have a healthy immune system. However, for the people who are dealing with a weaker immune system, molds can be a problem. Fungal infections can attack people who are already going to uncontrolled HIV, cancer treatment, or transplant issues, etc.
According to a group of people, black mold is more dangerous than other types of molds as it releases mycotoxins. But, what they don’t know is not only black mold but also all sorts of molds do release mycotoxins. Just because you can see the black mold with your eyes does not mean that only it has the capability of producing mycotoxins.
Mycotoxicosis is a disease that takes place in our body, mostly because of consuming moldy foods rather than inhaling fungal spores. No evidence says that touching or inhaling mold can lead you to mycotoxicosis. Many reports have tried to prove that mold exposure can cause severe lung diseases, cancer, and fatigue, but they eventually failed in the end.
In a Nutshell
It is clear that not only black mold but also many types of mold can cause health problems to a group of people but not to everyone. However, you should get rid of any long term mold exposure from your home. Some people who are prone to various symptoms that take place due to mold exposure are:
- Older adults
- People with inadequate immune systems
- Infants and children
- People with asthma and allergies
Allergies and irritation is the most prominent symptom that causes due to mold exposure, and they lead us to respiratory issues. Fungal infections can be dangerous to people who have a weak immune system.
Your symptoms will help a doctor to diagnose the mold allergy, keeping an eye on the medical and family histories. There are a few tests that a doctor will go through to diagnose your mold allergy. Such tests may include:
- A skin prick test. This test helps to determine the reactions to common allergens.
- A blood test. This test will help the doctor to determine the immune system’s response to mold.
- A blood sample. A doctor may need a blood sample so that he or she can diagnose the fungal infection when you have a weak immune system. Sometimes they also require some further tests as well.
Mold treatment is not dissimilar to the treatment that revolves around other inhaled allergies. Some of the medications you are likely to have are:
- Stay away from allergens as much as possible.
- A nasal rinse. This treatment helps to get rid of the mold spores out of the nose.
- Decongestant nasal sprays. These spores are extraordinary for temporary treatment for congestion.
- Antihistamines. This treatment will help you to get rid of itchiness, runny nose, and sneezing.
- To reduce inflammation, your doctor may also prescribe nasal corticosteroids.
- There is another treatment to reduce congestion, which is oral decongestants.
People who have a severe problem with mold exposure may also get the treatment of immunotherapy, which provides a long-term solution to patients. Immunotherapy is an effective treatment for sensitive people. But, it is not applicable to any type of mold allergy. To prescribe this treatment, doctors go through thorough research and diagnosis.
How to Get Rid of Mold?
No matter what type of mold you have in your home, your goals have to be only removing it from your home at any cost. There are a few measures you can take for removing mold from your home.
- There are commercial mold removal products in the market which come in handy when it comes to removing visible mold growth from hard surfaces. Get the product with hot soapy water, and a cup of bleach in a jar of water.
- You have to move the soft or porous materials from your home, such as insulation, carpets, wallboards, so that you can see if there is any mold growing behind these materials.
- If your home is completely attacked by mold growth, the best way of removing it would be reaching out to a professional mold removal company. While attempting DIY mold removal, you may also get allergic reactions. Mold removing companies may also come in handy in such a situation.
Damp and humid environments are the only places where mold can thrive. If you want to keep the mold away from your home, you have to make sure that you keep the humidity level of your home in control. You are only allowed to keep the humidity level under 50% throughout the day at your home. The humidity level is so volatile, and it changes frequently. In that case, you have to keep an eye on the humidity level so that you can save your home from mold exposure. Using a dehumidifier is a life-saver during the time of humid months. To get rid of mold growth, you can also take some other necessary steps, such as:
- Make sure that your building has no signs of water damage, which can cause mold development in your home.
- Keep your bathroom clean all the time so that the mold and mildew do not appear all of a sudden.
- Keep improved ventilation in your home by making use of exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathroom, and other damp spaces.
- Air conditioners can also play a huge role in removing mold spores from the air of your home. You just have to make sure that you have a top-notch air filter with your air conditioner.
- While painting your home, tell the painter to include mold inhibitors with the paint. It helps a lot to prevent mold from growing on your home’s walls and ceilings.
- Do not install carpet in the basement, kitchen, and bathroom.
- Do not keep old newspapers and books in your home because they are very prone to get moldy once they get wet.
- If your home gets flooded, do not sit idle at home. Clean the soft items and dry out the soft furnishings immediately with the help of commercial products as early as you can.
- Get rid of the flood-damaged carpets.
Mold allergies come with a lot of symptoms. If you want to reduce those symptoms, follow these tips:
- Keep your windows closed at night. There may be more mold spores in the air when it is night and damp hours.
- While you are cleaning your garden, wear a mask so that you don’t get any dust inside your mouth and nose.
- Do not go outside of the home in damp weather, especially when it has rained just now.
There are a few people who don’t make use of safety equipment while cleaning up mold after a natural disaster in the industrial area. This will lead those people to suffer from mold symptoms.
The belief that many people tend to carry that black mold is more dangerous than any other mold types is entirely wrong. The fact is, mold can cause some symptoms to your health, be it black or white. The spores live in the air, and avoiding mold exposure is almost impossible. Mold exposure is irritating to people who have allergies. And it can lead to serious health problems when they are already dealing with underlying allergic conditions.
Therefore, despite what type of mold you have in your home, you have to get rid of it following the guidelines mentioned above. Only then can you keep the environment of your home hygienic. However, if you are having a major problem due to mold growth in your home, you should not delay but call in a doctor immediately. Take care of your health. After all, it is your health that keeps you up with a longer lifespan.