Health and Black Mold symptoms

What Is Black Mold?

Basically, black mold refers to the several species of mold (a type of fungus) that have a black or dark green appearance. This mold thrives in warm and moist environments like the kitchen, bathroom, and basins. It may also flourish on things which have high cellulose content like paper, wood, and gypsum board.

There are more than 60 species of black mold that can have drastic effects on human health with Stachybotrys chartarum being the most common one.

Toxic molds release spores after feeding on organic materials that have been exposed to moisture for some time. These pores, once inhaled or ingested, might cause multiple dangerous symptoms in human. There are many things related to health and black mold symptoms that should be taken care of.

Common Indoor Mold Varieties And Health Dangers

The toxins produced and health dangers posed by indoor mold varieties may differ according to the specific type of mold involved. According to the Environmental Protection-Agency, all molds have the potential to cause ill health in human.

The exposure and its effect varies from person to person and depends on a range of issues such as the type of mold in question, the degree of exposure, the general health of the victim, and existing allergies and health issues.

The most common varieties of mold include:

●Stachybotrys: This is the most common variety of mold that is also referred to as lack mold’. It mostly thrives on paper and food and causes the most serious respiratory issues and bleeding in the lungs.

●Aspergillus: This variety is most commonly found in house dust and prevails in warm and damp climate. It produces mycotoxins that can lead to a lung infection.

●Cladosporium: Though regularly found outdoors, this variety can also grow inside your home, on textiles and wood. The symptoms are similar to those exhibited by asthma and hay fever.

●Alternaria: This mold appears in the upper respiratory tract and causes irritating responses such as itchy eyes, coughing, and running nose.

●Penicillium: Last but not least, this variety of mold is found on carpets, fabrics, insulation, and wallpaper. The effects are similar to those of Alternaria.

What Are The Main Causes Of Black Mold And The Risk Factors?

Mold thrives in an environment mainly characterized by excessive moisture as well as warmth. There are various places inside your own home which can play breeding ground for black molds. Some of these include the bathroom and basement sewage leakage, the kitchen and the HVAC or air conditioning system.

A very high relative humidity within the walls can be a risk factor as 97% of Stachybotrys prefer it. Black molds may also occur in smaller microclimates: front-loading washing machines, sweating pipes, roof leaks, damp cars, and condensed windows.

However, it would be wrong to suggest that humidity alone accounts for the growth and proliferation of molds. Molds also require nutrients flourish. If the humidity level is right and there is sufficient availability of cellulose or other organic material, then it will not be long before the molds multiply. For instance, overstuff closets, furniture, and over packed bookshelves might be perfect breeding grounds.

Tiny fragments of mold or special toxins called mycotoxins could pave the way for potential allergic reactions that may badly harm your respiratory system. These are harmful airborne particles that act as the mold’s defense and protect it from external environment threats. However, they can accumulate on the local tissues and enter into the bloodstream.

How Can You Be Exposed To Black Molds?

Health and black mold symptoms should not be taken lightly. There are two ways through which you can be exposed to black molds or any other categories of mold.

●By breathing the microscopic particles in the air.

●Consumption of food that contains the black mold.

Black mold is specifically sticky and adheres to the surface when the mold colony dries. Their pores are not airborne and they are not regularly found in the air. Still, they can produce certain harmful contaminants that are easily found in the air.

Signs and symptoms

Toxic black mold can cause a variety of harmful problems such as respiratory problems, mental impairment, internal organ damage, and sometimes even death. There are certain main groups of symptoms that toxic black mold can cause.

Neurological Symptoms

Black mold produces trichothecene mycotoxins which are neurotoxic. They have the potential of killing the neurons in the brain and harming the mental ability.

Along with this, they can also cause nervous disorders and personality changes.

Some common symptoms are:

●Difficulty in concentrating as well as paying attention [otherwise known as attention deficit].

●Shock.

●Slowed reflexes and feelings of dizziness.

●Anxiety and depression.

●Tingling, shaking and trembling.

●Memory loss.

●Hallucinations.

●Impaired learning ability.

Respiratory Symptoms

The most common way for black mold to enter the human body is through the intake of contaminated air.

The toxic black mold and mycotoxins cause irritation and burning feeling in person’s air passages such as mouth, nasal cavity, and throat.

Even worse is when the mycotoxins lodge in the mucous membranes, causing breathing problems and lung bleeding.

Some common symptoms are:

●Difficulty in breathing (breathlessness or extreme shortness of breath).

●Sore throat.

●Swelling or bleeding of lungs.

●Wheezing or coughing.

●Bleeding gums.

●Runny, itchy, blocked and/or bleeding nose.

●Burning sensation in the mouth.

Vision Or Eye-Related Symptoms

Black mold can also be very harmful to your eyes as the mycotoxins are cytotoxic( toxic to cells). This means that on coming in contact with the eye cells, they cause inflamed eyes and may lead to vision problems.

Some common symptoms are:

●Red eyes.

●Damage, eye inflammation, and soreness.

●Worsening of the vision.

●Yellow eye as in Jaundice.

Immune System Related Symptoms

Toxic black mold packs chemicals that have the power of suppressing the immune system. People that are immunocompromised are advised against coming in contact with black mold as they can be exposed to infections and sicknesses.

Some common symptoms are:

●Recurrent infections.

●Immune systems not functioning optimally.

Skin-related Symptoms

Handling hay contaminated with toxic black mold gives rise to severe rashes and health problems on the part of the body that is touched or the sweaty areas like the armpits.

The skin is one of the most common and easy avenues through which black mold can enter the human body.

Some common symptoms are:

●Skin inflammation, blisters, rashes, and itchiness.

●Crawling skin.

●Jaundice or yellowing and paling of the skin.

Reproductive System Related Symptoms

Mycotoxins are teratogenic, that is to mean they cause problems in the foetus during pregnancy.

This may lead to birth defects. Also, they are cytotoxic as well as mutagenic ( causes cell mutation) and inhibit the synthesis of proteins including DNA and RNA.

Some common symptoms are:

●Miscarriage.

●Infertility.

●Fetal development problems.

Body Fatigue

Upon getting in contact with the toxic black mold, the immune system releases a sedative which is called chloral hydrate. This acts as a defense mechanism that fights off the harmful effects of black mold. But in the process, it may make you feel tired and cause discomfort. Black mold can also cause soreness of muscles and joints.

Some common symptoms are:

●Drowsiness and malaise.

●Fever.

●Muscle, abdominal, chest, and joint pain.

●Nausea.

●Recurring cold.

●Headaches.

●Diarrhea.

●Chronic fatigue.

Other Harmful Health Effects

Other symptoms of the Black mold may include hearing loss, weight loss, liver disease, coma, and even death. Health and black mold symptoms should not be neglected and proper treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

Are The Symptoms Permanent?

Children and people with a weak immune system are the most prone to toxic black mold and are often the worst affected. But as soon as the victims are taken away from the black mold, the conditions will be better and the signs and symptoms may disappear.

But at the same time, there can be certain permanent health implications. For instance, the immune system of the victim may not be as strong as it was before and he would be more prone to mycotoxins and mold in the future.

How Can Black Mold Poisoning Be Diagnosed?

Mold diagnosing is just not necessarily possible by examining the signs of the symptoms discussed above. Allergic tests as well as blood tests and the analysis of the presence of mold in your home is important to come to a conclusive answer.

●Blood test

Laboratory testing of the blood sample can help in identifying mold allergies and mold poisoning. A blood test can also check for biotoxins in your blood, which can also reveal mold poisoning.

●Skin prick test

During a skin prick test, the doctor will apply a tiny amount of mold using a tiny needle to your skin. If this causes rash, bumps, or hives, then this means that you are allergic to that specific mold species.

Prevention And Precautions

Following certain prevention steps and taking necessary precautions might help you to avoid the risk of the injury caused by black mold.

Below are some of the easiest and natural ways to deal with black mold in your home.

  1. Eliminate the source of moisture

Even if you clean the black mold at the first, it is likely to return if you do not eliminate its primary source of survival – that is moisture. Identify the specific areas in your house with a favorable warm and damp environment as this is the ideal environment for the flourishing of black mold. Once you have identified such an environment, clean it up to rid it of the moisture.

  1. Fix the leakages and ensure proper ventilation

Fix all water leakages and ensure that there is proper ventilation in the most humid areas of your home. Make use of fans in the kitchens and bathrooms to get rid of the humidity. You can also buy a dehumidifier for the areas which are too humid.

  1. Clean the surface regularly

Keep your surface free of cellulose-rich dust and dirt, to prevent mold growth. Employ non-toxic cleaning products on non-porous surfaces and allow the surface to dry properly. Avoid touching the waste with hands and use dry static duster or clothes to pick up the leftover material.

  1. Baking soda and Vinegar

Baking soda is a natural anti-mold substance. Mix it with water and then spray over the moldy area before cleaning the black mold with the help of a brush. Rinse it with water and repeat the same letting it dry after this.

Spray undiluted white distilled vinegar in the moldy areas. This is a natural anti-mold remedy. There is no requirement of rinsing or rubbing; just let it set.

Along with the above tips, certain natural remedies can also go a long way in helping deal with black mold symptoms.

  1. Raw garlic: Garlic has some amazing antifungal abilities and helps to kill molds, fungi, and yeasts. Two or four grams of garlic is recommended each day for the treatment of mold exposure.
  2. Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll has some great antifungal and antibacterial properties and it is especially powerful when it comes to fighting back the black mold symptoms. It can protect your DNA from the damage caused by molds and is a highly recommended part of the diet of those fighting with mold problems.
  3. Cut back the intake of sugar: Sugar is required by molds and yeast for their survival. Eliminate or cut back on sugar from your diet if you wish to effectively to do away with the black mold symptoms.
  4. Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal traps toxins in the body and flushes them out of it. It acts as an effective component in mold cleansing. How Can Black Mold Be Treated?

Exposure to molds and mold allergy can be treated in various ways.

1.Singulair: This is an oral medication which reduces the mucus in your airways. It helps to minimize the symptoms of mold allergies as well as asthmas.

  1. Allergy shots: At regular intervals, you might have shots of allergens recommended to you by the doctor in order to boost your body’s immunity to them.
  2. Nasal sprays: Nasal corticosteroids help to fight the nasal inflammation that is caused by mold allergies.
  3. Rinses: You can rinse your nasal passages of mold spores and remove congestion with the help of a solution of warm distilled water and saline.
  4. OTC medications: Antihistamines such as Cetirizine help in reducing the response of immune systems and minimize airway inflammation. Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine largely help to reduce the swelling which is caused by allergic reactions.

Conclusion

There can be some really toxic effects of the black mold to your health. Black mold exposure and poisoning can be avoided if proper care is taken. Keeping your home and surrounding areas moisture-free and eliminating any other conditions that can boost mold growth should be your priority. And should you discover any black mold symptoms in your family member, take them for proper medication.

Along with that, the quality of air your breath and the food you consume also plays a vital role in keeping black mold at bay.

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