Black Mold Health Risks: The Dangers of Mold

There are many kinds of mold which are more an eyesore than they are harmless, but black mold, especially the strain called strachybotrys atra, is hazardous. Exposure to it can lead to health problems, but because it shares symptoms with so many other illnesses, it’s not easy to diagnose. The only way to know is to acquaint yourself with the health dangers of black mold, so that if you notice black mold accompanied by several health symptoms, you can know that you may be looking at black mold poisoning.

Black mold can grow and spread in a very short time, meaning that in a week or two, you can have so much of it that your health begins to be affected. It spreads through the air, and on surfaces where it was growing, can keep growing so long as the place continues to be damp.

black-mold-health-risksBlack mold gets into the body through the nasal cavity each time you breathe in. The spores are tiny and microscopic, so you will not see them with your naked eye. Once they get into the body, they can cause a lot of damage especially if you are high volumes of exposure or are exposed for a long time.  Kids who have been exposed to it can die, and adults will generally get ill. If you notice the following black mold symptoms, although they may be very similar to symptoms brought on by other illnesses, it’s wise to check for black mould.

  1. Irritation of the  nose: this can include sneezing, having flu like symptoms that are not accompanied by the rest of flu symptoms, thin watery mucus and a feeling that there is something foreign in your nose.
  2. Irritated cough: your body is trying to expel the spores and one way of doing this is by coughing.
  3. Difficulty in breathing: the spores will irritate your lungs so that they will accommodate less air than they usually do.
  4. Rashes: these can happen as just rashes or can look like hives.

These are all immediate reactions to black mold. What happens if you are exposed continuously? It causes damage to internal organs and you may suffer any of the following:

  1. Inconsistent blood pressure.
  2. Eventual problems in your reproductive system.
  3. Memory impairment and an inability to concentrate.
  4. Stomach problems and eventually, problems with the urinary tract.
  5. Irritability and mood swings.

As you can see, these are illnesses that can be caused by many other diseases. If you see black mold anywhere in your home, get rid of it right away. There are recommended ways of dealing with black mold, but make sure that whichever substance you will use to get rid of the black mold, you are well covered and protected from inhaling the spores. Get all people out of the house and once you are done, dry the area and adjacent areas completely.

If the extent of the damage is high, you might want to call in a professional mold remover so that he can permanently get rid of it. Be on the lookout especially if the weather has been very humid or if there has been flooding. The symptoms of black mold ingestion will not disappear until you have got rid of the mold, so the sooner you act the better.


Why You should remove black Mold!

 

 

References

WHO submission report – Truth about mold

Mayo Clinic (1999, September 10). Mayo Clinic Study Implicates Fungus As Cause Of Chronic Sinusitis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 12,

Comments

  1. says

    Currently i am renting an apartment in Ocean county, last year the hot water heater that is in the attic broke which caused water damage throughout the entire house. My landlord did minimal repairs really not addressing the water damage. We noticed black mold located in our downstairs closet. I contacted the health department and they stated they do not address those issues because that they do not deal with mold issues and did not advise me where i could go. My landlord will not address this matter and right now i do not have the finances to move. I was hoping someone would have a suggestion for me as to what legal action i can take.

    • Louella Merrill says

      Hi i am 38 years of age ,and i have been visiting my father in laws home for 15 years now.I have spent the night many times as well as my children.my father in law has black mold all over his home ,in the bathroom,under water bed back room olmost every room .I thought it was just rotting walls caused by the roof till my husband after working on the roof told me it was all black mold and possibly asbestis.my daughter has very bad nasal problems she can hardly breath most the time ,my son has realy bad azsmasorry if misspelled,cauphing constantly,my husband has developed some sort of cancer possibly from working on home,and i have cronic liver disease when staying with my father in law i was puking for weeks now suffering from accities the home is currently in his deceased wifes name he and cannot put home in his name,i think this act is illeagle,the home should be in someones name that is living please respond

      • Admin says

        Not sure how to answer your question but if it it’s within your means, get the house inspected and get professional mold removers to get rid of the stuff, because it will affect the quality of your life and loved ones

    • ann more says

      Hello Renee —

      If the amount of black mold is small and has not gone through to the wood (mainly paint, plaster, wall board) of your closet, you can take of it yourself. Don’t be scared, grab a filtered or regular dust mask (they are cheap – dollar store, Lowe’s), a paint scraper (metal or plastic), a couple of plastic bags (ziploc, store bags) and scrap out the mold — get it all. Scrap the paint, plaster, wallboard — whatever. Don’t touch it — scrap it into a plastic bag and another bag and get it out of your house. Clean the floor or carpet with Lysol Spray or other anti-bacterial cleaner, or simple bleach water combo (1:4 – Ex: 1/4 cup bleach:1 cup water) as well as your hands and the paint scraper. After it completely dries, than you can patch it up with plaster and paint. It won’t cost you that much to do this – just time and patience — I did it when I kept getting stuffed up and my cats were sneezing all the time!!

  2. Linda says

    I know in Utah there is a Utah Fit Act to protect renters against problems like this. After doing research it looks like NJ does as well. There is a law to protect tenants… Your Right to Safe and Decent Housing.

  3. Kelsey says

    I had to find out the hard way that I was allergic to mold. My last apartment had a mold problem and I experienced chronic fatigue (that was the worst), a light persistent headache, and occasional sore throat. Luckily I only had a 7 month lease.

  4. roy says

    Hello ,

    Im 3months pregnant and i have been experiencing the symptoms of mold exposure, I woke up this morning and could not breath. I’m very concerned. My landlord has had a mold issue before, according to previous tenants. I live in New Jersey in Hudson county. Who can I contact for help? The mold is black and dotting my walls 2X12 area. I’m concerned it appeared about 1 1/2 ago. Who can I call? what should I say?

    please help

      • R Horan says

        With this nonsense in your opening sentence: ” There are many kinds of mold which are more an eyesore than they are harmless,”, how do you expect anyone to believe anything in your article?

        • Admin says

          Not all mold is as hazardous as black mold, but you are right about the opening sentence. I have updated the opening sentence. Thanks for the opinion, I want to spread the awareness of black mold in homes and buildings.

    • Chris says

      Hi Roy, If i were in that situation, I would tell the landlord to have it tested for mold. If the landlord is hesitant, I would probably move out ASAP depending on the contract. It would be great to have other peoples opinions on this.

  5. james says

    have black mold in bathroom and kitchen my landlord keeps on ignoring the problem and dont fix it i llive in georgia does anyone know what i can do or call..thanx

  6. Jenny Saucedo says

    I am trying to find out information on black mold because my family and I was exposed to it in on or around, 2000, to 2001 Four children were exposed as well as myself, We lived in the Bud Weeks Plaza which is no longer there. My family and I were one of the first familys to be relocated, because of it’s serverity and I had three children under age one year of age. One of those children has severaly medical promblems which have been misdigonesd, she has failing of her muscles, needs steriods, and has could this be from the mold????

    • Admin says

      In my opinion it depends on the severity of the exposure, if the plaza was heavily infested with black mold it is possible, but the time spent in the plaza (2000-2001) is too short to develop severe symptoms. I would check with several doctors.

  7. CAM says

    My parents noticed black splotches appearing from the carpet last weekend. My mother researched it and concluded that it was black mold. I pulled out the carpet from their room and we bleached the floor. My mother has allergies so she wore a mask but by sleeping in the room is she more vulnerable to get breathing problems because of her asthma? they cant afford to call a specialist, what precautions do they need to take to decrease the chance of illness?

    ps. when I removed the carpet I hadnt done research on the subject and did not wear any breathing mask. I am positive I inhaled misc. particles from the carpet when I would rip the carpet what are my chances of illness. Im 21 yr old

    • Admin says

      A precaution they could take is get some allergy masks. This would decrease the amount of mold spores that they would inhale. As long as your not inhaling those particles/spores on a regular basis you should be fine.

  8. Erik says

    Why do some sites mention black mold as causing some irritating respiratory symptoms, and other site have people talking about cancer, and other severe medical problems? Isn’t this too important for people to be writing stuff out there that isn’t correct? Which is it? Deadly or symptoms that go away after you are away from the mold? I have a dishwasher that broke down, and left some water in the bottom. I didn’t have the money to replace or fix it, and now that I do (two months later!) the dishwasher has mold all over the inside. I had the door closed and locked, but I want to fix it, not spend hundreds on a new one. Should I throw it out or will it be safe to use it after cleaning? There are a lot of nooks and crannies, and a few glasses were forgotten inside.

    • Admin says

      Both, How severe the symptoms are would depend on how long you were exposed for. If you were exposed for 5 years plus, obviously you will have developed really severe symptoms, if its just a couple of months, all you would do is move away and the symptoms would go away. The period your were exposed for and how much black mold you were exposed to will affect the symptoms. It should be safe to use after some *thorough* cleaning.

  9. Nada says

    Hi I am a breastfeeding mother of a newborn. We have had some black mould in a wardrobe &laundry cupboard which I sprayed with bicarb &vinegar as I did not want to breathe in chemicals while breastfeeding. I did however spend about an hour breathing in the mould as I sprayed &dried the areas. Now I am wondering how this may affect my baby’s milk?? I noticed some allergy like symptoms in myself such as sneezing &hayfever but I think these will only be temporary..my main concern is my baby??

    • Chris says

      I don’t think it would affect your baby’s milk because exposure was short (1 hour), but I would double check with a doc. You could get an allergy mask in case you find more black mould.

  10. says

    I, my husband, tennage daughter, and 6 mo old baby have been living in an older rental house for a couple of years. A pipe burst in the wall behind the tub enclosure and we were forced to remove the enclosure to address the leak. the wall was covered in black mold. Within hours another pipe burst in the cast iron plumbing with the wall between the kitchen and bathroom. Again, black mold was discovered filling the space. We can not afford to move. We are financially strapped and months behind in our rent. The elderly landlords have been working with us with the rent. We are afraid to have the house inspected knowing that the house would be condemned and we would have no place to go. Will the Utah Fit Act be unable to assist us due to the rent arrears.

  11. Darlene T. Harjo says

    I need to know if inhaling black mold spores is an immediate danger. I work nights and there is a little in the apartment I use.

    • Admin says

      It isn’t an immediate danger, but the side effects will accumulate over time. And that is what is dangerous.

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