Black Mold Allergy Symptoms caused by fungus, can cause several different effects on human health, from mild to severe. Molds are the most common mushrooms in the world, capable of growing in the home and in the highlands. Black molds usually grow in humid conditions and can be found in plasterboard, drywall, insulation, carpets and wood. The signs, prevention and removal of black fungus, as well as its effects on human health are described below.
The toxic black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, grows in dusty or feathery form in areas of moderate humidity and temperatures. One of the most common causes of black mold formation in homes is when there are leaks, floods or excessive steam. Black mold is also known to grow inside air conditioning units and HVAC systems. Due to the fact that mold can grow both in well-lit areas and in total darkness, homes are a breeding ground for this dangerous fungus.
As previously discussed, moisture conditions are the main factor for the growth of black mold. Any area that has a relative humidity greater than 55 percent, both inside and outside the home, is at risk of developing black mold. Pipe leaks and floods are often the cause of the growth of black mold and fungi, as mold develops in wet conditions. Another sign of the growth of black mold is a mossy smell, which usually occurs when air conditioning or HVAC systems are activated. Other signs include walls stained with water, rust, stagnant water spaces, deformed wood and black stains on bathroom tiles.
Effects on health
The toxic black mold is known to increase the symptoms of allergies and respiratory problems. 96 percent of chronic allergy symptoms have been attributed to black mold. Black mold poisoning can become very serious if it is not treated properly or it is removed from the home. Symptoms of black mold poisoning include breathing problems, itchy eyes, skin rashes, headache, nausea, dizziness, nasal congestion and cough. Other more serious conditions include bleeding in the lungs, memory loss, irregular blood pressure, urinary tract infections, liver pain and possibly female infertility.
The best treatment for black mold poisoning is to prevent the growth of the same at home. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “The way to control the growth of black mold indoors is to control humidity.” Controlling the humidity level in your home and using dehumidifiers in humid environments is a good way to prevent black mold poisoning. Measuring the relative humidity level in your home with a hygrometer, or a humidity meter, is important too. Performing regular inspections of the home and roofs in search of leaks is vital. Other preventive measures are to eliminate shower curtains with mold, good ventilation and regular inspections of ducts.
When removing black mold from the home, it is important that you seal each room before cleaning it. This is because the destruction of the mold can cause the release of spores that escape to other parts of your house, causing new growth in other areas. You can seal the rooms using plastic covers and duct tape. The use of protective clothing and mask is crucial to avoid irritation. For moldy areas that are dry, moisten them with water using a spray bottle; this helps prevent the spores from dispersing. Continue cleaning with a common soap or dish detergent, then disinfect the area with alcohol, chlorine or hydrogen peroxide. Place the extracted mold in a thick bag and remove it from the house through a window, this will minimize further contamination of other rooms.