What is Black Mold?
Black mold is actually a bit of a misnomer. Though black mold is thought to be more dangerous than other mold that hasn’t been conclusively proven.
What is “black mold”?
According to Moldman USA, a mold removal company, black mold has been used by the media to describe mold that produces toxins. Mold that produces toxins is known as Stachybotrys. Mycotoxins found in some mold are found in Stachybotrys but can be found in other mold. Also, the mold is not always black.
“Toxic mold” is not an accurate term
The CDC says that while molds can produce toxins, the molds themselves are not toxin or poisonous. The hazards associated with mycotoxins should be considered the same as common molds, according to the CDC.
Mold can come in many colors
According to Moldman USA, toxic mold can come in several colors and black mold isn’t always toxic mold. Plus, the specific type of mold doesn’t matter much in the long run—you still have to remove all kinds of mold.
There is no test that proves an association between black mold and health systems
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no test to prove an association between black mold, which is known as stachybotrys chartarum, and health symptoms.
Awareness increased in early ’90s
According to a paper written by Berlin D. Nelson, a professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, increased awareness of stachybotrys chartarum started in 1993-94 with an unusual outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage in infants in Cleveland. Researchers found the mold in the homes of the infants, which raised alarm. The babies experienced lung bleeding.
A link between stachybotrys chartarum and the infants health was made, though, papers since have not been as conclusive as to the effect of stachbotrys chartarum on health.
In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published two reports that criticized the study in Cleveland and concluded that an association and acute pulmonary hemorrhage was not proven.
Mold exposure doesn’t always mean health problems
Some people will not have any health symptoms if exposed to mold indoors, however, some will, according to the CDC. People who are sensitive to mold may experience nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing or skin irritation when exposed to mold, the CDC says. Those people exposed to large amounts of mold in work settings may see more severe reactions, like farmers working with moldy hay.
There is a link between indoor mold exposure and respiratory problems
The Institute of Medicine found in 2004 that there is evidence to link respiratory problems to indoor mold exposure. Problems like upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, wheezing and asthma symptoms.
Decrease exposure to mold
For those sensitive to mold, they are advised to avoid areas where mold is likely to be found, like compost piles, cut grass and wooded areas. Mold growth can be slowed indoors through controlling humidity. Shower areas and cooking areas need to be well-ventilated as well.
Mold can be removed with soap and water or with a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water. Soap and water is the better of the two options because it has surfactants, which help to remove mold. Bleach doesn’t have that property.