Toxic Black Mold (Stachybotrys)
- What is black mold
- What does black mold look like
- Causes and where black mold grows
- How long until black mold grows
What Is Toxic Black MoldToxic black mold or black mold is a name commonly used for Stachybotrys chartarum. It is one of the most infamous toxic molds because it can grow in houses and is extremely dangerous to humans. Stachybotrys is known as a toxic mold because it produces toxins called mycotoxins.
What Does Toxic Black Mold Look Like
There are several molds that look similar to toxic black mold. If you find what you think might be Stachybotrys the only way you can tell for sure is to have a mold expert look at a sample under a microscope.
Toxic Black Mold SymptomsThe mycotoxins of toxic black mold cause people to suffer toxic symptoms. The general types of symptoms caused by toxic black mold include:
- Respiratory problems
- Skin inflammation
- Irritation of the mucous membranes
- Damage to internal organs
- Mental impairment
- Immune system suppression
Toxic black mold can cause permanent damage to your health. In extreme cases toxic black mold has even lead to death. Because of the serious health effects toxic black mold can cause, if you find it in your home you need to take steps to get it removed immediately. The longer you are around toxic black mold, the more it will damage your health.
More information is at the Toxic Black Mold Symptoms page.
Toxic Black Mold Removal
If you have toxic black mold in your home you should talk to a professional mold removal service experienced in removing toxic black mold. They should be able to remove the mold with minimal disturbance, while also containing spores and mycotoxins. It's also best to move to temporary accommodation until the toxic black mold removal has been completed, so as to avoid further damage to your health.
See the Toxic Black Mold Removal page for more information.
Where Toxic Black Mold Grows and What Causes ItToxic black mold grows best in warm conditions and is found in many countries throughout the world. Outdoors, toxic black mold grows in soil and on plant debris. Indoors, toxic black mold needs materials high in cellulose and low in nitrogen to grow on. This means toxic black mold can grow on many common indoor building materials.
When toxic black mold does grow in the home it's usually in a place out of sight. Toxic black mold needs a lot of moisture for a long time before it can begin to grow. This is why it often grows where there has been a water leak hidden from view. Leaks inside walls, above ceilings or under floors are common causes of toxic black mold.
How Long Before Toxic Black Mold GrowsToxic black mold does not grow as quickly or as easily as most molds. Toxic black mold needs a suitable material to be very wet for at least a week before it can begin to grow.
While most molds take just one or two days to colonize, toxic black mold usually needs eight to twelve days. Once toxic black mold is growing though it usually forces out any other molds growing nearby and takes over its environment.
Toxic Black Mold MycotoxinsMycotoxins are carried on the spores of toxic black mold and are also found throughout the entire mold colony. People with toxic black mold in their homes are mostly exposed to mycotoxins through breathing them in. This leads to toxic symptoms and health problems.
Toxic black mold produces trichothecene mycotoxins. These are some of the most toxic and stable mycotoxins. Trichothecene mycotoxins can take several years to break down and can be nearly impossible to remove from homes.
Mycotoxins has general information on mycotoxins produced by different species of toxic molds.
Trichothecene Mycotoxins has information on the family of mycotoxins produced by Stachybotrys.
Toxic Black Mold Spores and Mycotoxins talks specifically about the spores and mycotoxins which Stachybotrys produces.
Toxic Black Mold TestingIf you find mold in your home which looks like toxic black mold you should have it professionally tested to be certain. It's important that you determine whether it's mycotoxin-producing toxic black mold or a non-toxic species of mold. Once you know for sure then you can plan how to remove it.
Toxic Black Mold InspectionIf you suspect you have toxic black mold in your home, you should have an inspection performed. Some reasons to think that you might have toxic black mold include you are suffering toxic symptoms, you have had bad water damage or you have already found a toxic black mold colony and think there could be more. When having an inspection you should not only try to find the mold colony but also the water problem which caused it.
It's best to hire a professional mold inspector to find toxic black mold. Toxic black mold often grows in hidden places and professional mold inspectors can use tools such as moisture meters and fiber optics to find hidden mold with minimal disturbance to your home.
Things to look out for during the mold inspection include mold odors, water damaged materials and signs of moisture such as warped walls and peeling paint. Areas where water flows, such as around pipes, and where potential water leaks can occur should especially be checked.
Toxic Black Mold TreatmentThere is no cure or antidote which can be taken for toxic black mold. The only solution is to remove the toxic black mold from your environment or remove yourself from the environment. Once you are away from toxic black mold your body will start to recover and most of your symptoms should go away over time. However some of the damage from toxic black mold can be permanent.