Black Mold Removal
Mycotoxins are toxins that help defend fungi against other microorganisms. It is the mycotoxins produced by fungi that physicians think have negative health consequences on humans. These mycotoxins are found in the cell walls of fungal spores and hyphae.
There are proteins on the outside of the cell walls that affect whatever they touch. An easy way to think of them is like the oil that is produced by poison ivy.
If you are allergic to poison ivy and touch it, the oil from the plant will create an allergic reaction on your skin. If you are allergic to mold and ingest it, these proteins will cause a similar allergic reaction inside your body.
People are exposed to some amount of mold every day. When mold is growing on a surface, spores can be released into the air where a person can then inhale them. A person who is subject to inhaling a large amount of these spores may be subject to some medical injury.
Any place that is dark and where there is an accumulation of moisture is a potential breeding pool for mold. Mold can grow on almost any organic surface as long as moisture and oxygen are present.
When large amounts of moisture build-up in buildings or building materials, mold growth will occur. It is virtually impossible to remove all indoor mold and mold spores, but it is possible to manage.
Toxic Mold Growth
Toxic molds produce chemicals during their natural growth that are classified as toxins or poisons. The types that have been found to have profound effects on human health, are given the label of “toxic mold”.
Most people believe that the name refers to one particular species of mold; however, it encompasses hundreds of species, a small fraction of which are not very harmful to the human body.
Black Mold is commonly used as a name for the most harmful mold species, which happens to be black in appearance. However, even molds of a different color can be toxic to the human body.
Bacteria produce Microbiological Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs) and toxins, just like fungi do. Odors from bacterial activity are typically much more pungent and bitter than fungi odors.
Bacteria obtain energy from digestion, and their digestion occurs outside of the organism. One of the by-products of the digestion process is off-gassing, which creates the musty odor that we smell at a water loss.
Toxic Mold Precautions
Toxic molds are all very dangerous if allowed to grow inside the home. Proper precautions should be taken to prevent and eliminate their growth.
These measures should include eliminating every material that nourishes the molds, such as old remodeling materials left in a basement.
Also, never try to determine the type of mold in your home. Contact a mold removal professional to inspect and test any mold colony you may find, and consult with your family physician.
Toxic Mold Categories
There are five categories of toxic mold. They are Cladosporium, Penicilium, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys. Some of the species included in these categories may only cause hay fever-like allergic reactions, while others can cause potentially deadly illnesses. All five of these mold families can be found lurking indoors, in damp spaces.
Each has its own particular characteristics that can greatly affect whatever organism or material it contacts. Indoor mold is not always obvious. Mold can manifest on hidden surfaces, such as wallpaper, paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, and underneath carpet.
Cladosporium, Fusarium, and Penicillium mold families have been connected to illnesses such as nail fungus, asthma, and also infections of the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Additionally, fusarium may cause gastrointestinal illnesses, and even illness which affect the female reproductive system. Chronic cases of cladosporium may produce pulmonary edema and emphysema.
Aspergillus Mold Family
The two molds most commonly found in remediation work are Penicillium and Aspergillus, both of which under simulated real world conditions took 14 days to show sign of microbial growth (not visible growth).
Their spores are respirable, meaning the mold spores can be drawn into the lungs during normal breathing. Both Penicillium and Aspergillus are xerophilic, which means they can grow in low moisture environments. Both still require a moisture content (MC) of at least 16%.
The least serious of the toxic mold groups, the aspergillus mold family consist of over 160 species. Only 16 of those cause illness in humans, none of which are fatal if treated.
Stachybotrys Mold Family
The toxin produced by Stachybotrys Chartarum is the most deadly. It has been tied to diseases as minor as hay fever, to those as serious as liver damage, pulmonary edema, and in the most severe cases, brain or nerve damage and even death.
It has also been linked to severe illness in infants. Those with compromised immune systems, small children, and the elderly are highly susceptible to illness when they come in contact with this species of mold.
Some symptoms associated with exposure to stachbotrys include:
• Respiratory Issues
• Nasal and Sinus Congestion
• Eye Irritation
• Sore Throat
• Hacking Cough
• Chronic Fatigue
• Central Nervous System Issues
• Aches and Pains