What Is Toxic Black Mold
Toxic 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 and is 40 times more dangerous than cigarettes. Stachybotrys is known as a toxic mold because it produces toxins called mycotoxins and is one of the major causes of childhood cancer and associated with childhood cancer.
Toxic black mold is a greenish-black gelatinous mold. It is usually slimy because of a wet layer on the top. However, if a toxic black mold colony’s water source runs out it can appear dry and powdery.
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 Symptoms
The 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.
Never try to remove toxic black mold on your own. Disturbing toxic black mold can make it release huge amounts of spores and mycotoxins throughout your home, making your symptoms much worse.
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.
Where Toxic Black Mold Grows and What Causes It
Toxic 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 Grows
Toxic 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 the toxic black mold is growing though it usually forces out any other molds growing nearby and takes over its environment.
Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins 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 have 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 Testing
If 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 Inspection
If 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 Treatment
There 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 the toxic black mold can be permanent.
Toxic Black Mold Removal
Toxic Black Mold Removal
Mold Removal Overview
The following are the main steps when it comes to mold removal:
- Wear protective equipment.
- Respirator mask
- Eye protection
- Clothing that completely covers you and can be cleaned well or disposed of
- Seal rooms with plastic sheets to contain mold spores.
- Create negative pressure by running a fan blowing out a window.
- Remove the mold. You can use mold removal products such as:
The Killing Mold page describes how to use the above products and much more to kill mold.
This page will tell you How to remove mold from drywall, wood, carpet, tiles and grout.
- Clean belongings. Completely clean mold from non-porous objects. Porous objects may need to be thrown out if mold can’t be removed.
HEPA vacuum the area.
Seal mold and moldy objects in plastic bags and then dispose of them.
The Mold Removal page describes these steps in more detail.
It is strongly recommended that you hire a professional mold removal service to remove Stachybotrys mold, also called black mold or toxic black mold.
Professional Toxic Black Mold Removal
If you find toxic black mold in your home don’t disturb it. If toxic black mold is harmed or disturbed it can release millions of mycotoxins into the air, contaminating your home.
Instead, you should talk to a toxic black mold removal service as soon as possible, as it is extremely risky to try to kill or remove toxic black mold yourself. Mold that is toxic should really only be removed by a professional mold removal service experienced in removing toxic black mold. The correct methods of toxic black mold removal are needed to contain the spread of spores and mycotoxins during the remediation process.
Remove Toxic Black Mold Quickly
People often do not act quickly to remove toxic black mold. However, as soon as you find toxic black mold in your home you should take steps to have the mold removed. Ignoring the problem will only let it become worse.
Every day you spend in an environment with toxic black mold could be potentially causing you long term chronic health problems and permanent damage. People often underestimate the damage toxic black mold can do to their health until it has already happened. Toxic black mold can cause problems such as mental impairment, breathing difficulty, damage to internal organs and sometimes even death.
Moving During Toxic Black Mold Removal
Experts recommend that if you have toxic black mold in your home then it’s best to move to temporary accommodation until it has been removed, especially if you are suffering toxic symptoms. Ideally, you should only return to your home after a professional toxic black mold removal service has completely fixed the problem. There is also a possibility that belongings you take with you when you move can continue to make you sick if they contain mycotoxins from the toxic black mold.
Removal of Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins are as small as 0.1 microns. This makes them much harder to remove than mold spores. In addition, mycotoxins are very resilient and it can take several years for them to break down naturally. In some cases, mycotoxins have been found in the human body up to nine years after the original exposure. For these reasons, it’s important that toxic black mold removal is performed properly to contain mycotoxins from spreading through the house.
Some experts even believe that toxic black mold mycotoxins can never be completely removed from a house which has been contaminated. There have even been cases of homeowners who ended up permanently moving out, or even burning down their mycotoxin-contaminated houses as a last resort.
Testing and Identifying Toxic Black Mold
If you think you have found toxic black mold growing in your home but are unsure then you should have it professionally tested. This is so you can be certain that it is actually mycotoxin-producing toxic mold (eg Stachybotrys or some other toxic mold species).
Once you’ve confirmed the mold is toxic you should talk to a professional mold removal service as soon as possible. If the mold is not toxic then you can remove it yourself if you wish.
More information on mold testing, in general, is at the Mold Testing page.
Toxic Black Mold Inspection
If you think you might have toxic black mold in your home but haven’t found the toxic black mold colony, then you may want to have a toxic black mold inspection performed. Some reasons to think you could have a toxic black mold problem are described in the next section.
Of course, it’s best to hire a professional mold inspector to perform the toxic black mold inspection for you. Mold inspectors use both their experience and sophisticated equipment to find any and all hidden mold, with minimal disturbance to your home. This way you can be sure that if there is mold in your home it will be found.
If you choose to do the inspection yourself you need to look into hidden areas like the inside of wall cavities. Toxic black mold needs a lot of water to grow so especially check spots where there could have been water leaks.
There is more information about mold inspection in general at the Mold Inspection page.
Signs of Toxic Black Mold
One of the best clues you could have toxic black mold is if you are suffering toxic symptoms. The symptoms from toxic black mold are much more severe than the allergic reactions caused by common non-toxic mold. You can see a list of toxic symptoms at the Toxic Black Mold Symptoms page.
Toxic black mold also needs materials to be very wet for at least a week before it can begin to grow. So if you’ve had a flood or a large water leak that went unnoticed then there is an increased likelihood that toxic black mold could be in your home.
More Signs of Mold in the Home