Can You Die From Black Mold Poisoning?
How Severe is Black Mold Poisoning?
Scientists call it Stachybotrys chartarum. You probably know it as black mold. Like other members of the fungus family, it grows in areas where moisture and warmth combine. Homeowners frequently notice it in bathrooms, on walls, and on wood. Is black mold poisoning possible? Could it be fatal?
Black Mold Releases Toxins
Mycotoxins form as the fungus grows spores and spreads. It is important to note that not every type of mold has toxic properties. Moreover, the concentration of the toxins varies, depending on the spread of the fungus. Consider that the fungal colonies you see are only the tip of the iceberg. There may be unseen colonies underneath wallpaper or floorboards.
How Mycotoxins Affect People
Exposure to mycotoxins will affect people differently. Your overall health, pre-existing conditions, and length of exposure contribute to symptom development.
- Upper respiratory problems. Your nose is stuffy. Eyes itch. It feels like you are coming down with an allergy outbreak. You sneeze frequently.
- Worsening health problems. Homeowners with asthma will notice that the condition seems to get worse. You have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep because of coughing fits. Headaches bother you most of the day. If you already struggle with allergies, you notice that they seem to get worse as well.
- Unexplained symptoms. Some people lose their hair. They cannot figure out what is causing this problem. Others have difficulty concentrating or recalling facts from short-term memory. If you have a compromised immune system, you may become victim to more severe symptoms.
It is important to note that mycotoxins combine with other organic compounds. For example, as mold destroys cellulose-containing walls, bacteria break down the waste materials. This process results in a release of gasses, which account for the odor that goes hand in hand with mold infestations. These organic compounds may also hurt your health.
Can Black Mold Be Fatal?
Government agencies are quick to point out that there is no proof that fatalities associated with black mold exposure are genuine. However, there is nothing to disprove potentially deadly outcomes, either. Therefore, it is fair to say that you are unlikely to die from black mold. That said, it might not be impossible, depending on your overall health and a host of variables.
What to Do If You Notice What Looks Like Black Mold
Indoor mold is a common problem. Removing it is imperative. Because of the potential for causing health problems, it is best to leave this process to the experts. Begin by identifying how the moisture entered your home. Sometimes, this can be an easy fix such as a roof repair or window replacement.
Next, work with a specialist who tests your air for particulate matter and mold spores. This expert will confirm whether you are dealing with fungus causing black mold poisoning or a different type of fungus. Reputable companies should be able to handle the remediation process as well. It typically requires the removal of infested items and the cleansing of affected structures. Healthy Air USA offers a broad range of services related to mold testing and cleanup.
Contact us today to find out what is growing in your home and might be making you sick.