Toxic Mold Symptoms

Toxic mold symptoms may occur if a person or persons have been exposed to high levels of spores in the atmosphere. These spores are the fruiting bodies of fungus. For them to germinate and survive, conditions need only be right and these will start to grow into fungi. These bodies can produce what is known as a mycotoxin, it does not appear to be used by them, but is like a by product of their existence and is the chemical which can cause the poisoning from yeasts, mushrooms and molds, and it is this which destroys the host.

Toxic Mold Symptoms

Toxic Mold Symptoms Photo by Skelekitten via Flickr

Mycotoxins may be only a problem if fungi grow in large colonies, and continually produce spores which can produce further colonies. Nearly all fungi use oxygen and are found just about everywhere, but because they are so small it can be hard to see some of them with the naked eye. They live where the temperature and the humidity are right, and feed on organic matter. Different mycotoxins can be produced by a single species and it may also produce the same as other species.

They can grow in a house on the dust which collects behind things or under/in bedding, on the floor and in many other places. Dish cloths, tea towels, stale fruit and other food in refrigerators, damp washing which is not done for several days, or damp rooms will all produce these types of things.

The spores are quite normal in these conditions. The problems arise when conditions are bad enough that they proliferate, and in this case, there may be an allergic reaction to the level of spores in the atmosphere. The symptoms of a high level may be an attack of asthma, sinus problems, infections in the throat and the nose, conditions where the eyes are sore or inflamed, irritation of the respiratory tract and other allergic reactions.

This is especially a problem in a person who is undergoing treatment, or has a disease which lowers the immune system. In this case they are usually inhaled and start to grow on the living tissue in this area, attaching to the cells of the lungs. It is then that the mycotoxins can do their damage.

Houses are not the only places where conditions can be right for this type of problem. The work place is another, especially if it is damp and has a considerable amount of closed atmosphere where the spores cannot diffuse. In an open aired work area there is far less chance of this sort of thing being a problem.

For those who would like to keep mold to a minimum, then perhaps changing dish cloths and towels each day, not allowing damp dirty washing to remain unwashed, keeping the level of dust in the house down by vacuuming fairly often and changing bed linen often as well, may be some places to start.

It would appear that minimising those things that become stale and are apt to collect dust, plus removing stale food from the refrigerator may be a good place to start.

Black Mold Symptoms

Mold, also known as black mold, or toxic black mold is easy to recognize and loves to grow in moist areas. Black mold symptoms range from mild to moderate. There are a few things that can be done to prevent mold. Mold problems are real, and can be devastating if not treated. Find out how what mold is, what health problems are associated with mold, and how to help prevent mold from growing in your home.

Black Mold Symptoms

Black Mold Symptoms Photo by Kyknoord via Flickr

Black mold is a microscopic spore or fungi. It is slimy and dark green-black in appearance that grows in a circular pattern. When it dries, it turns into a powdery or downy substance which looks almost like soot. If dried, black mold may no longer look circular in shape.

Mold tends to grow in an area that is damp or humid. This may be due to leaks in ceilings, faucets, or old pipes. It is prevalent in homes that have been flooded. If a dryer is not vented properly to the outside of a home, the condensation can allow for the growth of mold. Because mold grows well in room temperature, the inside of a home is a perfect breeding ground.

It may be difficult to know if the symptoms that are being experienced are due to black or toxic mold. Early indications of mold poisoning can resemble a cold, or flu. A person with short-term mold exposure may have a cough or sneeze. They may have an itchy or runny nose. A person’s eyes may be red and itchy. They skin can also be itchy. A person may have headaches associated with short-term mold exposure.

If early mold exposure is not treated the symptoms may be more severe. Not only that, but the number of symptoms associated with moderate mold exposure greatly increase. A few of these symptoms are headaches, bloody noses, a hard time breathing, fatigue, nausea, short-term memory loss, rashes on the skin, chronic infections, and pain.

In the most severe category of mold poisoning there can be blindness, long-term memory loss, or brain damage. The lungs may bleed. Cancer may develop. Last, but not least, being exposed to black mold for long periods of time may result in death.

The health problems are many, range in severity, and can be absolutely horrible. So, what can be done to prevent mold? One of the most important things is to keep the humidity in a home relatively low. Using an air purifier or dehumidifier can help to keep the humidity to a minimum and the air cleaner. Be diligent about home repairs. If you find any leaks, fix them immediately, and be sure all of the moisture is cleaned up and that the area is completely dry. Properly clean tiles, floors, curtains, and appliances in kitchens and bathrooms.

Knowing what mold looks like, and what causes it, is the first step in assuring your family does not get sick. Not all of the symptoms will be experienced together or by each individual in the home. If any of the above symptoms are experienced, or if there are any suspicions of black mold symptoms, it may be best to air on the side of caution and visit a physician. If you do find evidence of toxic mold in the home, it may be best to consult a professional to make sure it is cleaned up safely and properly.