So, what exactly is black mold?
“Black mold” refers to several species of mold (which is a type of fungus) that have a dark green or black appearance. The most common species is Stachybotrys chartarum.
These molds thrive in warm, frequently moist environments, including baths, showers, toilets, kitchens, and basements. They can also grow on wood, dirt, or paper. Mold may grow even more plentifully in humid climates or if you use a humidifier indoors.
Many black molds are toxigenic, meaning that they release toxins that can be irritating or even harmful for people who have preexisting conditions. Called mycotoxins, they’re produced as mold spores eat, grow, and form colonies with other spores.
High concentrations of mycotoxins may cause mold poisoning even in healthy individuals depending on the concentration of mycotoxins, the amount of time exposed to them, and other variables.
Learn how to identify mold poisoning symptoms, how mold poisoning is diagnosed and treated, and how you can cope with and reduce toxic molds in your home.
What are the symptoms of mold poisoning?
Mycotoxicosis, or “mold poisoning,” can affect the upper respiratory system with symptoms like those of a cold or flu. Additional symptoms brought on by mycotoxins are especially harmful or even fatal to someone with allergies or asthma.
Common mold poisoning symptoms for those without a respiratory condition include:
- nose stuffiness
- itchy or red eyes
- itchy skin
If you have allergies or asthma, you may experience more severe forms of these symptoms or have other serious symptoms, such as:
- feeling exhausted
- frequent coughing, especially at night
- allergic reactions
- chest colds
- difficulty breathing
Long-term mold exposure, even if it doesn’t cause immediate symptoms, may also lead to:
- losing your hair
- confusion or memory loss
- numbness in hands and feet
- stomach pains
- sensitivity to light
- gaining weight for no reason
- muscle cramps
Mold exposure can cause severe symptoms if you have any of the following conditions:
- seasonal or chronic allergies
- a mold-specific allergy
- cystic fibrosis
- weakened immune system
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
- immunodeficiency disorders
Mold exposure can be harmful to anyone but especially so to young children. A 2012 study of 36 species of molds in 289 homes with 8-month-old infants found that infants and young children exposed to mold may be more likely to develop asthma later in life.
You can read the rest of this great article at www.healthline.com