What Is Black Mold and What Are the Symptoms?

When you discover any mold in your home, you shudder to think at the possibility that it might be the dreaded Black Mold. But with over 100,000 types of mold, how did Black Mold get a reputation for being the worst one? We’re giving you the inside scoop on Black Mold, the potential risks to your health, and how to tell if you have Black Mold in your home.


What is Black Mold?


Here’s where Black Mold’s reputation came from:


In November of 1994, a doctor in Cleveland, OH treated three infants with bleeding lungs. After a two-year study, the CDC would point to Black Mold as the primary cause. As a result of this tragic case, Black Mold has become a big fear for any homeowner not just to your home, but to your family’s health.


Black Mold, also commonly referred to as “Toxic Mold,” has the official name of “Stachybotrys chartarum.” Unlike its name suggests, it isn’t only black but more of a greenish-black color. This type of mold can sometimes produce a toxic chemical and, as the total of twelve fatalities in Cleveland suggest, everyone should treat this mold seriously.


Black Mold tends to grow in areas where there has been severe water damage, leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Black Mold cannot grow without constant moisture in its environment.


What are the Symptoms of Black Mold?


Black Mold is most closely associated with symptoms of pulmonary hemorrhage among infants as was the case in 1994. Although there is no official list of symptoms, mold has been known to cause upper respiratory tract symptoms (nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, scratchy or sore throat, etc…), coughing, and wheezing.


There have been many personal reports of Black Mold being connected to symptoms like memory loss, lethargy, fatigue, inability to focus, or a headache; however, there is no official evidence of these connections. While it is hard to prove all the symptoms directly linked to Black Mold, everyone agrees that you should use extreme caution around Black Mold as it is considered a risk to your family, especially for family members who have allergies, asthma, and other hypersensitivities.


How Can I Tell If I Have Black Mold in My Home?


The good news is that Black Mold is not among the most common types of mold found in homes. According to the CDC, the most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. While the first sign of mold in your home should be dealt with immediately, don’t panic. Our team at Healthy Homes can inspect your home to get a better idea of the kind of mold you are dealing with.


Regardless of which kind of mold you have in your home, Black Mold or one of the other more common types, there can still be negative effects on your health. If there’s mold, then there is likely a moisture issue as well. We agree with the CDC's recommendation to treat all molds with the same level of caution when it comes to health risks and removal.


We’ve dealt with all kinds of mold before and we know a home can’t be healthy if there is mold present or if your home is an environment where mold likes to grow. If you have symptoms, are getting sick, or suspect that there may be Black Mold in your house, it isn’t worth betting your health on it. Give us a call at 309.418.9511 and we’d be happy to schedule an inspection so both you, and your home, can be healthy!

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