Mold is present everywhere indoors and outdoors with over 100,000 different known species. Only a fraction of these are found in the U.S. the 4 most common are:
Note for Doctors:
Any form of allergy can cause more serious health problems in people with:
Ask your patients the right questions when it comes to allergies.
Problem areas include anywhere there is water damage, high humidity or moisture. When these areas are disturbed spores are released into the air and can be inhaled. Schedule your mold investigation today and learn how to prevent the problem before it affects your family.
How does mold exposure happen?
Mold release spores, similar to seeds, that are released into the air and into our breathing zone. Inhalation of the spores, directly touching moldy materials without gloves, or unintentionally eating moldy food can expose an individual to mold. In addition, certain mold species can produce a secondary metabolite called Mycotoxins. Mycotoxins may cause illness in people. It is important to advise with a medical professional if you have been exposed to mold or Mycotoxins.
What does mold need grow?
Molds need three main environmental components to grow; water, temperature and food. The most important of the three is water. Mold can grow almost anywhere water damage, high humidity, or dampness exists. In order to prevent mold growth, removal of the source of the water or moisture intrusion is necessary.
What is Stachybotrys chartarum?
Stachybotrys chartarum (also reffered to as Stachybotrys atra) is a species of mold that has been related to health problems in people. It commonly is a greenish-black colored mold. It grows on materials that are high cellulose –examples include ceiling tiles, cabinetry, floors, drywall, glues, and adhesives for wallpaper and plaster walls. It needs an environment that is constantly moist or wet, usually caused by excessive humidity, leaks, and condensation or flooding. It is important to advise with a medical professional if you have been exposed to mold.
How do I know if Stachybotrys chartarum is present in my home or business?
With over 100,000 types of known species of molds, it is impossible to tell the type of mold just by visually looking at the growth. Stachybotrys can be certainly recognized by specially trained professionals (mycologists) under a microscopic.
How does Stachybotrys chartarum cause health issues?
In most cases, inside levels of airborne Stachybotyrs are low. Depending on the situation and the person, most molds, can cause health issues at high levels. The reactions may include, but are not limited to sneezing, coughing, rashes, wheezing, eye irritation, aggravated asthma, headaches and nose bleeds. Other symptoms may include brain fog or difficulty concentrating and lyme disease like symptoms (fatigue, muscle aches, headaches). In many cases, the symptoms mat dissipate once remediation and mold remediation has been complete.
There have been white paper studies that connect Stachybotrys with lung diseases in babies who are less than six months old. Pulmonary hemosiderosis is a rare illness that causes the lungs to bleed. In regards to situations of pulmonary hemosiderosis, the exposure to Stachybotrys came from extremely contaminated properties, where the babies were constantly exposed for a long time. It is important to advice with a medical professional if you have been exposed to mold.
What should you do if mold is present in your home or apartment?
Although any visible mold can be sampled by an environmental consultant and/or analyzed by a laboratory specializing in microbiology, these tests can be very expensive – from hundreds to thousands of dollars. There is no simple and cheap way to sample the air in your home to find out what types of mold are present and whether they are airborne. Even if you have your home tested, it is difficult to say at what levels health effects would occur. Therefore, it is more important get rid of the mold rather than find out more about it. The most effective way to treat mold is to correct underlying water damage and clean the affected area.
What is the proper way to clean mold?
Visible mold growth should be addressed immediately. According to the EPA, depending on the area size of contamination and types of mold, can be cleaned using a detergent solution. Personal protective gear should always be worn when cleaning mold. Once cleaned it is important to make sure effected area is thoroughly dried to prevent future growth. Dispose of cleaning materials used to clean the mold.
In cases where the mold or mildew returns shortly after or spreads to new areas, this may indicate a continuous water intrusion issue. In order to properly control the growth of mold, sources of potential water intrusions must be controlled. If the mold growth and mold contamination is excessive, it is highly recommended to have a certified mold remediation company to do the cleanup.
Can my health and my family’s health be impacted? If so, should we see a medical professional?
If you or your family is experiencing symptoms that you feel are due to being exposed to mold, it is highly recommended to speak with a medical professional. When speaking with the medical professional make sure to discuss in detail about the symptoms experienced, as well as, when, how, and for how long were exposed.