Black Mold - Is It Dangerous?
In understanding black mold, it’s important to differentiate between fact and fiction. It’s also important to understand the natural characteristics of the species, and how we humans interact. As a living species, mold is a naturally occurring organism with thousands of variation types.
Mold itself is part of the “fungi” family, growing primarily under a substrate that provides a good feeding environment – like ground soil, building materials, and even organic food. As long as the “food” source is readily available, fungi grow and expand, ultimately preparing for reproduction.
With black mold, the reproduction process allows spores to be released into the air so that new mold can grow and proliferate. For the most part, black mold will grow where there is moisture and nutrients. In a residential home, there is no shortage of potential “feeding” environments.
The topic of black mold always brings up the issue of health risks for homeowners and occupants. While not every mold outbreak may pose a health risk, black mold does present the potential for certain dangers – from allergic reactions, to respiratory ailments, to things much more serious.
How do you know if black mold is making you sick?
It’s been established that “toxic mold” can cause health problems when people are exposed to the mycotoxins released by the mold. This is particularly relevant for people living in buildings that are contaminated with mold. Clearly, the enclosed environment contributes to higher exposures.
Whatever the exposure level to mold, associated health symptoms will vary for adults, children, and the elderly. Symptoms include everything from simple aches and pains; to changes in mood; to sinus conditions; to more serious issues such as memory loss (symptom research is ongoing).
For those with existing allergy conditions, mold exposure may induce symptoms. These would include sinus congestion; red, watering eyes; dry cough/sore throat; and skin rashes. In some cases, mold exposure can exacerbate asthma conditions and lung problems for those at risk.
Can black mold kill you?
Black mold should be considered dangerous and even life threatening. Because mycotoxin spores are released into the air, they have the potential to cause neurological damage, pulmonary issues, and immune system compromise. Needless to say, these are all serious health concerns and each has a life threatening capacity. With a mold outbreak, some things are worth paying attention to.
- Mycotoxin spores can affect the brain’s neurons, and thus affect mental reactions and abilities.
- A serious mold outbreak, with a proliferation of mold spores, can suppress the immune system.
- With long-term, consistent exposure, the “black” species of mold does have the potential to kill.
- Pregnant women, very young children, and the elderly can all have symptoms that are adverse.
- The “black” species of mold isn’t the toxic source – it’s the spores that are toxic and poisonous.
What kind of cancers can black mold cause?
There’s no real evidence that mold causes cancer – particularly lung cancer. Certainly, toxic mold can perpetuate lung ailments like pneumonia, asthma, and allergies – this is especially true for vulnerable people. Toxic mold has also been shown to compromise the body's immune system.
Studies show that people with compromised health are at increased risk when exposed to toxic mold spores. Reactions range from allergic responses, to respiratory symptoms, to sinus issues.
Simply put, a person's health reaction to toxic mold largely depends on sensitivity and health.
Mold exposure and health impacts depend on a number of variables – the scope of an infestation, the length of physical exposure, and the species of mold present. Mold that produces mycotoxins is the most serious for both humans and animals – particularly when exposure is at a high level.
With any mold infestation in the home, there are many health-related reasons to remediate the problem. However, an increased risk for cancer is not one of those reasons. The bottom line with mold is professional remediation – from identifying species to determining the scope of damage.
Can cleaning black mold make you sick?
Finding mold in your home is already a major shocker. Then there’s the aftershock: identifying the type of mold – assessing the extent of the outbreak – and figuring out how to fix the problem. While the Internet is full of DIY approaches for mold removal, there are rarely any good ideas.
The idea of cleaning up mold on your own is simply a bad idea. It shows a lack of understanding of the many hidden dangers. The only way is the professional way. Professionals take all of the necessary precautions, they have the right tools and resources, and they can safely dispose.
Its true that not all molds are toxic, but even minimal exposure to toxic mold can pose a health risk. Which is why mold removal should be left to the professionals. Even to save some money, it really isn’t worth the risk to undertake a DIY approach. Professionals do it right the first time.
By hiring a Certified Mold Specialist, you’re assured of a safe remediation process from start to finish. Most importantly, once the mold is removed, mold specialists have the methods to safely eliminate the debris. This is work that needs to be undertaken professionally for best results.
Matrix Remediation provides professional inspection, testing, and removal
If you suspect mold for any reason, it’s preferable to hire a mold removal company to inspect the space, remove the infestation, and remediate the home. In Calgary, Matrix Remediation provides services throughout the region – with fast turn-around time, competitive prices, and guaranteed results. The experts at Matrix appreciate that all mold infiltrations require more than a quick fix.
With mold, an outbreak must be eliminated completely so that any relapse is prevented. The long-term benefits of doing the work properly make the investment worthwhile – it’s just worth doing right from the start. Without doubt, taking on a do-it-yourself approach to save some cash is short-term thinking. The risks are not worth it, and the long-term outcomes questionable.
For mold removal services in Calgary, and in the surrounding communities, homeowners can call 1-888-885-8683 directly or visit the company website at www.matrixremediation.com.
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