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Mar  2017

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What is black mold?

Remediation Solutions

The news media often refers to"black mold"  or "toxic black mold."  These terms are usually associated with the mold Stachybotrys chartarum , a type of greenish-black mold that requires water damage in order to grow.

 
 

Black Mold
Sources in the Home


Black mold is not a specific type of house mold. The color black is just the common color of many different types of molds often found in our homes. Why do they form? It's all about moisture. If damp or wet conditions are allowed to exist in a house mold can start to form. Please examine the chart below to find potential sources of house mold.

"Black mold" or "toxic mold" are terms often used to describe Stachybotrys chartarum (atra), a mold that has received much media attention in recent years. This slow-growing fungus REQUIRES WATER DAMAGE TO CELLULOSE-BASED MATERIALS (such as sheetrock, wood, cardboard, paper or jute-backed carpeting) in order to grow.

Stachybotrys (black mold) spores die quickly after release but, like all mold spores, they  REMAIN ALLERGENIC AND TOXIGENIC EVEN WHEN DEAD.  In order to eliminate the hazard, the mold growth and mold spores themselves must be physically removed, not just treated with a biocide.

  • Chronic exposure to black mold toxins ("toxic mold") has been reported to cause cold or flu symptoms, sore throats, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, intermittent hair loss, generalized malaise, or other health-related problems. Medical experts suspect Stachybotrys black mold may often be involved in ailments complained about in sick-building syndrome.
  • In 1997, black mold (Stachybotrys) was linked to a Cleveland cluster (1993-1994) of idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in infants (bleeding lungs).
  • Researchers once believed that black mold (Stachybotrys) only occurred in 1 to 3% of homes, and that the spores were rarely airborne because the mold colonies are so slimy. However, in 1997 while working as an environmental health specialist in the Allergy Section at Children’s Mercy Hospital, MOLDetect's Susan Flappan found that Stachybotrys  mold was present in 30 to 40% of the asthmatic/allergic patients’ homes she investigated. "We were surprised," researchers said. "This mold was supposed to be very infrequent, very rare. We found it was a lot more common problem than we ever thought it would be."



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