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Toxic Black Mold

Mold is a problem that many households and businesses will have to deal with at one point or another. There are thousands of species of mold in North America and most are harmless to humans. However, Stachybotrys chartarum (also called black mold and toxic black mold) is a species of mold that is toxic to humans and pets alike that come in contact with it.

Black mold often appears as slimy and tends to be dark greenish black or grey. Like many species of mold, black mold requires moisture to survive. Luckily its slimy texture makes the toxic spores less likely to become airborne. Black mold also has a very distinctive odor that smells musty and like mildew. The smell is generally quite strong, but if the mold is located in an air duct you may only smell it when the system is running.

Black mold causes a variety of symptoms if it is ingested or inhaled, with symptoms typically worsening with increased exposure. Small children, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system will tend to experience more aggressive symptoms. Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unrestrained coughing or sneezing with the possibility of coughing up blood
  • Irritation of the mucous membranes (causing a stuffy or runny nose)
  • Kidney and/or bladder discomfort
  • Impaired concentration levels sometimes resulting in memory loss
  • Excessive fatigue and/or headaches
  • Red and itchy eyes, mouth and nose
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Immune system suppression

Black mold can be deadly if it is allowed to flourish unrestrained. It thrives in warm, moist areas that are low in nitrogen and high in cellulose such as carpet, dry-wall, drop-down ceiling tiles and wood paneling.

If you discover large growths of mold anywhere in your home or business you should contact a professional mold removal team, like the one from 24/7 Restoration, as soon as possible. Do not touch the mold as you may inadvertently release spores into the air, spreading the problem and potentially infecting others or yourself. If you do touch the mold wash your hands immediately and refrain from touching your mouth, eyes and face.

For more information about black mold, or to schedule an appointment for mold removal call 24/7 Restoration at 403.247.4365 and visit 247restoration.ca.

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