Not all forms of mould produce toxins. But when toxic mould grows in your home, you are directly facing the health hazards caused by mycotoxins. One such mould species is what we generally know as black mould.
While black mould’s growth in a house is not common, they could still grow and cause various health implications to the homeowners. Here’s what you need to know about this mould species:
What is Black Mould?
Toxic black moulds, or Stachybotrys chartarum, are not themselves poisonous or toxigenic, unlike spores that they produce.
This species in particular releases spores containing toxins as they feed on your common household materials: drywall, carpets or any other organic materials which have been exposed to moisture.
You can expect black mould to grow in damp areas around your home, and while mould growth is considered a common occurrence, your health could be compromised by indoor exposure to black mould and other species considered to be toxigenic.
Black Mould’s Impact On Your Health
Did you know that exposure to black mould’s toxins can trigger health implications that extend to mental and physical symptoms? Since mycotoxins are airborne, you can easily inhale these spores.
The spores produced by black mould contain trichothecene mycotoxins, which have neurotoxic properties. They are capable of killing your brain cells and slowing down your mental processes, as they change the shape of your brain tissues, leading to memory loss, inability to focus and many other nervous system-related health defects.
You can also expect other symptoms acting on your respiratory, circulatory and reproductive systems, at the very least. Some of the most common symptoms include chronic sneezing and coughing, along with feeling some irritation in the eyes.
Most of these symptoms go away once you get rid of their source. While some of the symptoms decrease slowly, others that formed as a result of long-term exposure – a weakened immune system, for example – are more permanent.
Removing Black Mould From Your Home
Thankfully, these black moulds usually can be removed from hard surfaces around your home by merely using commercial products and some thorough cleaning.
If you think that the damage is much more extensive than what you can handle, remember that you can always call up a professional to get rid of the moulds for you.
However, if you’re going for a DIY approach, you can mix up to 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Keep windows and doors open to get the sharp-smelling fumes of this mix out of the room. Also, keep in mind to put on non-porous gloves along with protective eyewear when you’re cleaning with this strong cleaning agent to prevent agitation.
It would also be a good idea to get rid of any absorbent furnishings such as carpets, ceiling tiles or drywall if they have been infested with moulds. To prevent any regrowths, keep your homes clean and dry.
Image via Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons 3.0 License