Toxic black mold can cause health problems and damage to homes, but understanding how to prevent, identify and eradicate black mold will give you the tools to keep your home free of this toxic species of mold.
If your house tests above EPA standards, a remediation professional can retrofit an exhaust vent from a suction pit underneath the foundation slab to the outside of the house. Costs range from $800 to $2,500. For more information, contact the EPA’s radon hot line at 800-55RADON (557-2366).
Enzymes that break up the fibrin clots that are thought to cause some of the horrible symptoms of this syndrome have been found to be effective in treatment. GO TO THE ENZYME THERAPY webpage to learn more.
It is possible for mold to be an indoor air contaminant, for example in heating ducts or other areas where moisture can accumulate and stagnate. Any number of other contaminants may be responsible for symptoms, though; a lengthy list ranges from bacteria, to body odors, plumbing exhaust, copy machine fumes, cleaning agents, pesticides, bird droppings, carpeting, and furniture.26
Compared with most organisms, slime molds have been on the planet for a very long time—they first evolved at least 600 million years ago and perhaps as long as one billion years ago. At the time, no organisms had yet evolved brains or even simple nervous systems. Yet slime molds do not blindly ooze from one place to another—they carefully explore their environments, seeking the most efficient routes between resources. They do not accept whatever circumstances they find themselves in, but rather choose conditions most amenable to their survival. They remember, anticipate and decide. By doing so much with so little, slime molds represent a successful and admirable alternative to convoluted brain-based intelligence. You might say that they break the mold.
The Kōji (麹) molds are a group of Aspergillus species, notably Aspergillus oryzae, and secondarily A. sojae, that have been cultured in eastern Asia for many centuries. They are used to ferment a soybean and wheat mixture to make soybean paste and soy sauce. Koji molds break down the starch in rice, barley, sweet potatoes, etc., a process called saccharification, in the production of sake, shōchū and other distilled spirits. Koji molds are also used in the preparation of Katsuobushi.
If you touch it with a gloved hand, it feels slimy. It usually looks black but may also have a shade of greenish-yellow and spreads in a spotty pattern. Black mold will have a very distinct mildew smell.
FAST FOLDING: If you stroke the sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica), also known as touch-me-not, its fern-like row of leaves reflexively folds in half. Same thing if you blow on the plant or shake it. Whereas the Venus flytrap evolved rapid movement to catch insect prey, the sensitive plant probably shrinks from touch to discourage any insects or herbivores looking for a leafy snack. H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons
Scrub the surface mold stains from walls and wood trim with a mixture of 1 qt. water and 1/2 cup bleach mold cleaner to kill the mold. Use a soft brush and work until signs of the mold disappear. After scrubbing the surfaces, simply allow the bleach solution to continue to penetrate the surfaces and dry.
Remove mold with detergent. This method is effective on glass, tile and other nonporous surfaces. It doesn’t kill the mold, but mixing soap and water and using it to scrub the mold away is just as effective on nonporous surfaces.
If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Thank you Chris for all your great articles! I just have one question: Under bioxin’s found in water damaged buildings you mentioned Beta-glucan. My understanding of beta glucan is found in mushrooms which works as a immune modulator and is suppose to be good for our health. Does this mean anyone suffering from toxic mold issues should not consume mushrooms and/or mushroom supplements?
Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.
Use water that’s distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller to make up the irrigation solution. Also be sure to rinse the irrigation device after each use with similarly distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water and leave open to air-dry.
No one knows exactly how many homes have mold behind the walls, but the best current estimate is about 70 percent, according to Ronald E. Gots, M.D., Ph.D., of the International Center for Toxicology and Medicine. The EPA and World Health Organization state that some molds have the potential to cause health problems, particularly allergic reactions and asthma, in people who are susceptible.
Regularly cleaning your home with vinegar helps to prevent mold growing. You can mop your floor with vinegar each week. Regularly rinsing your bathroom walls with vinegar is also good. Vinegar is also effective for cleaning the kitchen. If you have a spray bottle of vinegar in the bathroom you can prevent mold by using it every now and again after a shower. Spray the shower curtain, walls, tiles, basin and bathtub after you finish showering.
I was a housepainter for 28 years and usually worked in several nasty houses each year that had previous water damage. None of their occupants nor I ever became ill from being exposed to the various molds, fungi, etc. That changed in 2007 when I did four in a row and wound up with a nasty case of Mycotoxicosis. My doctor said there wasn’t anything available to fight it except time for my immune system to develop a resistance to the cruds. Said it could take several months or several years. Took me two years and wound up getting it again but worse two years later. This time it took 40 months for my body to get rid of it. Didn’t get it from living at home since my mother remained healthy and she was in her late 90’s. The only places I went that could’ve been infested were my 1995 car and 1988 work van since their doors’ weather stripping were allowing rain to enter during downpours. They had been that way for years so once damp inside I just left all the windows until they dried out. I guess some of those nasty micro-organisms’ spores eventually found a way in and began to proliferate.
Dispose of the coveralls and paper towel in a plastic bag, which you should tightly seal before taking out with the trash. Wash soiled rags and the nylon scrubber in hot water, or throw them away with the coveralls and paper towel as an extra precaution.
I have small spots of Black mold and dark Yellow circles forming on my ceiling in my room and has increased within 6months but due to work, I have only just noticed how bad it has got. I have also spotted white fluffy mould on wood and Black material on my wardrobe. My Asthma seems to have come back as I have noticed a difference to my breathing. I also drink more water then usual. Would Tea tree oil help with the Black and Yellow mold? Any help or advice would be great. Since reading up on it, it has freaked me out.
For every one cup of water the spray bottle holds, add a teaspoon of either tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract. Both oils have a long shelf life, so as long as the spray bottle can be turned to an “off” position for air-tightness, the solution will last for at least a year.
According to the CDC, “In most cases mold can be removed from hard surfaces by a thorough cleaning with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Absorbent or porous materials like ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpet may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. If you have an extensive amount of mold and you do not think you can manage the cleanup on your own, you may want to contact a professional who has experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes. It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.”
I have been following your blog for nearly 5 years now and it’s been an invaluable resource through my own journey to better health, I traveled to Berkeley from Oregon on my own to your book release, you are my first resource for nearly anything health related.
Mycotoxins are carried on the spores of toxic black mold and are also found throughout the entire mold colony. People with toxic black mold in their homes are mostly exposed to mycotoxins through breathing them in. This leads to toxic symptoms and health problems.
Mold remediation does not have to be expensive. In many cases, minor mold problems (less than about 10 square feet of mold) in places like a bathroom corner can easily be handled by the home owner with a free weekend afternoon and a few basic supplies from the hardware store. For more information, see Do I need a Mold Remediation Professional?
In the early 2000s Toshiyuki Nakagaki, then at Hokkaido University in Japan, and his colleagues chopped up a single polycephalum and scattered the pieces throughout a plastic maze. The smidgens of slime mold began to grow and find one another, burgeoning to fill the entire labyrinth. Nakagaki and his teammates placed blocks of agar packed with nutrients at the start and end of the maze. Four hours later the slime mold had retracted its branches from dead-end corridors, growing exclusively along the shortest path possible between the two pieces of food.