In the 1990s, several children in Cleveland, OH, developed pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding in the lungs). One of those children died. A preliminary study identified exposure to mold, particularly mycotoxins from Stachybotrys chartarum, as a possible cause of these illnesses.23,24 On further review, however, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that the earlier analyses were in error and that the cause remained unknown. CDC also noted that a similar cluster of cases in Chicago was not associated with mold exposure and that pulmonary hemorrhage was not consistent with what is known of exposure to this fungus.25
Common areas to test for black mold are basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms and kitchens where moisture and condensation may gather regularly. A water source is the first requirement for mold growth, so any damp, humid areas of the home are often susceptible.
Wear gloves to avoid touching mold or moldy items with your bare hands. Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are recommended. To learn about what types of gloves to wear, see Cleanup and Biocides.
Nearly everyone will become ill when exposed to sufficient levels of these biotoxins, but most people recover once they are removed from exposure. Their detoxification system is able to recognize the biotoxins in their bodies as toxins and eliminate them via the normal mechanisms.
Molds and other fungi grow easily in damp indoor environments. People who spend time in such environments sometimes complain of respiratory effects, headaches, and other physical symptoms. In addition to visible or hidden mold, damp spaces likely harbor mold break-down products, dust mites, bacteria, and chemicals, gasses, and particulate matter released from the materials on which molds are growing. Given the difficulties in testing for all of these elements, hard evidence of precise cause-and-effect can be elusive.
Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips When water leaks or spills occur indoors — ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow. Clean and repair roof gutters regularly. Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation. Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly. Keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent). If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity. Learn more about actions that will help to actions to reduce humidity and help prevent condensation. Learn More about Mold and Moisture Prevention and Control
Proper safety gear should be worn when dealing with mold. A high quality, high filtration face mask is a must, as are vinyl or neoprene gloves. A full protective suit is recommended when using harsh chemicals and for larger mold remediation projects.
We just moved into a rental house that is 50 years old. The master bathroom shower was very clean, but the grout was really stained with grey and black lines and patches. None of the cleaners I tried worked at all. I just about gave up on removing the nasty stains, but it grossed me out so much that I kept doing research on the internet.
For homeowners, the most important kinds of molds to know about are the four most common indoor molds: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. Mold is happiest and grows best where conditions are warm and damp, so basements and showers are high-risk growth areas. Check out the CDC’s list of basic facts about molds here for more details.
The awareness of toxic mold’s effect on human health has increased dramatically over the past few years. But mold is only one of the many biotoxins found in water-damaged buildings, and the illness caused by exposure to these toxins is much more complex than most clinicians and patients assume.
Getting rid of black mold in our humid Southern climate is easier said than done. We have black mold despite running two dehumidifiers, using gas heat, and running the AC during cool weather in early spring and fall to aid dehumidification. We’ve resorted to copper sulfate, which kills the mold on our concrete outer walls, but it comes right back. We are going to have to have all inner wall drywall and plaster and the carpets removed from our house. I want to move but my husband is in denial. He’s developed allergies, and it has exacerbated my lung problems I already had because I had histoplasmosis when I was a child. I’m so desperate I’ve actually thought about using a torch on the nonflammable walls to see if high heat would kill the mold.
According to the EPA, studies have found that VOC levels are two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. During and for several hours immediately after certain activities, such as paint-stripping, levels may be 1,000 times background outdoor levels.
Seal the contaminated room by placing heavy sheets of plastic over doorways, vents and other openings. Seal these with heavy duct tape so that the mold dust can not escape to other areas of the home. Mold spores spread very easily through dust and are stirred when being cleaned. Place an exhaust fan near an outdoor opening to help remove the mold spores from the room.
Make sure first that the black spots on the wall are, in fact, black molds. In order to determine this, look for dark green circular patterns. These microorganisms have a tendency to replicate in a circular manner especially when they are still wet and slimy. When they dry off, they tend to lose the circular patterns, but will still retain the black color. As much as possible, avoid touching the molds and never allow them to become airborne. One way to do this is to spray them with bleach as soon as possible.
Bleach will definitely work to effectively kill black mold. However, it’s ideal not to turn to bleach since bleach comes with so many concerning health side effects, including irritation to the eyes, mouth, lungs and skin. If you have asthma or another breathing problem, then the use of bleach is even more health-hazardous. Bleach can also burn human tissue, both internally and externally, especially in small children. (9)
Black mold is easily distinguishable from other molds because, not surprisingly, it tends to be dark black. Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, can be found indoors growing on a variety of surfaces, especially things with a high cellulose content like wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, lint and dust. (2)
I just had one of my cats urine tested for mycotoxins from real time labs and it came back as Gliotoxin and it’s a very nasty one. When I looked it up it said that these toxins can’t ever be pulled out of tissue and will remain imbedded because they have especially sharp hooks. They cause DNA/RNA damage as well. I want to cry. I probably have them too. Now I’m crying. This sucks.
One reason is that bleach cannot completely kill mold growing in porous materials. The chlorine in bleach cannot penetrate into porous surfaces such as drywall or wood. The chlorine is left on the surface of porous materials and only the water component of the bleach is absorbed into the material, providing more moisture for the mold to feed on.
Diagnosing and treating CIRS is not a “DIY proposition,” as it involves a lot of nuance and complexity that isn’t always apparent to clinicians and patients that are new to the condition. For example, C4a has to be run through Quest Diagnostics and then sent out to a specialized lab called National Jewish Laboratories in order to get an accurate result. I can’t tell you how many times patients have come to me with a C4a result run through Labcorp or another lab. It’s painful to have to tell them that we need to run these (sometimes expensive) labs again because they weren’t done properly in the first place.
Grapefruit seed extract is similar to tea tree oil in that it is an expensive but very effective natural mold killer. The advantage of grapefruit seed extract over tea tree oil however is that it has almost no odor. Like tea tree oil you can buy grape fruit seed extract from most health food stores.
You need to completely fix any water leaks, enable better ventilation where humidity is high and/or address any HVAC system problems. You can also purchase a dehumidifier for any areas that tend to be too humid. Exhaust fans are in kitchens and bathrooms for good reason. Make sure you use them to get moisture out of these prime mold areas.
Jump up ^ Empting, L. D. (2009). “Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure”. Toxicology and Industrial Health. 25 (9–10): 577–81. doi:10.1177/0748233709348393. PMID 19854819.
Oral decongestants. OTC oral decongestants include Sudafed and Drixoral. Because oral decongestants can raise blood pressure, avoid them if you have high blood pressure (hypertension). Possible side effects include high blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, heart pounding (palpitations), anxiety and restlessness.
CIRS was originally defined by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, a former family physician in Maryland. (Dr. Shoemaker is now retired, but he is still actively involved in raising awareness and advancing the understanding of CIRS.
It is probably best to know how to clean black mold off of walls, especially when it usually reappears during humid seasons. Black molds are not only nasty, they are dangerous to your health. When these small microorganisms become airborne, they enter the respiratory system and cause problems such as difficulty breathing. In order to avoid the possible health hazards that these molds cause, here are some steps for cleaning black molds.
It is a vicious cycle – the foreign antigens (substances) stay in the body, causing the immune system to constantly fight back. This causes so much inflammation in the body that it leads to chronic illness, and the occurrence of many symptoms. Our entire being suffers from friendly fire from our own innate immune system.
Mold growth in homes, schools, and businesses should be eliminated for the sake of human health, structural integrity, and quality of life. Cleaning up small amounts of mold can be done by homeowners. Eliminating mold from large areas requires expertise and protection both for the removal specialists and occupants of the affected space.
Press Board and other fake sheets of wood are the reason why there are rules in the USA (and the USA is the worst of all 1st world nations on taking environmental issue seriously) concerning prefab homes and mobile homes. They are basically BUILT with press board, oriented strand board and plywood (fake wood). When they started making prefabs REAL houses were not made with any of that except for some plywood. The rules in the USA state that *ALL* the air in a prefab (or equivalent) home must be fully vented (completely exchanged) every few minutes by a special system built into the house.
Lori, I’ve had pretty good experience getting mold and mold stains out of fabrics using Buttermilk. Not sure why it works, but it does. We had a flood and some of the clothes set too long in containers and developed mold. Soaking them in a water/buttermilk bath really got them clean again.
The same is true in parts of Brooklyn, where mold overgrowth has reportedly worsened in the years since Hurricane Sandy. In the Red Hook neighborhood, a community report last October found that a still-growing number of residents were living in moldy apartments.
Wear respiratory (nose and mouth) protection when handling or cleaning moldy materials. The minimal type of breathing mask, or respirator, that should be used for protection from mold particles is an N-95 particulate respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
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.