black mold on walls health hazard | mold and mildew

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)

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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.

4 Replies to “black mold on walls health hazard | mold and mildew”

  1. Reality: Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is often a result of a leaky house, which allows uncontrolled air to pass through the building envelope. The nonprofit Building Performance Institute, which develops standards for residential energy efficiency retrofits, explains: “Warm, moist conditioned air passes from the living space though the walls on its way outside. When that warm air reaches the cooler temperatures within the wall cavity or inside a window frame, it drops the moisture on condensing surfaces, which can help contribute to mold.” Distribution of carbon monoxide from an attached garage into the home is another consequence of a leaky home, according to the American Lung Association.
    The meds I need are not affordable such as daily caspofungin injections or pozacanazole tabs and daily injections of gamma globulin. Each combination plus weekly irrigation costs between $100,000 to $118,000 per year. I cannot afford them and I have no health insurance. I need a miracle. My health just keeps declining and I have been bedridden for almost 2 years.
    Now that you know how to get rid of mould on fabric, choose the most appropriate product below to do the job. Be sure to test it on an inconspicuous part of the fabric first and to take any safety precautions recommended on the product’s label.  
    Reality: There is no federal law requiring radon testing or radon-resistant construction features, even though the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that about one in 15 homes has a radon problem and attributes 21,000 deaths a year to the naturally occurring radioactive gas. Exposure to radon, which can seep into a home and build up over time, is generally symptomless; you can’t smell or see radon gas and it can take up to 20 years of exposure before you develop lung cancer.

  2. Stachybotrys is usually greenish-black and somewhat slimy or wet, but may also appear grayish with a sooty, powdery texture. Additionally, other molds may look similar. That’s why it is impossible to tell if any given mold is black mold by looks, smell or even location. The only way to determine a mold species is examination under a microscope. Testing is costly, advises the CDC, and isn’t really necessary. Any mold can cause health problems, as they point out. Therefore, you should arrange to have any mold in your home removed, no matter what type it is.
    Nasal corticosteroids. These nasal sprays help prevent and treat the inflammation caused by an upper respiratory mold allergy. For many people, they’re the most effective allergy medications, and they’re often the first medication prescribed.
    I am a family practice physician and I have been in practice for over 15  years. In 2006 I was sick with many terrible symptoms for 11 months. I did not know why I was sick until I discovered I was being exposed to very high levels of stachybotrys, the more common toxic black mold and chaetomium, a less common toxic white mold. This was what caused all my symptoms over the span of a nine month exposure. 
    Non-Cleaning Attributes: Tea Tree Oil is renown for its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties. The Aborigines of Australia have used it for centuries to treat sore throats and ward off infection from cuts and burns.

  3. Large amounts of mold require specialized removal techniques and personal protective equipment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency described the necessary steps in a document entitled “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings”. However, this document is applicable to mold removal in homes as well.28
    Thank you, that’s exactly what I needed. I’m sorry to hear that your family is dealing with this. I believe that I am as well and your podcast with Dr. Shoemaker is what really opened my eyes to the likely cause of all my varied health problems. Just want you to know that work is appreciated and making a difference in people’s lives.
    If you suspect a problem (or better yet, as preventive maintenance), hire professionals to inspect for damaged shingles and siding, poorly connected plumbing and leaky pipes, and other moisture problems, such as inadequate vapor barriers. Mitigate the issues as soon as possible.
    Donna, you can add a link to a comment here (so there’s no need to ever ask anyone to “Google” something that you know where it is). The only Google result for your quoted phrase was this article, because it appears in your comment. Here’s the article:
    SWIFT SWIVELING: Like Alpine buttercups, a small Asian shrub named the telegraph plant (Codariocalyx motorius) tracks the sun – not with its blooms, but with its leaves. Small leaflets attached to the base of larger leaves constantly swivel to monitor changing levels of sunlight, adjusting the position of the primary leaves as needed. The leaves move so quickly you can see them dance with the naked eye. Wikimedia Commons

  4. Baking soda really do magic when it comes to bleaching. Aside from helping the teeth whiten, it can also be an alternative in cleaning the house especially those molds that grow in humid areas. Thanks for posting this. Great info.
    Over the last several years, I’ve written extensively about the importance of nutrition, physical activity, stress management, sleep, social connection, pleasure, and spending time outdoors. There’s no doubt that these factors are vital for all of us.
    Biomarkers consistent with the neuroimmune, vascular, and endocrine abnormalities that characterize CIRS. If you have a history consistent with biotoxin exposure, a susceptible genotype, and an abnormal VCS test, you are very likely to show the laboratory abnormalities seen in CIRS. Major and minor criteria are a work in progress.
    A few types of mold are highly toxic. If you have an allergic reaction to mold or a heavy infestation inside your home, call in a pro to analyze the types. Or call your local public heath department and ask for mold-testing advice.
    Nasal lavage. To help with irritating nasal symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you rinse your nose daily with salt water. Use a specially designed squeeze bottle, such as the one included in saline kits (Sinus Rinse, others), bulb syringe or neti pot to irrigate your nasal passages. This home remedy, called nasal lavage, can help keep your nose free of irritants.
    Mold is everywhere. It’s a type of fungus that grows from tiny spores that float in the air. It can grow almost anywhere that spores land and find moisture and a comfortable temperature, between 40 and 100 degrees F. Typically that includes about every damp place in your home.
    Even if there is no longer mold in your home a build up of mold spores can still cause allergic symptoms and can also lead to new mold growth. Vacuum and clean regularly to minimize allergy-causing spores.
    Hi! I have been suffering from mold, so I can relate to an extent. I would recommend getting rid of anything where mold may remain. Not sure about clothing, but definitely porous furniture – anything but metal. It is not worth it. I would also get the highest quality water possible to flush out your system.
    Know when to call a professional. Mold can be notoriously difficult to clean, especially in hard to reach places and on certain materials, such as dry wall and other porous materials. There are times when it’s best to call a mold removal professional, including if:[13]

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