Did you know that there are over 100,000 species of mold that come in various sizes, shapes, and colors that grow in outdoor environments, as well as indoor environments like a home? A home makes for an ideal location for mold growth to occur and depending on the specific conditions that are existent in this environment such as moisture, humidity, and a plethora of darkness in the space, will promote the dramatic progression of mold species in these conditions. As mold forms in a home it will release a surfeit of different hazardous pollutants that can taint the quality of the air in this indoor space and lead to the development of certain health effects in those exposed to these mold pollutants.

Often when we think about mold and mold growth in the home, we are left with many questions including how toxic mold is and are there specific forms of mold that should carefully be avoided in indoor environments? The notorious black mold, also known as stachybotrys chartarum, is a feared form of mold that many households are constantly on the alert for by staying vigilant for any identifying mold signs in the home of its growth.

In this article we are going to discuss the dangers of black mold in a home and the signs and solutions to removing black mold from the home before it impacts indoor air quality and/or human health after exposure. 

House Mold: What is it?

What is Household MoldHousehold mold is a rapidly growing fungus that has the potential to spread aggressively throughout the indoor air space before you are even aware of its existence in this environment. The fungus mold is composed of small organisms that are found almost everywhere and can appear on surfaces in many different forms – size, color, and texture.

Mold is a versatile fungus that grows in both indoor and outdoor environments, and in each of these areas mold will have different functions that are both advantageous and harmful to these environments. When mold grows outdoors it plays an integral part in nature, specifically due to its function of breaking down dead leaves, plants, and other matter and redeposit it into soil in the ground. Whereas mold growth indoors can produce hazardous mold spores into the air that can contribute to an amalgam of health effects to those exposed to this indoor space.

Mold enters into a home through open doorways, windows, vents, and HVAC systems that bring in these funguses to the environment. When mold enters into the home it will become trapped in the air space and as it attaches to the surfaces in the home will release mold spores into the air in an act to reproduce and spread onto other surfaces in this environment.

What is Black Mold vs Mold

There are a variety of different types of mold species that are probable for growth in an indoor environment like a home. From common mold species like aspergillus, Alternaria, penicillium, and even the dreaded stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) that grow often in these indoor areas. Some may wonder what the difference between common molds that are found in a home and the labeled ‘toxic’ black mold, and this is an important difference to be aware of when it comes to mold.

Most household molds present risks to human health but not to the magnitude of toxic molds like black mold. As we discussed earlier, mold works through the reproduction of mold spores from the mold that enters into the air in an attempt to spread and grow mold in the environment. Mold spore size is minuscule as they are tiny pollutants that are commonly called ‘seeds’ that spread in the indoor space through emission in the air – these small seeds are so microscopic that they are not detectable by the human eye. The size of these small airborne mold pollutants is a cause of concern for human health, as these pollutants can easily become ingested into the lungs, with the potential for these pollutants to enter into the bloodstream causing health issues.

Toxic black mold is a mold called stachybotrys chartarum that is an infamous toxic mold due to the production of mycotoxins from this species of mold. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are naturally occurring in black mold that can cause a variety of adverse health effects when exposure to this compound occurs indoors – these health effects can turn long-term and result in dangerous conditions like cancer.

How Black Mold Forms Indoors

How Black Mold Forms IndoorsThe growth and formation of mold in a home can be in part to a number of different factors within the environment including moisture levels, humidity, ventilation, and even the amount of light present in the space. Typically, when black mold begins its growth in the indoor space, it will likely to be in a hidden location that is not visible to the occupants of the home such as the basement, under the sink, or on the corner of the bathroom. It is important to stay vigilant in your home to identify the areas of concern in a home that present desirable conditions for black mold to grow and correct these conditions to minimize the risk of black mold formation indoors.

When you are dealing with the formation of black mold in a home, it is likely that the reason for this growth is due to warm conditions and moisture present in the environment. Excess moisture in a home can be caused by a number of reasons including flood, poor ventilation, or even leaking pipes in a house that have not been properly addressed and remediated for an extended period of time. If these two environmental conditions are currently fitting in your indoor environment, then you elevate the risk of mold growth and even worse the potential for black mold formation in this environment.

What Does Toxic Black Mold Look Like

A very helpful and important characteristic of mold in the identification process is the color of the fungus when on the surfaces of your home. Mold comes in a variety of different colors from orange, blue, white, green, yellow, and even black mold that will appear on the surface of whatever area of your home that the mold has staked claim. When the appearance of a distinctive black mold lays on the surface of your home’s walls this will leave many with a load of concern and fear for the potential of what is evolving inside of their indoor environment.

The overall appearance of black mold will be a greenish-black mold that is present in the texture of gelatin on the wall. This slimy consistency is due to a wet layer on the top of the mold that forms to provide moisture. However, when toxic black mold loses its water source it can change appearance on the wall and adapt a dry powdery texture in lieu of the wet layer. When it comes to identifying black mold from the general look of the mold on a surface it can be challenging, as there are many types of mold that take on a similar appearance to black mold. The only real sure identification of black mold is through the examination from a mold expert that has sampled the mold to pinpoint the species present in the indoor environment.

Black Mold Smell

Similar to most things that we come into contact with, there will be a very distinctive smell that is produced into the air from the presence of black mold in the space. It is important to take into consideration the brutal strength and impact of this toxic form of mold on an environment, and therefore you can imagine that its smell will pack quite a punch due to its boisterous behavior in an environment. And it is quite typical that the smell of black mold will be the first identification of this mold in your environment, instead of the actual discoloration present on surfaces in the home.

Mold in all forms and in most species thrive and fests on organic materials on the surfaces of a home like walls, under carpeting, inside insulation, and even in drywall – this will help to create that moldy odor that we commonly associate with mold. Have you recently thought, my house smells musty but no mold is here, but in reality there is mold in the environment. The odor of mold is often identified as the smell of rotting wood or paper, and even compared to the odor produced from dirty socks. Overall, it is a very wet and musty odor that will hang high in the air of the indoor environment that has black mold growing within its confines.

Is Black Mold Airborne Inside Your Home?

Is Black Mold AirborneAll mold growing inside a tightly ventilated, climate controlled indoor environment has the potential to release mold spores into the air in an attempt to reproduce and spread the mold far and wide in the walls of the area. When it comes to toxic black mold specifically, it has the potential of not only releasing hazardous mold spores into the air for reproduction, but it also will emit mycotoxins in to the air that can be extremely hazardous to human health. These mycotoxins are chemicals that are shed from the black mold fungus species that will trigger health reactions in almost all individuals that are exposed to this compound in the air.

In addition to mold spores and mycotoxins produced from black mold, other compounds called microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) can also be released from this form of mold species into the air. This compound can elicit allergy and asthma symptoms in those who suffer from these conditions. The mVOCs will trigger the body’s immune system to react in an effort to fight off the substance when it enters into the body and this will provoke the symptoms that we commonly experience with an allergy and/or asthma attack.

Stachybotrys Chartarum Symptoms

The health effects that an individual can undertake when in the presence of black mold in an indoor environment will be at the hands of both mold spores and mycotoxins produced from this mold species. Mycotoxins, in particular, will release a toxic substance into the air that when exposed to an individual either through inhalation or ingestion can lead to significant health risks. These dangerous substances will interact in a person’s brain and can kill neurons housed in the brain which will impair an individual’s mental ability.

Other health symptoms that can be triggered by the exposure of stachybotrys chartarum mold in your indoor environment can include the following:

  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Shaking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Tingling
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Numbness
  • Confusion
  • And hallucinations

How to Remove Black Mold Spores in the Air

If and when you have identified the presence of black mold within your home, there will be a couple steps to take to properly remove black mold from both the surface of your home and from the air in this indoor space. The most important step to take in the removal of any form of mold in a home is to contact a mold remediation specialist to properly and thoroughly eliminate all mold found on the surfaces of your home including black mold.

The addition of this type of expert into the removal process will almost guarantee that the mold growth in your home will be eliminated on the surface, however, this will not treat the environments indoor air for mold spores that can still be traveling in this area. When it comes time to removing the black mold spores from the air, the best resource to implement to remove these ultra-fine particulate matters is through the use of an air purifier.

The EnviroKlenz UV Air Purifier is packed full of pollutant fighting capabilities with the use of a patented earth mineral technology, a hospital-grade HEPA filter, and UV-C lights that kill mold spores and other microorganisms without the production of ozone into the environment. The EnviroKlenz technology is comprised of safe earth minerals that interact with noxious odors and chemical pollutants by neutralizing and/or breaking them down completely – this is accomplished without the use of chemical or masking agents, and without the creation of byproducts into the environment like many other air purifiers emit. Along with this patented technology, is an efficient hospital-grade HEPA filter for particulate removal of 0.3 microns or larger from the air. Strategically placed in the middle between the two stages of filtration are UV-C light bulbs that shine directly onto the HEPA filter to provide a high efficiency of kill to any collected microorganisms on the filter including mold spores, bacteria, and viruses.

Check Out the EnviroKlenz UV Air Purifier Mold Testing Below!

EnviroKlenz UV Air Purifier Effectiveness Against Mold

The following experiment was set up to illustrate the impact of the UVC light in the EnviroKlenz Air System.  Two EnviroKlenz Air Systems were set up in the same indoor air environment with HEPA filters installed.  HEPA filters are designed to capture a broad range of particulate mater 0.3 microns in size and larger.

In one system the UVC light bulbs were turned on, while in the other system UVC lights were not used.  The systems were allowed to collect particulate matter for 1 week.  After the week of collection ended, the systems were turned off and the HEPA surface was sampled with sterile collection swaps and streaked on to the nutrient agar plates (MEA).  The plates were then allowed to incubate for 10 days.

In the image above, the plates are observed.  The MEA plate on the left has mold growth.  This was the sample collected from the system without the UVC lights running, while the sample on the right shows the UVC light being on killed the mold and the resulting plate with no growth observed.

EnviroKlenz® Medical Disclaimer:

“Any information that is provided on this website is not for the use by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated within this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Nor does the author in any way guarantee or validate the validity, totality, or efficacy of any claims and will therefore not be held responsible for the content of any claims. Always consult your medical physician for any specific medical advice or recommendations.”

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