Stachybotyrs chartarum, also known as Stachbotrys atra,is the infamous “Black Mold” that has prompted health authorities to quarantine homes and offices as biohazard, and caused property owners to destroy houses and buildings to get rid of it.
Studies have linked this species of mold to various illnesses, including:
asthma, bronchitis, flu-like symptoms, rhinitis, emphysema, bleeding lungs and even a number of deaths.
An infestation of the mold causes Stachybotrys to appear as a slimy, greenish-black substance or it may also appear powdery, like carbon black or soot.
At least three toxins are produced by Stachybotrys chartarum. They are: Roridim E, Verrucarin J, and Satratoxin H. These toxins are found on the Stachybotrys spores, and if the “sticky” spores get airborne, they may be inhaled into the lungs.
Bacteria and viruses may also hitchhike on mold spores, especially stachybotrys spores, since they are sticky and much larger than bacteria or viruses. There is little or no question that exposure to this particular black mold can result in serious health problems for anyone, and especially infants, the elderly, and immune-impaired individuals.
Other mold species that may appear black to the naked eye include: Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Fusarium.
These mold species may produce toxins that are seriously harmful to humans and pets, including: aflatoxins, Ochratoxins, and Tricothecenes.
However, more than 180 species of Aspergillus have been identified, and only sixteen of them have been documented as causing and/or aggravating human diseases. Aspergillosis, a disease resulting from exposure to certain species of Aspergillus, is now one of the most common fungal infections found in hospitals.
Fusarium species are often found in humidifiers and water-damaged carpets. Exposure may occur by ingestion or through the inhalation of spores.
Fusarium species are frequently involved with eye, skin, and nail infections. Heavy or chronic exposure to Fusarium can produce alimentary toxic aleukia, which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis, and extensive internal bleeding.
Clearly, exposure to any of these toxic black molds can cause serious health problems, and if you have any kind of mold growing in your home or work place that looks black, extra care should be taken to avoid inhalation of and dermal contact with spores when dealing with the problem.
Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), including disposable Tyvek suits, gloves, respirators, eye goggles or safety glasses, and using cotton balls to plug and protect the ear canal are reasonable measures to take when cleaning or removing mold. The best way to know what level of protection you should take, is to have appropriate sampling conducted by a professional.
Beware of black mold “experts” who advise you to skip sampling and clean mold infested areas with bleach, and those who tell you that you can buy a test kit from them, do your own sampling and save lots of money.
Laboratories we have spoken with, which meet or exceed EPA standards, tell us that test kits found for purchase on the internet are outrageously overpriced, that the results are generally worthless, and that there is no one with sufficient training to help the individual understand the significance of the laboratory results once they are received. So, the consumer gets little or nothing of value for their money.
Beware of outdated advice found in some books and on websites that have not been updated to the current level of knowledge about toxic mold.
An example is the following statement found in August, 2006, on a black mold website:
“Many of the infested areas will be relatively small and may be a result of small leaks or plumbing problems. After discovering the root of the problem and rectifying it, you can disinfect the area with bleach.”
This is horrible advice! I have even heard of one state agency that still advises this approach.
Using bleach is not only bad advice, it is also dangerous advice that can potentially make the problem much worse.
Bleach is ineffective, and chlorine bleach is toxic in and of itself. Chlorine gas can be deadly. If you have any doubts, just check out the EPA website where, in “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home” you’ll find the following:
“The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation”.
In Summary, black mold has a good chance of being toxic, but not all black mold is toxic, and not all toxic mold is black.
Since exposure to almost any mold species can produce adverse health effects, it is important to realize that the discovery of mold growing in your home or workplace requires immediate action to stop it, regardless of the species. Excessive mold growth, whether toxic or not, can lead to increased allergies, toxicity, and potentially serious disease for people and pets who may be exposed to it, as well as cosmetic and structural problems that will reduce property values for the buildings where it grows.
The Good News is that there is scientific evidence that proves that a safe, non-toxic proprietary blend of therapeutic grade essential oils that includes Lemon, Cinnamon, and Clove, destroys toxic mold and keeps it from coming back. This blend of essential oils is known to be both beneficial and supportive of health and well-being.
We want the best for our loved ones, human and animals alike. Avoid the toxic chemicals that damage our bodies and those we love, providing ideal conditions for disease to flourish. Instead use a material designed by God to keep mold away.
Mold and Respiratory Problems
50% of buildings, both old and new, have Mold resulting in a 50-100% increase of its occupants having respiratory problems. - 2 Studies, Harvard and Johns Hopkins Universities
Mold Can Cause Death
- 16 infants died from bleeding lungs in Cleveland, Ohio and every house where the infants lived had Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as Toxic Black Mold. - The Center for Disease Control
- Continued studies have identified over 100 similar cases across the country.- Case Western Reserve
Mold Causes Sinus Problems
1 in 7 Americans suffers from acute fungal sinustis, resulting from exposure to mold. - Mayo Clinic
Treatments that Do Not Work
Bleach, Ozone, and chemicals typically used for treating mold are ineffective and are hazardous to your health. - US EPA and the American Industrial Hygiene Association
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