A Vital Backgrounder On Black Mold
- By: Kelsey Libby
For reasons of health and, possibly, aesthetics, it is imperative that molds should not be allowed to thrive in a house.
Most species of molds (which are really a type of fungus) are allergens to which not a few people are sensitive. It is not actually the mature molds which can cause aberrations in health but the reproductive cells (spores) that they periodically spew out into the environmental air. The spores are emitted by molds that reproduce themselves asexually or by self duplication. If it so happens that there are people in the house who are sensitized to the spores, they develop any one of a range of symptoms including urticaria or itching, inflammation of the eyes and sneezing/coughing fits. Allergic reactions to molds are not, under normal circumstances, serious conditions and the manifestations should disappear in a matter of minutes.
A more serious condition can be induced by molds which emit poisonous spores. "Black mold," so-called because it is black, is this type of mold. The name is actually a misnomer and more of a linguistic convenience than a definite reference to a specific mold species. Although the term generally points to the genus Stachybotrys of the fungus family it is not efficiently specific in doing so, there being black molds that belong to other fungal genera. Moreover, the term usually indicates a species of Stachybotrys known variously as S. chartarum or S. arta or S. alterans. This species is famously lethal when present in large volumes in the air.
People who visit in houses with a significant population of S. chartarum are likely to develop symptoms of exhaustion. They become fatigued, and develop manifestations associated with the inflammation of the mucoid tissues of the body. These are typically chronic sneezing, dryness and irritation of the throat, difficulty in breathing, itching of the skin and others. The conditions become worse if the people live in the infested house itself. The above-mentioned signs will become chronic. If the degree of infestation is high enough, the inflammation of the mucus membranes can develop into fragility of the tissues and eventual hemorrhaging in the affected area. Hemorrhages can lead to other pathological conditions caused by the presence of blood components in the tissues. If the volume of inhaled spores is large enough, the effects may be so severe as to cause death.
The only way to prevent those sad events is to watch out for the symptoms mentioned above. If it so happens that people in your house manifest them every day, you should waste no time in applying to a mold specialist for help. In the event you yourself want to see to the matter you should be careful not to attempt to remove the black mold when it is dry. That state is ideal for the spores, which are microscopic, to be spilled out into the air and to be born on it to other portions of the house where they can once again develop and establish colonies. You will need to close the doors of the room you are working in. Additionally, the windows need to be only slightly open so that you will have air to breathe while you are working. Be sure - and this is VITAL - to wear safety masks that are equipped with filters to prevent yourself from inhaling the spores. Without that, do nothing on your own! Further, there are guides and manuals available on the internet for free or for a small price detailing mold removal steps.
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