Most of the molds we find in our buildings are black or appear to be black. They can be in the shower, behind wardrobes and cupboards, on ceilings and even on walls. They have no discretion where they grow, we can even find mold on our clothes and shoes.
Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called toxic black mold. These stachybotrys molds grow on high cellulose material such as wood, wicker, hay, paper and cardboard. This mold requires very wet or high humid conditions for days or weeks in order to grow. Important, it does produce allergens and irritants.
However, we find many other types of black mold in our buildings that can produce allergens and irritants. Most common molds found in South Africa are Aspergillus, Cladesporium and Penicilium. I have inspected many homes in South Africa where the inhabitants got extremely ill from them. In my opinion you need to treat all molds with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.
Toxic Health Standards – there is almost none or the scientists are to scared to make a call.
Currently legislation is pending in the United States Senate that would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act by setting up perimeters for mold. The United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act, or the “Melina Bill,” calls for research, education programs, victim assistance and guidelines and standards for preventing indoor mold growth and removing it.
Situation in South Africa – no mold policies or standards, no law and very few doctors that know how to treat you.
How Do I Tell If It’s Toxic Black Mold?
Mold grows where there is moisture and organic food. Black mold loves to grow in showers, behind cupboards and wardrobes, wet ceilings and walls, it loves basements and underfloor cavities. Only through a professional mold inspection, where surface sampling and air sampling is done, can one determine if you have toxic black mold. Mold growth goes hand in hand with damp problems and Toxic Black Mold (Stachybotris) needs a lot of moisture to grow. A number of black molds are allergenic when it is in an overabundance in the air. Since many types of black mold can cause severe health reactions, you should contact us regardless of the color or type of mold.
Symptoms Associated With Black Mold
Most of the times we inhale these mold spores and mold gasses. People with allergies or other respiratory ailments are at the most risk of suffering from mold in a home, although infants and children, the elderly, and those with immune compromised systems are also at risk of developing symptoms. Read more
If you have any doubts about the conditions in your home please make sure you contact us. They have the testing equipment and the certified knowledge of how to get rid of any potential issues properly.
Just because you cannot see something does not mean it is not there so use all of your senses and trust your instincts.
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