Recently I have been having numerous health issues. I seem to be worse at work and after a recent environmental inspection, we were sited for mold issues. There was mold on vents, in window panes, and behind cabinets. While mold is a health risk, black mold is even worse. Black mold can lead to what is called Black Mold Poisoning and can result in various health issues, including numerous infections.
Black mold or Stachybotrys atra( (its biological name) is a more dangerous form of mold. Once mold has developed, it needs the perfect environment to survive. With proper temperatures and humidity, it will continue to thrive, breaking down area surfaces and creating what is called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). This is the dangerous element in black mold. The black mold and subsequent VOC’s are inhaled , causing numerous health problems.
A person might suspect that they have Black Mold Poisoning if they have various health issues that were not present before the mold was found. If the individual finds that they are worse wherever the mold is, this might also be a clue that Black Mold is the culprit. The list of symptoms is lengthy but the most common symptoms are fatigue, problems breathing, digestive issues, repeated infections, sore throat, onset of asthma,chronic sinus infections, digestive issues, and unexplained infections in general. Less common symptoms include depression, tremors, memory problems, and anxiety.
You can find out if your home or apartment has black mold my ordering or buying a mold kit. Many hardware stores sell these kits. Once the kit has been purchased, find a suspected mold area and culture it by rubbing the area with a q tip to extract possible mold spores. The mold kits come with a solution and directions are included stating what color the solution will turn, once the q tip is placed in it and mold is or is not detected. If there is not any visible mold, kits can be purchased that test the air for mold spores. (http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-know-if-you-have-black-mold-poisoning)
If mold is detected, it is imperative that it be cleaned up. Any wet areas will need to be dried. Often affected areas will need to be replaced. For example, tiles infected with Black Mold will need to be relaid. Once the area is dry , cleaning should take place with a solution of one part Chlorine to ten parts water. After cleaning, many people purchase a humidifier to help keep their homes drier.(http://www.onlinetips.org/black-mold/get-rid)
Once you find out if you have been exposed to Black Mold, contact your doctor. He will then be able to treat you for the effects of Black Mold exposure. The first step will be a blood test to detect for a sensitivity to mold. Once it is verified that you have black mold, the doctor can begin treatment. Most treatments focus on alleviating symptoms. For example, those with lung complications will receive steroids and inhalers. Patients with bacterial infections will be given antibitoics. In severe cases, a patient may be admitted to the hospital. (http://www.toxic-black-mold-syndrome.com)
Once the Black Mold has been eradicated from your home, you are on your way to being healthier. Keeping black mold out of your environment is the key to not getting sick again. Lets hope my test come back with no exposure!