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mold exposure

What Do I Do If I Have the Symptoms of Mold Exposure?

Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Some possible symptoms of mold exposure include: skin rash, eye irritation, headaches, fatigue, sore throat, respiratory problems, and runny nose or a bleeding nose.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, be sure to read the article Symptoms of Mold Exposure and definitely visit your doctor and explain to him the symptoms you are having.

Mold Removal

The only way to eliminate mold symptoms, however, is to eliminate the mold contamination you have, completely. Mold must be removed and the cause of the mold addressed or it will be a continual problem for your home and health. For more information on how to remove mold from your home these articles – 10 Tips for Removing Mold from Your Home and 3 Tips for Do-It-Yourself Mold Removal may help you deal with the mold in your home.

Other Mold Resources

If you have any further questions, don’t be afraid to ask! Visit our Q&A page or share your mold story.

Tips on Removing Surface Molds

How Do I Remove Surface Mold?

Here are some tips in removing molds in different kinds of surfaces :

How to Remove Mold from Leather

If mold is found on leather, it is best to use a moistened cloth with a solution of one cup of denatured alcohol to 1 cup water. Remove the mold by wiping the moist cloth and dry in a place where air is circulating.

How to Remove Mold from Carpet

If mold is found on carpets and rugs and you would like to remove it yourself rather than hire a professional, it is recommended that you use rug shampoo with a carpet shampoo according to a manufacturers instructions.

Sanitize your carpet by applying a solution containing 1/4 teaspoon chlorine bleach with 1 cup water or any sanitizing products. After shampooing and sanitizing, rinse the carpet or rug several times then quickly dry it outdoors or by using fans to speed up drying.

What Should I Do If The Mold Is Fuzzy?

If the mold that is found is fuzzy in appearance, the homeowner should vacuum it as thoroughly as possible. If the mold is abundant, it is advised that the filter should be replaced after vacuuming.

After vacuuming, the area where the mold once grew in, should be scrubbed thoroughly with bleach using a scrub brush. After all of the molds are removed, the area should be rinsed thoroughly with clean water and dried completely with towels and rags.

What If The Mold Grows Back?

Mold will no longer be a problem as long as the moisture problem has been eliminated in your home. If, after all of that work, the mold still comes back, there is no other choice but to call in a professional and have him do the work for you.

Not only will he remove all existing molds in your house, he’ll also eliminate the source from where they’re coming from. But remember, that if the moisture isn’t completely taken care of or removed from the home, it’s just an invitation for the mold to come back.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

mold cleaning solution

How Do I Stop Mold from Spreading?

What About Mold?

Mold is a kind of fungus that grows virtually everywhere. It feeds on plants and fibers and thrives in damp, musty locations such as bathrooms, basements and attics.

Molds multiply by traveling through the air as tiny spores which like to make their home in wet areas, where they will breed. Molds grow on organic materials such as paper, leather, dirt and soap scum.

Mold grows best and multiplies fastest in warm temperatures, between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, although they can also grow in temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees.

If molds are spotted in the house, it is advised to nip it immediately in the bud before it spreads to other areas. Rampant mold growth can also be a good indication of a moisture problem, which should be dealt with as soon as possible.
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Stachybotryotoxicosis – Black Mold

Symptoms of Stachybotryotoxicosis

In the late 1930s, stachybotryotoxicosis was reported in humans working on farms in Russia. People who were affected are those who handled hay or feed grain infested with S. chartarum.

Some of the individuals who were infected had burned the straw or even slept on straw-filled mattresses that had rampant growth of Stachybotrys chartarum. The infested straw can be described as black in color from growth of the fungus.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms in humans that have stachybotryotoxicosis are rashes – especially in areas subject to perspiration, dermatitis, pain and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, conjunctivitis, a burning sensation of the eyes and nasal passages, tightness of the chest, cough, bloody rhinitis, fever, headache, and fatigue.

The workers who were infected developed symptoms within two to three days of exposure to the fungus. Some members of the Russian teams investigating this disease rubbed the fungus onto their skin to determine its direct toxicity.

The fungus induced local and systemic symptoms similar to those observed in naturally occurring cases.

Mold in the Media

It was seen in recent years that a cascade of reports about toxic molds was constantly seen in the national media. The New York Times Magazine, August 12, 2001 issue, ran a front page story on toxic mold.

Television news shows have run entire programs on Stachybotrys contamination of homes to alert the public and educate them on how dangerous these molds can be. Because of the sudden media coverage of this fungus, it has resulted in multimillions of dollars of litigations.

It also caused a lot of problems for homeowners and building managers who must deal with the human issues related to mold.

Further Recommended Reading

black mold

Mycotoxins & The Effects of Black Mold

What are Mycotoxins?

A mycotoxin is a toxin produced by a fungus under special conditions of moisture and temperature. These fungi may colonize or infect many kinds of food from the field where you play to the table where you eat.

Mycotoxicosis is the term used for poisoning caused by ingestion of a mycotoxin.

For the past 15 years in North America, evidence has slowly accumulated implicating this fungus as a serious problem in homes and buildings that must be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Black mold is also tagged by specialists as one of the causes of the “sick building syndrome.”

What do Mycotoxins Cause?

In 1993-1994 in Cleveland Ohio, there was a very unusual outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage among infants. Researchers then found out that Black mold was growing in the homes of the sick infants.

This incident alone increased the publics awareness of molds in homes and buildings. They also brought this fungus to the immediate attention of the medical community hoping for answers.

How Do I Know if I Have Mycotoxins?

To determine any growth of S. chartarum (Black Mold) in your home would only require visual inspection and/or air and surface sampling. Because black mold is not readily airborne compared to other fungi, air sampling in a contaminated indoor environment may show low levels of spores in the air.

Thorough examinations of potential sites of contamination, especially in covered and protected places, is a must to determine where the fungus occurs and the level of contamination.

If areas contaminated with S. chartarum are discovered, do not attempt to solve the problem without following recommended safety procedures for working with toxic molds, especially if heavily contaminated.

Get advice or professional help if there is a serious problem.

Further Recommended Reading

Is Black Mold Dangerous?

Is Mold Dangerous?

When we talk about molds we usually think about those pesky growth of fuzzy materials in our old shoes, or furniture that has been in storage for quiet some time. Not much of a health risk right?

Wrong! In the past decades or less, we have only started to realize and understand the possible health risks that may happen when we inhale, ingest or when our skins come in contact with molds.

An example of how dangerous molds can be is the Stachybotrys chartarum fungus or most commonly known as black or toxic mold.

Black mold was first described as Stachybotrys atra by Corda in 1837, when samples were found on a wallpaper collected in a home in Prague.

This fungi is a member of the Deuteromycetes, order Moniliales, family Dematiaceae, and is common on plant debris and in soil.

Mold requires constant moisture in order to grow.

Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold is a fungus that has become notorious as a mycotoxin producer that can cause animal and human mycotoxicosis.

S. Chartarum is a greenish-black mold that is commonly found outdoors and sometimes found in damp or flooded homes.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

2 New Uses for Mold

What Makes Mold Bad?

Fungi or molds are not only used as nutritional delicacies, recently in Africa a team of scientists has discovered another use for the badly publicized fungus family.

    • African Foods

Toxic chemicals known as aflatoxins, a type of mycotoxin, are being produced by fungus that is normally found in common African foods.

This “bad” fungus is strongly linked to stunted growth in African children and is also known to cause liver cancer and blood diseases.

The experiment will introduce a benign fungus and have it outgrow, and presumably exclude, the dangerous one. The project is viewed to help reduce aflatoxins in African staple crops and make food safer to eat.

    • Recreational Sports

While in recreational sports, a fungus called Chondrosterum purpureum is now being tested for use in managing rights of way in ski slopes.

Instead of using herbicide or cutting trees down, this fungus does the job a lot cheaper and more effectively.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Edible Molds

Can Molds Be Edible?

There are hundreds of thousands of edible species of fungi, thousands of which are regularly harvested for mass consumption.

Some species of fungi are very highly priced and sought after for the fact that they cannot be cultivated and are often harvested from there natural settings.

Most Commonly Consumed

Here is a list of a few of the most commonly consumed fungi:

    • Agaricus Bisporus

Agaricus bisporus is most commonly known as the button mushroom.

This species of fungus is the most extensively cultivated mushroom in the world. Button mushrooms take up 38% of the world’s production of cultivated mushrooms.

    • Pleurotus

The pleurotus species is also known as the ‘oyster mushroom.’ This species of mushroom takes the second spot for the most produced mushroom in the world.

It holds a whopping 25% of the total world production of cultivated mushrooms. Pleurotus mushrooms are found world-wide but China is the major producer of this edible fungi.

    • Volvariella Volvacea

Volvariella volvacea is also known as the ‘Paddy straw’ mushroom.

Paddy straw mushrooms have a 16% hold on the total production of cultivated mushrooms in the world.

    • Lentinus Edodes

Lentinus edodes is largely produced in Japan, China and South Korea. They are also known as shiitake or oak mushrooms. Lentinus edodes accounts for at least 10% of the world production in cultivated mushrooms.

    • Boletus Edulis

Boletus edulis is often called Porcini. Other names for it are King Bolete, Cep, and Steinpilz. Porcini is renowned for its nutty flavor. It is sought after worldwide, and can be found in a variety of culinary dishes.

    • The Truffle

The Truffle, Tuber magnatum or Piemont white truffle, is also called a Summer or St. Jean truffle, and sometimes Tuber brumale. Truffles belong to the ascomycete grouping of fungi.

The truffle fruit bodies are developed underground in mycorrhizal and are associated with more popular trees such as poplar, beech, and hazel.

Interesting Note

Since truffles are difficult to find, trained pigs or dogs are often used to sniff them out for harvesting!

Amazing! And these are only some of the most common edible fungi on our planet!

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Can Mold Be Good?

What is Mold and How Can It Be Good?

A mold of fungus is an organism that survives on almost any material; it digests its food externally and absorbs the nutrient molecules into its cells.

With the onslaught of publicity about molds that threaten human health, we now fear molds and destroy them on sight, which is very understandable since its our well-being that were just looking out for.

But what we have forgotten is that molds have good uses too.

What Happens if there Is No Mold?

The first and most important role of fungi is that without it, we would have piles of trash everywhere because fungi get food from our trash.

They eat the trash and make it into soil. They are the first and natural garbage dispensers.

What is Yeast?

Fungi are very important if you view their good use. Yeasts, for one, are responsible for fermentation.

Fermentation is the process used in making the beer that you enjoy drinking, Saccharomyces cereviseae, is a special yeast that is used in making the alcohol needed in this process.

The same fungus is used in most of the bread that you eat, without it, you’ll be eating flat bread.

What are Mushrooms?

Mushroom is a form of fungus. In many countries, mushroom farming is a very big industry.

The biggest role of Fungi is probably that it acts as the primary decomposers of dead plant and animal matter in almost all ecosystems.

That’s why we commonly see molds on old bread. So you see that many molds have good uses too.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

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