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cleaning black mold

Is it Safe to Clean Black Mold Yourself?

It’s time to answer one of the most persistent questions seen on MoldBlogger and other sites: Is it safe to clean black mold yourself?

Whether you’re a headstrong homeowner or you simply can’t afford professional mold remediation, you’ve certainly been wondering the same thing lately. Is the risk worth it—and what is the risk anyway? That’s what we’re about to find out!

Can Black Mold Kill You?

Yes, black mold can kill you, but there are a great many factors that must take place before that’s a possibility.

For one, the type of exposure to black mold is important. A one-time exposure may produce unbearable and debilitating symptoms for a period of time, but if the person is treated correctly and never exposed again, the chances of the symptoms becoming a chronic and eventual death threat are extremely low. That said, some one-time exposures have the capacity to become chronic if the person suffers from a weakened immune system or an immunodeficiency. They are at a greater risk of developing long-term and life-threatening mycotoxicosis symptoms (toxic mold sickness). Even a poor lifestyle—poor eating and exercising habits—can lead to a weakened immune system that is vulnerable to a great variety of life-threatening disease—not just black mold toxicity.

One-Time Exposure Black Mold Poisoning Symptoms:

  • a long, painful headache
  • a tightening in the chest
  • burning sensations in airways
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • fits of sneezing
  • nose bleeds
  • skin irritation
  • stuffy nose
  • watery or itchy eyes
  • wheezing

Repeat exposure, such as working or living in a mold-infested environment presents the greatest possibility of chronic black mold poisoning symptoms and death to both immunocompromised individuals and those at peak health. When exposure is persistent, the immune system experiences a bombardment of intense attack that affects the whole body. From the throat and lungs to the digestive system, to the bowels and skin, toxic mold symptoms act very much like a poison on the entire system. There is only so much even the healthiest of bodies can take before it becomes completely incapacitated and meets a fatal outcome.

Repeat-Exposure Black Mold Poisoning Symptoms:

  • asthma
  • autoimmune disease
  • cold and flu
  • emphysema-like disease
  • fatigue
  • memory loss
  • migraine-like headaches
  • muscle aches
  • nosebleeds
  • pulmonary hemorrhage
  • rashes and dermatitis
  • sore throat
  • vomiting and diarrhea (especially in infants)

How Long Does It Take for Black Mold to Kill You?

There have been many cases of toxic black mold sicknesses and death in public record for the past thirty years, but often, the issue is denied outright or the blame is shifted to keep landlords and businesses from being held accountable for their poor property maintenance.

In the 1990s, Cleveland, OH saw an inexplicable rise in pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding in the lungs) of children. On average, such a severe affliction occurs in only one out of a million children worldwide from time to time, but when every pediatrician in Cleveland suddenly began seeing five or more patients each week suffering from the same symptoms, it was determined that cases in that region alone had risen to one in every one-thousand children. A two-year investigation into the incident identified exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum—toxic black mold—as the cause. Sadly, it took the deaths of several children before the results could be concluded. Those years were warmer and wetter than usual, and Cleveland’s general mismanagement of moisture-damaged rental buildings was to blame, yet many rose up to deny mold sickness was even possible, claiming it to be an imagined disease and downplaying the dangers of black mold. (See: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Acute pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis among infants—Cleveland, January 1993-November 1994. MMWR 1994;43:881-3.)

In 2009, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, FL lost three young cancer patients in less than a month due to mold inhalation. The cause was the hospital’s construction project that exposed and released toxic black mold into the pediatric cancer wing of the hospital. The children were trapped in poorly-ventilated rooms while microscopic black mold spores attacked their chemo-weakened bodies. Only the three deaths were admittedly due to this mold exposure, but more families are claiming their children suffered from chronic negative effects and even death due to the same negligent exposure.

Periodically, reports will come in regarding farmers, construction workers, handymen, and DIY homeowners who have been exposed to black mold and died from it. As most are usually middle-aged and very fit, the problem was repeat exposure as they worked in silos or on building or renovation projects. For some, it took years before they passed; for others, it took only months.

How long does it take black mold to kill you? As you can see, it depends entirely on your age and current state of health. Those who are most-likely to experience black mold poisoning symptoms and lose their lives because of it are:

  • infants and children
  • older adults
  • people with allergies or asthma
  • people with weakened immune systems

What complicates matters is that black mold exposure has also been linked to certain seemingly-unrelated diseases and cancers. This means that the death rate from black mold exposure could be significantly higher, but there is no way to know for sure until medical providers, landlords, and lawmakers take mold toxicity more seriously.

Is it Safe to Clean Black Mold Yourself?

Now that you have a better understanding of the dangers revolving around black mold exposure, surely you’re wondering if cleaning it on your property is worth the risk. The answer is: “Yes, but it depends.”

In most cases of illness and death, the victims did not use the proper equipment when cleaning or removing black mold from their home. Even if the cleaner wears the right protection, the other inhabitants are often exposed because not enough care was taken to ensure the issue was resolved before allowing them back in the home. If you must tackle this problem yourself, you must do it right the first time. You and your loved ones depend on every precaution being executed correctly.

Preparing the Home for Black Mold Removal

Any attempt to resolve mold issues in a home will disturb the mold and release millions—if not billions—of mold spores into the environment. These spores are invisible to the naked eye and completely unavoidable. They spread through every room within minutes—even seconds—so do not think for even a moment that your family is safe in another part of the house. Even if the spores finally settle, you can expose your family by introducing them on your clothing or opening a door and causing them to rise up again on air currents.

This is why a complete strategy must be in place before you make any removal attempt at all.

If you must do this on your own:

  • purchase the proper personal protection equipment (PPE)—wear and use it at all times!
  • have your family and pets removed completely from the home for several days
  • invest in an air purifier that combines HEPA and Activated Carbon filters
  • be willing to throw away any items that are fibrous or porous, such as wood or fabrics
  • if replacing elements of the home, purchase only mold-resistant drywall, paint, sheet rock, and other materials
  • use black mold removal products or cleaners, or make them yourself from anti-fungal essential oils—NO BLEACH!
  • document the entire process with videos, photographs, and/or journaling (in case of litigation)
  • safeguard yourself and your family with anti-fungal meals and supplements
  • maintain mold-inhibiting temperatures and moisture levels in the home

Conclusion

Cleaning black mold yourself can be a daunting task—and one that you should never take lightly. If it is at all possible, I urge you to seek professional assistance. That said, if you choose to move forward regardless of what you have read here, you are doing so with the full knowledge of what the risks are. My only advice is to be unwavering in your precautions and planning. Never move forward without the proper equipment. Do not cut corners. Do not compromise safety for “cheap” or “easy” solutions. Your life and the lives of those you love are at stake.

If you’re in need of black mold removal solutions for specific materials or situations (such as: “how to remove black mold from wood,” “how to get rid of black mold on walls,” or many other topics), please feel free to use the search bar on MoldBlogger. Every week, more topics and solutions will be posted to help you with your mold problems, so check back frequently.

If you’ve ever found black mold in your home, please share your experience in the comments below—it could greatly benefit other readers. What led you to search out the mold—did you experience symptoms beforehand? Where did you find it? What steps did you take to remove it? What black mold removal products did you use? Ultimately, do you believe it is safe to clean black mold yourself or do you think it is wiser to invest in the help of professionals?

Article by Amanda Demsky.

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How to Remove Mold from Your Body with Exercise

We live in the pampered era of couch potatoes and desk jockeys. From 2-hour long commutes, to 8-hour Netflix binges, we are successfully neglecting our need for daily exercise. In the United States alone, less than 23% of the population commits to even the most pitiful of exercise standards. Picture in your mind’s eye that unwilling 77%. It’s possible that 40–60% of them are plagued with mold or biotoxin illness, which would explain their unwillingness to engage in adequate physical activity. If only they knew what you’re about to discover—how to remove mold from your body with exercise. Then, perhaps they’d feel encouraged to push through that foggy, mold malaise and commit to detoxifying their bodies by moving their bodies.

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How to Get Rid of Mold in Crawl Spaces

Dealing with a mold problem in your home can be a daunting and scary experience. It is hard to know what to do first in situations that seem overwhelming. However, it is important to tackle a mold issue right away, so that it does not become worse and even more daunting of a problem. So what do you do if you have mold in your crawl space? This article will aim to help you break down the process and guide you in making decisions about your home and mold issues in your crawl space.

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Natural Remedies for Black Mold

Black mold is a common and toxic mold type often found in homes with some kind of water damage. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and flooding, are frequently followed by black mold, and can bring unwanted damage to homes and human health.

However, just like there is hope for your home to be properly remediated from mold damage, there is hope in getting rid of black mold symptoms! First, lets take a quick look at what black mold is, the symptoms of black mold exposure, and then learn about some natural remedies for black mold.

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Mold and Appliances

Do you ever wonder how people coped before household appliances? It boggles the mind – especially as domestic chores can be hard enough even with the help of our electrical peers.

Yet there’s nothing more cringe-inducing than the thought of these much-loved appliances – designed purely to clean – being infected with its own antithesis: Mold. Of the 100,000+ types of mold, over 1,000 are found in US homes. Eeek. We would say it doesn’t bear thinking about, if the removal of this fiendish fungi wasn’t so important. And seeing as so many appliances work with water (think washing machine, dishwasher and freezer), it’s a problem that arises time and time again, due to “poor venting and high level of moisture in the appliance, high level of humidity in the kitchen, darkness and supply of food”, according to professional cleaning technician at Fantastic Services, Dean Davies.

Fear not, good reader. MoldBlogger is, as ever, awash with the tips you – and your appliances – need to survive.
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We keep our blog going for the benefit of our amazing readers and – often – we’ll get comments on a particular subject – sometimes even questions. We’d be doing a disservice if we failed to respond in full and so, this week’s blog is dedicated to one such reader who asked about the best plant-based and holistic sprays to eliminate mold spores to help her daughter who has been diagnosed with biotoxin illness. Being the thorough mold-warriors that we are, here we delve into biotoxin illness in its entirety – warts and all.
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Hotel Mold

It’s happening; the holiday you booked months ago – comprising of both travel and accommodation – has finally arrived. You’ve spent countless hours researching, booking, packing and envisaging a relaxing time-out from life itself. It stands to reason, therefore, that the last thing you’d like to find on entering your home-away-from-home is mold.
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What is Black Mold?

“Black mold,” or stachbotrys as his mycologist friends like to call him, is actually a dark green mold, but not only did “Dark Green Mold” fail miserably at striking fear in the hearts of the public, Penicillium mold pretty much held the copyright to all-things-green. “Killer Mold,” too, fell short of fear-mongering. And “The Notorious B.M.” didn’t quite have the effect mycologists were going for, which could be why a dark green mold was given the nickname “black mold.” Or, more specifically, “toxic black mold.” But, what causes black mold? And why is it considered so toxic?
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Help! I Accidentally Ate Moldy Bread (or Moldy Cheese)!

Is Moldy Food Dangerous?

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What is Green Mold and How Do You Get Rid of It?

What is Green Mold?

Some mistakenly believe that any and all green molds are penicillin. Penicillin, however, is not a mold. Penicillin is an antibiotic derived from the mold known as penicillium chrysogenum. Many times over, a common statement is made in regards to foods that have mold growth: “Ah, it’s just penicillin. It won’t hurt you.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, contact with penicillium chryosogenum–like any mold–can cause serious health issues. For instance, penicillium molds often cause chronic sinus infections and inflammation within the lungs.

The truth is, there are several types of green mold–thousands, actually–and none of them are friendly. So, what exactly makes green mold, green?

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The Most Dangerous Molds

If you’ve discovered or suspect you have mold in your home or workplace, the next most common question is “is it dangerous?” Not all molds are created equal. Some are considered toxic mold while others are less of a hindrance. While no mold is good in the home or workplace, there are some types of mold that fall into the “most dangerous molds” category. That is what today’s blog post will cover. These are the molds that will cause the most harm to your home and/or your body, especially with long term exposure.
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Recovering from Mold Related Illnesses

Mold related illnesses may be one of the most prominent health issues that doctors are missing today. They can be a true hidden illness that goes undiagnosed for years. What a scary thought!

There are potentially millions of people who are currently suffering from a mystery illness, and their doctors don’t have a clue what is causing their ailments. They are often referred to doctor after doctor, repeatedly being turned away.

Mold toxins are so unique, and their effects are wide and far-reaching. Symptoms of mold related illnesses are complex and they can be mistaken for many other illnesses. All of this makes it difficult for doctors to find the correct diagnosis.
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Mold and Babies – The Importance of Mold Removal

Is Your Baby at Risk from Toxic Mold?

This time of year brings lots of sneezes and wheezes to young babies as the warm weather is replaced with colder temperatures. Going outside may seem like a bad idea to those parents whose children suffer with seasonal allergies or are susceptible to colds and flus. You may be tempted to stay indoors. But what if staying inside is actually worse? If mold is present in your home, your baby could be at a higher risk indoors.
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Mold Sickness: Will Activated Charcoal Help?

History of Activated Charcoal

The earliest known use for activated charcoal was recorded in 3750 B.C. It was during this period of earth’s history that Egyptian and Sumerian metallurgy was revolutionizing the metal works industry with the introduction of bronze—an alloy of tin, zinc, and copper dependent upon carbon, or activated charcoal, for the purpose of atomic oxygen-reduction and elemental extraction.
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Myco-ZX: How Effective are its Ingredients in the Fight Against Fungal Overgrowth Within the Body?

In an earlier article, an interview between Infowars reporter Millie Weaver and Dr. Edward Group covered the hidden health dangers of mold and yeast. Briefly mentioned was Dr. Group’s supplement Myco-ZX, which is reported by the Infowars store to be “an all-natural blend of potent herbs and enzymes that support the body’s healthy detoxification of yeast and undesirable fungal organisms.” While we’re always a bit skeptical here at MoldBlogger and are not—in any way—affiliated with Infowars or Dr. Group’s Global Healing Center, we’re willing to investigate such claims, based on long-established facts surrounding the potential efficacy of each ingredient.
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Infowars Doctor Acknowledges Dangers of Mold

Infowars Doctor Acknowledges the Hidden Health Dangers of Mold and Yeast

In a video published on YouTube on March 11 of 2007, Infowars reporter Millie Weaver interviewed Dr. Edward F. Group III. The topic was the hidden health dangers of mold and yeast. Here at MoldBlogger, we may not agree with every perspective presented on Infowars, but when it comes to fungi—specifically, a publicized discussion on it—we’re more than willing to lend an ear.
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Mold Removal Cost – What You Can Expect To Pay

If you have found mold in your home, you are most likely wondering how much you can expect to pay to get rid of it. Of course, mold is a serious condition and must be remedied right away. You’ll want to take immediate steps to identify and remove the mold while also fixing the source of moisture that led to the environment which allowed mold growth.

When you are deciding whether to take care of the mold yourself or call in a professional, consider these questions.

How much mold is in your home?

How deep has the mold gone? It can be difficult to assess how much the mold has grown beyond what you can see without a proper mold inspection, especially if it is hidden deep into walls or cracks and crevices. Surface mold is much easier to deal with and contain. There are many sprays and soaps that are made to kill and remove mold. Many homeowners may even be proficient enough to replace drywall and insulation on their own. The real problem arises when the mold has gone airborne or has gotten into several structural elements of the home. And sometimes it can be difficult to know how far the mold has traveled.

What caused the mold?

It is greatly beneficial to determine the source of the moisture that caused the mold when determining whether or not you should perform your own mold remediation. Obviously, the source of moisture must be remedied as well as the mold. Knowing the source of moisture may also help you determine how much mold is present, especially if you know how long the moisture has been an issue. For example, you may know that your roof started leaking from a small hole a month ago which may help you determine how much mold is present and how deep it has grown. Perhaps you had a flood or other known source of water into your home.

Again, the problem arises when there are unknowns. Even if you find the source of the moisture, can you be certain on the length of time exposed and how deep the moisture has traveled? If you are uncertain, it is best to call in the pros.

The health and safety of your family is much more important than the price you’ll have to pay to remove the mold, but this guide will help you if you need to get a bid.

If the area is a small one, you can remove the mold yourself with just a few dollars worth of cleaning supplies. If you’re concerned about breathing the spores, you can get a respirator, which will cost from around $25 for a simple over the mouth and nose version, to around $150 for a full face professional level unit. If you’re unsure if you need a respirator there are 7 ways to know if a mold is dangerous. For large infestations, it’s time to call in the pros.

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Support Your Health with Dandelion Root

An Inexpensive Remedy

If you have suffered from toxic mold exposure, you probably understand how important it is to support your body in order to aid in recovering from a injurious overload of mold. Many molds can be harmful, and if you have daily encountered mold over a period of time, it is very important to first remove yourself from the contamination, and second, give your body the assistance it needs to repair. Often natural remedies are expensive and hard to find, but some, such as dandelion root, can be found free in your yard (make sure it hasn’t been exposed to chemicals or weed-killers), or easily ordered from your home!
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