If there was one organism that was in dire need of a PR overhaul, it would probably be black mold. Yup, when it comes to mold, you don’t get much worse than this. Yet how much of it is over-sensationalized, and how much should we really take to heart? MoldBlogger investigates!
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.