Mold is a kind of fungus, which does not need a lot to grow and spread. Mold can form almost anywhere if the area is dank and moist. Humidity and moisture is essentially all that is needed for mold to grow.
There are more than 100,000 different types of mold that are seen outdoors as well as indoors. Many of these molds can cause allergic reactions, which result in hay fever, headaches, breathing problems, etc. Some molds produce harmful toxins that are very bad for human health. These molds are known as Toxic Mold. A very harmful and sometimes deadly type of toxic mold is known as Black Mold.
What is Black Mold?
There are many types of mold commonly found in homes, such as penicillium, alternaria, mucor etc. These are responsible for many health problems in animals and humans. Another type of mold, which is not as commonly found as the above types, is stachybotrys chartarum, or as is more popularly referred to – Black Mold.
Stachybotrys chartarum is a contaminant, which produces harmful toxins that can be very dangerous for humans. It is seen as a black color infestation on wet cellulose containing materials, and thus the name black mold. Black mold can be found in any part of your home or office, as building materials such as wood, paper, fiberboard, cotton products etc are very conducive to the growth of black mold.
Formation of Black Mold
Black mold forms very easily in damp and wet conditions; especially on materials and products containing wet cellulose and that are low in nitrogen. The black mold produces a kind of toxin known as mycotoxin, which is very harmful to health. In certain cases, if inhaled for long periods, the harmful mycotoxins in black mold can even cause the death of an individual.
The mycotoxins, which are produced by black mold, are released into the air once the mold dries. These harmful toxins are carried through the heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation systems, and are spread all over a home or office, and are thus inhaled by people and animals. These toxins can cause severe health problems in animals and in humans. If inhaled by infants, black mold toxins can cause lung bleeding and result in the death of infants.
Detection of Black Mold
Most types of mold have a very recognizable smell, much like that of urine. Due to such a distinctive smell, most molds are easy to detect. But black mold is not very easy to detect and often keeps growing behind walls and under ceilings without being disturbed, as people are usually unaware of its presence.
If you have stained ceilings, walls, leaky faucets, or have unusual allergic reactions, then your home may have a mold problem, and it could turn out to be Toxic Black Mold.
Removal of Black Mold
If you have any black mold growing in your home, then you should get it removed and the infested area cleaned as soon as possible. Black mold spores can be very dangerous to health, and thus you should get the black mold removed by professional mold removers and cleaners.
Black mold, and the negative health effects that it has, has lead to a lot of laws being enacted to protect people who may have been exposed to black mold. If you are a tenant, then it is the legal responsibility of your landlord to ensure that your premises are free from black mold. Similarly, if you have purchased a home that is infected by black mold, and you have suffered illness due to it, then you may be entitled to legal damages.