How Do I Know I Am Sick From Black Mold?
Updated: Jul 22
If you are living in an area where the relative humidity is above 55%(Georgia), you are very much liable to health risks caused by toxic molds. Mold is found worldwide that colonizes particularly well in high-cellulose material such as straw, hay, wet leaves, dry wall, carpet, wall paper, fiber-board, ceiling tiles, thermal insulation, etc. The fungus, before drying, is wet and slightly slimy to touch. One particular mold, Stachybotrys, is considered a toxic mold and is one of the major health risk providers.
Did you know that according to the EPA, Americans spend 90% of their time indoors? Experts in the documentary film, MOLDY suggest that more than 50% of houses in the U.S. have mold problems and 28% of the population have genes that make them highly susceptible to mold-related health issues.
If your health is a priority – you need to know the symptoms of mold exposure so you can act quickly to protect yourself and your family.
Mold Exposure: What, How, and Who
To understand what we’re dealing with, let’s try to break down what black or toxic mold is, how it affects people, and who is susceptible to it. Understanding your enemy gives you an advantage.
What is Black Mold?
All mold varieties at certain levels can cause allergic reactions and be potentially dangerous to your health.
We’ve all probably heard the terms “black mold” and “toxic mold.” Black or toxic mold refers to molds that may produce mycotoxins or toxins. In the category of black or toxic mold, most attention is given to health concerns from Stachybotrys, certain varieties of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chaetomium, Trichoderma, Phoma, and Fusarium.
How Mold Affects People
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mold exposure is not connected to any specific symptoms.
It is clear, however, that mold exposure can cause certain symptoms, but they might be different from person to person. That makes sense – our immune systems are different, and we have different pre-existing conditions, so why should mold treat us the same?
When mold grows in a house, it releases spores into the air that contain mycotoxins. Our bodies are generally accustomed to the amount and types of mold we’re exposed to outside. When indoor mold levels are high relative to outdoor levels, or more harmful varieties of mold are present, allergies and other health issues can result
Why is Mold A Health Concern?
Mold is a health concern because studies have shown that low level exposure can suppress the immune system leading to bacterial and viral infections, coughing, skin irritation, and other allergic reactions. Not only can mold destroy walls or ceilings where its spores proliferate but the damage to your body and lungs can be irreversible.•
Symptoms from mold exposure:
• Cold and flu symptoms (headaches, slight fever, and muscle aches)
* Sore/hoarse throat • Nosebleeds • Tingling or burning of nose, mouth, and perspiration areas (under the arms or between the legs) • Chronic fatigue • Dizziness • Nausea/vomiting • Memory loss • Attention deficit/concentration problems • Personality changes such as irritability or depression • Neurological disorders such as tremors • Hair loss • Coughing with blood • Bleeding in the lungs (hemosiderosis) • Damage to internal organs including blood, liver, kidneys, and lungs
How to Know If You Have Black Mold in Your House?
Mold isn’t always visible. If you can see mold, it’s only a sign of the real potential health risk – the unhealthy levels of harmful types mold in the air of your home or workplace.
Airborne mold is all around us – in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold determines the potential health risk. Most of us are accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.
Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture (ie. humidity and water leaks), many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or your pets.
These signs could mean you have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:
Allergic symptoms (especially in winter when outdoor allergens are low)
A damp or musty odor in one or more places
The air in the home feels different
Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
You previously tried removing mold yourself
Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when you’re out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you can’t see mold.
To see if you have a mold problem, you can have an inspection and quality air testing performed by a local mold testing company. The results of this test will typically be available within a week and will tell you the types and amount of mold present. Getting the air in your home or workplace tested is a good way to objectively determine if a mold problem is present or not.
How Do Functional Medicine Doctors Test for Mold Exposure?
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick, inform your doctor about the mold and your symptoms right away. But sometimes you can’t see mold, and it is not clear whether it’s mold exposure that’s made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, you will typically start by being asked about medical and family medical history. Additionally, tests will be run for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune system’s reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
Urine mycotoxins test
A fungal culture of the nasal sinuses
With our MycoTOX Profile, we can identify mycotoxin exposures and make recommendations for detoxification treatments that have been effective.
How to Prevent Mold
Whether you just got rid of the mold or you don’t ever want to see it in your house – you need to know the mold prevention rules. To prevent mold from appearing in your house:
Keep the humidity levels between 30% and 50%
Often check your house for leaks and signs of mold
Keep air moving in the home, especially in the winter to prevent condensation on windows
Use kitchen or bathroom fans to take out excess moisture after/during usage
Address any water-damage
Can Essential Oils Purify Air and Kill Mold?
Dust, allergens, mold spores, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by mold can all lead to a variety of potential health problems, especially since people are spending more time at home than ever.
There are over 100 types of essential oils, which are aromatic compounds extracted from plants. The active chemical components of these essential oils include phenols, terpenes, aldehydes, and ketones, some of which are believed to disrupt the fungal cell membranes of mold and destroy mold spores.
As a result, some of these essential oils may have air purifying and mold killing benefits. However, exactly how effective they are and which species of mold they’re effective against have are not yet fully understood.
Essential Oils are a natural substance that cannot be patented, are costly to produce, supplies are impacted by the weather, and when compared to drugs cannot be sold for anywhere near the same huge profits. Even though oils offer a better option, more powerful, faster-action, and actual healing not just suppressing symptoms, and they do all of this with almost no side-effects.
No allopathic drug can claim or offer that kind of superior help and protection for you and your family.
Based on studies published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health and Reviews on Environmental Health, here are 5 essential oils that kill mold:
Tea Tree Oil
Essential oils are a great option for addressing mold in buildings and the body. Using all natural, 100% organic, safe and effective therapeutic grade essential oils is the only non-toxic solution currently available.
Although these essential oils have demonstrated a significant effect on killing or inhibiting mold growth, they should not be used as a replacement for proper mold control and clean-up.
The key to preventing mold in your home is moisture control — repairing and removing conditions that lead to excess moisture. If mold growth is found, it should be promptly cleaned and removed. For severe mold growth that covers more than 10 square feet, contact licensed mold professionals for assessment and remediation.
Homeowners can consider using essential oils in the form of vapor diffusers or liquid cleaning sprays in conjunction with other mold cleanup methods to freshen and purify air and stop mold from spreading.
Other Options for Mold in Home
If you are one of the people who has been impacted by mold, doing just a little research will tell you that most doctors don’t even recognize that mold is the cause or a contributing factor in illness and disease. That is beginning to change, but why wait when mold can and does kill the organisms it infests? There is a better way to deal with mold, a secret weapon.
What is that secret weapon? First…it is important that you know that unless you clear your space, your living and working environment, of mold, you will never be free of it and the negative impacts it has on your health. So, if you either know or believe you are being impacted by mold, the first thing to do is start diffusing essential oils in your home and work space. A air filter like the AIRSCRUBBER helps to also clean the air.
If you are ready to find out what they can do for you, then take the first step and give us a phone call at 770-425-6068.