Did you know that a staggering 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies? Or that allergies rank sixth when it comes to chronic illnesses in the country?
The most concerning fact here is that many people can experience allergic reactions to allergens (substances that trigger the allergy) that they don’t even see. For example, mold spores tinier than the eye can see can trigger severe allergic reactions. And that’s not all. Certain types of molds can also cause poisoning.
Of these microorganisms, toxic black mold is one of the most dangerous. But what exactly happens to those exposed to these fungi? What are the symptoms if you’ve inhaled its spores?
Keep reading for some basic but important information about dealing with mold toxicity.
Toxic Black Mold: The Basics
First things first: Black mold (or Stachybotrys chartarum, as they’re known in the scientific world) aren’t toxic on their own. Their spores are what make them dangerous.
These molds release toxic spores (known as mycotoxins) when they feed. What makes that so concerning is that these fungi will keep feeding on anything that nourishes them. That includes moisture-containing organic materials like carpeting, drywall, insulation, cotton, food, and more.
How Your Body Reacts to Inhaled or Ingested Black Mold
If exposed to black mold through ingestion or inhalation, your body can start developing unpleasant symptoms. For those who already have mold allergies, these reactions can be potentially life-threatening.
The most common sign of black mold exposure is non-stop coughing and sneezing. Eye irritation, runny nose, as well as skin inflammation and rashes also indicate possible exposure. If you (or anyone in your household) suffers from persistent headaches and chronic fatigue, mold toxicity may also be the culprit.
Disorientation, dizziness, and confusion can also result from prolonged exposure to this fungi’s toxic spores.
The Potential Life-Threatening Effects of Black Mold Exposure
The longer the exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum and the more spores inhaled or ingested, the worse the health effects. In such cases, nausea, bleeding nose, and vomiting can already accompany the above-mentioned symptoms.
In the worst scenarios, the lungs may become swollen (which is called pulmonary edema). From here, they can start bleeding from the inside (also called a pulmonary hemorrhage).
What to Do When These Symptoms Develop
They may start off as minor, but th symptoms of black mold exposure will only worsen over time. As such, if anyone exhibits any of these symptoms, it is extremely important to contact a doctor right away.
From there, make sure that you have your home inspected and tested for molds. It’s possible that regular molds caused these symptoms, but you still shouldn’t discount the possibility of toxic mold spores.
Stopping Molds from Costing You Your Home and Health
If the tests reveal that molds have taken over your home, make sure you have them removed ASAP. That applies to both toxic black mold and regular molds. Keep in mind that these microorganisms only need about 24 to 48 hours to start spreading. So, the longer you wait, the more time they have to spread throughout your house.
And, if you think you’ve been adversely affected by mold due to no fault of your own, be sure to contact a qualified toxic mold lawyer for help. A personal injury lawsuit to recoup for losses may be in order.