Mold is becoming a problem all over the United States and is an important reason for concern among home and business owners. Over the past few years we have seen a rise in household mold exposure cases and in some instances has resulted in serious illnesses and death. Stachybotrys or black mold is commonly found in areas that are frequently subjected to water and moisture including carpets, furniture and even wallpaper. Black mold is identified by its greenish black color that is often slimy to the touch. This fungus releases tiny spores consisting of deadly chemicals called mycotoxins into the air which is picked up in your air conditioning and distributed throughout your entire home to be inhaled by your family and pets.
The common side effects of mold include coughing and sneezing and can easy be misdiagnosed as the common cold or allergy. Short term exposure to black mold can cause a large variety of flu like symptoms ranging from stuffy nose and itchy eyes to skin rashes and nausea. If long term exposure to mold occurs the side effects can become deadly. Serious side effects include cancer, miscarriages, still births and even bleeding in the lungs. This serious bacteria is also known to cause athletes foot and jock itch which can be difficult if not impossible to treat and can be easily spread from human to human.
Stachybotrys is also very deadly for animals as well. Black mold is commonly found in hay that has been exposed to moisture. Stachybotrys has been linked to the deaths of hundreds of horses and cows who have eaten contaminated hay. Animals do not have to ingest the mold to become deathly ill; they simply have to inhale it. Black mold exposure in horses can cause serious neurologic damage as well as severe rashes and irritations to the mouth gums and lips. Black mold is also the leading cause of COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which causes shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing in horses making it very difficult to breathe.
If you believe that your family and animals have been exposed to stachybotrys you should seek a doctor or veterinarian before the affects of this mold become permanent. If you are unsure of a possible mold problem in your home a simple mold inspection will give you all of your answers on the type of mold found in your home as well as the proper procedure to remove it.