There are numerous species of molds that exist in the environment. Some are indoor molds while others thrive outdoors. One common characteristic these molds share is that they all grow on semi-dry or moist surfaces. Most of the outdoor molds grow on dead plants and animals. Stachybotrys is an example of a mold that is found in the ecosystem. This article reviews this mold, its characteristics, and the effects it causes on the health of its hosts as well as sure ways of treating it.
Stachybotrys, one of the most common and recognizable species of mold found in indoor environments, is a greenish-black mold that is often referred to as “black mold” or “toxic mold” due to its appearance and ability to cause severe illness in people who come into contact with it.
Stachybotrys typically grows on materials that have a high cellulose content and low nitrogen content such as fiberboard, gypsum board, drywall, paper, dust and lint.
The primary cause of black mold is moisture—flooding, high humidity, leaks, condensation or some other form of moisture intrusion.
Stachybotrys can produce toxins (called “mycotoxins”), which have been known to be hazardous to human health, especially over long-term exposure.
What is Stachybotrys mold?
Stachybotrys mold is a species of molds that is usually found inside the house. It is sticky and famously referred to as the black mold due to its greenish-black color. It is highly toxic. For this reason, it is also referred to as the toxic mold. Nitrogen is one great enemy that does not go hand in hand with this mold. It thrives on surfaces with a low content of nitrogen and a high content of cellulose. Such surfaces include gypsum board, paper, dust, lint, and fiberboard. Unlike other fluffy molds like Bipolaris, this mold cannot be dispersed through the air unless it dries out. Nevertheless, dry molds can start re-growing once exposed to moisture again.
What are common places for Stachybotrys mold to grow?
Dump places like the bathroom ceiling, wet carpets, and wet boards are the best habitats that offer a comfortable setting for the Stachybotrys mold to generate. Particularly, this mold releases Mycotoxins which are very harmful to human beings once inhaled or ingested. Depending on factors such as temperature, the nature of the surface it grows, the source of food, and humidity, the Stachybotrys mold may produce Mycotoxins or fail to produce.
What are Stachybotrys acceptable levels?
This species of molds is not always harmful. The harm comes in when it is mature enough to produce Mycotoxins which in turn, cause health defects to human beings. For this mold, only between zero and fifty spores are the acceptable levels that are considered nontoxic. Above fifty spores, numerous Mycotoxins can be produced causing negative health effects to human beings.
Additional facts and statistics about the Stachybotrys mold
The Stachybotrys mold usually dominates all other species of molds when they grow on the same surface. It produces the highest number of Mycotoxins than other molds and also takes longer to grow. A species of this mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum has been said to grow inside the bodies of infants, leading to their death. In the recent past, people have suffered, fleeing their homes in Wellington, New Zealand, as a result of the invasion of this mold. As a matter of fact, houses were demolished due to a large number of Stachybotrys mold spores that were discovered. Many deaths have also been reported over time.
Do you need Stachybotrys test?
Because many mold species can be black in colour, the only way to know for sure if the mold you are dealing with is Stachybotrys is to get professional mold testing.
This mold grows on moist surfaces like walls and roofs. It is sticky and hence difficult for it to find its way in the air unless it dries up. This feature makes it easier for the Stachybotrys mold to be tested. In this case, testing is done in the laboratory where samples are picked from the habitat and taken for testing. Testing air is more difficult compared with testing a solid. However, this does not mean that the air should not be tested for this mold.
Mold Busters is a company that specializes in such things as testing molds in and around your house. We have modern equipment and qualified personnel that can discover the presence and the types of molds that may have invaded your home.
How does Stachybotrys smell?
This mold has a very bad smell that can be described as damp, stale, musty, potent, or rotting wood. Before seeing it, you may discover such a smell in one of your rooms.
This odor calls for the performance of an air test or surface test for the Stachybotrys mold. The smell is always the first sign that signifies the presence of the mold. Mold Busters can then be contacted so as they can test it.
What are Stachybotrys mold symptoms and health effects?
Stachybotrys mold produces harmful Mycotoxins that can result into adverse health conditions to human beings. Long time exposure increases the risk and the effect caused. Depending on the strength of the immune system, different people may react differently upon exposure to the mold. However, people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of being adversely affected.
This mold causes respiratory complications like coughing, wheezing, difficulty in breathing and asthmatic symptoms. In addition, it can lead to allergic reactions, headaches, skin inflammation, hemorrhage, nausea, and fatigue among many other symptoms. People with a stronger immune system may not be affected much. Nevertheless, severe effects of the Stachybotrys mold are mental impairment, immune system suppression, irritation of the mucous membrane and damage to internal organs. The worst effect that can be caused is death.
Stachybotrys removal and treatment – How to get rid of it?
Removing the Stachybotrys mold can prevent the production of Mycotoxins and hence the health hazards that result from them. Everyone wants to know the surest way of removing and treating this mold. The Mold Busters company offers the best and affordable services to help you in this. Once you discover the black toxic mold or an unpleasant smell in your house, seek professional services from this company.
Mold Busters specialize in testing mold in the air and on surfaces, removing humidity from surfaces, removing molds using antimicrobials, cleaning the air, and preventing re-generation of molds among other services. All these are done at very reasonable prices.
At Mold Busters, we offer a variety of ways to test for mold from surface sampling (tape/swab/bulk) to indoor air quality testing (viable/non-viable). Call Mold Busters to book your mold test!