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Black Mold


» How do molds affect people?     » Things You Should Know About Mold.        » Mold Symptoms.

»Black Mold Symptoms.          » Toxic Black Mold (Stachybotrys).                    » Black Mold Spores.

» Toxic Black Mold Removal.        » Black Mold Removal (With Home Products).         » Aspergillus

» The History of Toxic Mold.      » HEPA Vacuum Cleaners & Mold.          » Toxic Black Mold Today.



How do molds affect people?

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions.


Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
 EPA's publication, Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals, assists health professionals (especially the primary care physician) in diagnosis of patient symptoms that could be related to an indoor air pollution problem. It addresses the health problems that may be caused by contaminants encountered daily in the home and office. Organized according to pollutant or pollutant groups such as environmental tobacco smoke, VOCs, biological pollutants, and sick building syndrome, this booklet lists key signs and symptoms from exposure to these pollutants, provides a diagnostic checklist and quick reference summary, and includes suggestions for remedial action. Also includes references for information contained in each section. This booklet was developed by the American Lung Association, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the EPA. EPA Document Reference Number 402-R-94-007, 1994.



Things You Should Know About Mold
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions.


    1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.

    2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

    3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.

    4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

    5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and dehumidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dish-washing, and cleaning.

    6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

    7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.

    8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.

    9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).

    10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.


How do molds affect people?
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

EPA's publication, Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals, assists health professionals (especially the primary care physician) in diagnosis of patient symptoms that could be related to an indoor air pollution problem. It addresses the health problems that may be caused by contaminants encountered daily in the home and office.

Organized according to pollutant or pollutant groups such as environmental tobacco smoke, VOCs, biological pollutants, and sick building syndrome, this booklet lists key signs and symptoms from exposure to these pollutants, provides a diagnostic checklist and quick reference summary, and includes suggestions for remedial action. Also includes references for information contained in each section. This booklet was developed by the American Lung Association, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the EPA. EPA Document Reference Number 402-R-94-007, 1994.



Mold Symptoms
Another sign that you could have mold is allergic symptoms. If there's mold hidden in your home there will be mold spores in the air. When you breathe these spores in not only will you notice a moldy smell but your body will react with allergic reactions like sneezing, a runny nose or sore eyes.



Identifying Mold Species
A second reason for mold testing is if you want to find out what kind of species of mold is in your home. This is important for toxic molds since extra caution needs to be taken to safely remove toxic mold from the home.
Two well known toxic molds are STACHYBOTRYS (often called toxic black mold) and ASPERGILLUS.
If you see mold which looks like a toxic species or if you are suffering toxic symptoms then you should have it tested before you try to remove it. The only way to identify the species of a mold colony for certain is to have a mold professional look at a sample of it under the microscope.
The symptoms caused by Stachybotrys are at TOXIC BLACK MOLD SYMPTOMS.



Toxic Black Mold Symptoms
The mycotoxins of toxic black mold cause people to suffer toxic symptoms. The general types of symptoms caused by toxic black mold include:


  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin inflammation
  • Hemorrhage
  • Irritation of the mucous membranes
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Mental impairment
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Immune system suppression

Toxic black mold can cause permanent damage to your health. In extreme cases toxic black mold has even lead to death. Because of the serious health effects toxic black mold can cause, if you find it in your home you need to take steps to get it removed immediately. The longer you are around toxic black mold, the more it will damage your health.

Toxic Black Mold Symptoms
On this page you will find symptoms caused by the STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM species of mold, which is also called black mold or toxic black mold.However not all mold that looks black is Stachybotrys and in fact most dark mold isn't even toxic.

Types of Toxic Black Mold Symptoms
Toxic black mold causes serious symptoms and health problems such as mental impairment, breathing problems, damage to internal organs and sometimes even death. The main groups of symptoms toxic black mold causes are:
  • Mental and neurological symptoms
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Circulatory symptoms
  • Vision and eye problems
  • Skin problems
  • Immune system problems
  • Reproductive system problems
  • Tiredness and discomfort
  • Other illnesses and health effects

Mental & Neurological Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
The TRYCHOTHECENE MYCOTOXIMS produced by toxic black mold are neurotoxic. This means they can kill neurons in the brain and impair a person's mental ability. They also cause nervous disorders such as tremors and can cause personality changes such as mood swings and irritability.
  • Symptoms:
  • Confusion
  • Brain fog
  • Shortened attention span
  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss and memory problems
  • Impaired learning ability
  • Hallucinations
  • Shock
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Aggression and other personality changes
  • Tingling
  • Trembling
  • Shaking
  • Seizure
  • Numbness

Respiratory Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
People living in homes with toxic black mold are exposed mainly through breathing in toxic black mold spores and mycotoxins. Toxic black mold mycotoxins create irritation and a burning feeling in a person's air passages such as the nasal cavity, mouth and throat.The mycotoxins can even become lodged in the mucus membranes, sinuses and the lungs which then causes a burning feeling, breathing problems and bleeding in the lungs
.
  • Symptoms:
  • Difficulty breathing - breathlessness or shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Pulmonary edema - swelling of the lungs
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage - bleeding in the lungs
  • Sore throat
  • Burning sensation of the mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Stuffy, blocked nose
  • Nose bleeds

Circulatory Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
Toxic black mold mycotoxins can be breathed in, ingested, or absorbed through a person's skin or eyes. Eventually the mycotoxins then find their way into the person's blood. This leads to heart damage, problems with blood clotting and internal or external hemorrhaging.
  • Symptoms:
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart inflammation
  • Damage to heart
  • Low blood pressure
  • Bone marrow disruption
  • Bleeding tendency
  • Blood not clotting properly
  • Hemorrhage - internal bleeding
  • Vomiting up blood
  • Bleeding in the brain and in other organs

Vision & Eye Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
Toxic black mold mycotoxins that are in the air can enter a person's eyes. The mycotoxins are cytotoxic (toxic to cells) and when they come into contact with eye cells they cause inflamed and injured eyes and create vision problems.
  • Symptoms:
  • Eye inflammation and soreness
  • Red or bloodshot eyes
  • Eye damage
  • Blurry vision and vision worsening
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes)

Skin Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
Through the skin is one of the three main ways that toxic black mold mycotoxins enter the human body. There have been cases in the past where people have handled hay contaminated with toxic black mold and developed severe rashes and skin problems on their body where they touched the hay, as well as on sweaty areas like the armpits.
  • Symptoms:
  • Crawling skin
  • Dermatitis - skin inflammation, rash, blisters, itchiness
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)

Immune System Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
Toxic black mold puts out chemicals which suppress the immune system. In fact many immunosuppressive drugs are actually created from toxic molds. A person who is immunocompromised from being around toxic black mold will more easily get infections and sicknesses
.
  • Symptoms:
  • Immune suppression - immune system not functioning properly
  • Infections reoccurring

Reproductive System Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
Mycotoxins from toxic black mold are teratogenic. This means they can cause problems in the fetus during pregnancy which then leads to birth defects. Toxic black mold mycotoxins are also cytoxotic and mutagenic (cause cell mutations) and inhibit protein synthesis including DNA and RNA.
  • Symptoms:
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Impotence
  • Fetal development problems

Tiredness & Discomfort Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
When a person is around toxic black mold the immune system may release a sedative called Chloral Hydrate. This is used as a defense to try to slow down the effects of toxic black mold. But this also makes a person tired and causes fatigue. Toxic black mold can also cause soreness of the muscles and joints.
  • Symptoms:
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle pain
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Malaise - general discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Cold or flu type symptoms or recurring colds
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Other Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold
  • Symptoms:
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss, anorexia
  • Hearing loss
  • Liver disease
  • Coma
  • Death

Toxic Black Mold Causes Allergic Symptoms
Like other molds, toxic black mold is allergenic. The spores from toxic black mold cause allergic reactions such as breathing problems, sore eyes, runny nose, itchiness, sneezing and a sore throat.

Differing Toxic Black Mold Symptoms
Toxic black mold affects different people in different ways. Some people won't experience symptoms as severe as what others experience. Children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are usually the worst affected by toxic black mold.

Toxic Black Mold and Cancer
Experts suspect that toxic black mold can cause cancer, although there still needs to be more research. Some other toxic molds, like Aspergillus for example, definitely cause cancer though. The aflatoxin mycotoxins which Aspergillus produce are among the most powerful carcinogens.

Are Toxic Black Mold Symptoms Permanent?
Once a person is no longer around toxic black mold most of their symptoms should gradually decrease. Some of the health problems caused by toxic black mold are permanent though. For example, after a person has lived with toxic black mold their immune system won't be as strong as it used to be and they'll be more sensitive to mold and mycotoxins in the future. Toxic Black

Mold Spores and Mycotoxins
Like other molds, toxic black mold reproduces by spreading its spores. And also like other mold, the spores of toxic black mold are allergenic. Unlike most mold spores though, Stachybotrys spores are also toxic since they carry mycotoxins.

Toxic Symptoms from Mold
If you suffer neurological symptoms such as headaches, trouble concentrating, shortened attention span, memory loss and dizziness it could be a sign that there is toxic mold growing somewhere in your house which is poisoning you.MYCOTOXIMS from toxic molds such as STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM can have a mental effect on people much more severe than the allergic symptoms caused by other non-toxic molds.Like with allergies, if toxic symptoms increase when you are in your home or in a certain building then it's very likely that mold is growing there.



What Is Toxic Black Mold (Stachybotrys)?
Toxic black mold or black mold is a name commonly used for Stachybotrys chartarum.



It is one of the most infamous toxic molds because it can grow in houses and is extremely dangerous to humans. Stachybotrys is known as a toxic mold because it produces toxins called mycotoxins.

What Does Toxic Black Mold Look Like
Toxic black mold is a greenish-black gelatinous mold. It is usually slimy because of a wet layer on the top. However if a toxic black mold colony's water source runs out it can appear dry and powdery.There are several molds that look similar to toxic black mold. If you find what you think might be Stachybotrys the only way you can tell for sure is to have a mold expert look at a sample under a microscope.



Black Mold Spores
Toxic black mold is a greenish-black gelatinous mold. It is usually slimy because of a wet layer on the top. However if a toxic black mold colony's water source runs out it can appear dry and powdery.


Toxic Black Mold (Stachybotrys)
What Is Toxic Black Mold
Toxic black mold or black mold is a name commonly used for Stachybotrys chartarum. It is one of the most infamous toxic molds because it can grow in houses and is extremely dangerous to humans. Stachybotrys is known as a toxic mold because it produces toxins called mycotoxins.

What Does Toxic Black Mold Look Like
Toxic black mold is a greenish-black gelatinous mold. It is usually slimy because of a wet layer on the top. However if a toxic black mold colony's water source runs out it can appear dry and powdery.
There are several molds that look similar to toxic black mold. If you find what you think might be Stachybotrys the only way you can tell for sure is to have a mold expert look at a sample under a microscope.

Toxic Black Mold Symptoms
The mycotoxins of toxic black mold cause people to suffer toxic symptoms. The general types of symptoms caused by toxic black mold include:

  • Skin inflammation
  • Respiratory problems
  • Hemorrhage
  • Irritation of the mucous membranes
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Mental impairment
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Immune system suppression

Toxic black mold can cause permanent damage to your health. In extreme cases toxic black mold has even lead to death. Because of the serious health effects toxic black mold can cause, if you find it in your home you need to take steps to get it removed immediately. The longer you are around toxic black mold, the more it will damage your health.
Toxic Black Mold Removal Never try to remove toxic black mold on your own. Disturbing toxic black mold can make it release huge amounts of spores and mycotoxins throughout your home, making your symptoms much worse.
If you have toxic black mold in your home you should talk to a professional mold removal service experienced in removing toxic black mold. They should be able to remove the mold with minimal disturbance, while also containing spores and mycotoxins. It's also best to move to temporary accommodation until the toxic black mold removal has been completed, so as to avoid further damage to your health.
What is "black mold"? What is "toxic mold"?Molds come in many colors including white. "Black mold" is not a species or specific kind of mold, and neither is "toxic mold." Sometimes the news media use the terms "toxic mold" and "black mold" to refer to molds that may produce mycotoxins or for a specific mold, Stachybotrys chartarum. Molds that produce mycotoxins are often referred to as toxigenic fungi



Toxic Black Mold Removal
Never try to remove toxic black mold on your own. Disturbing toxic black mold can make it release huge amounts of spores and mycotoxins throughout your home, making your symptoms much worse.



If you have toxic black mold in your home you should talk to a professional mold removal service experienced in removing toxic black mold. They should be able to remove the mold with minimal disturbance, while also containing spores and mycotoxins. It's also best to move to temporary accommodation until the toxic black mold removal has been completed, so as to avoid further damage to your health.

Where Toxic Black Mold Grows & What Causes It
Toxic black mold grows best in warm conditions and is found in many countries throughout the world. Outdoors, toxic black mold grows in soil and on plant debris. Indoors, toxic black mold needs materials high in cellulose and low in nitrogen to grow on. This means toxic black mold can grow on many common indoor building materials.When toxic black mold does grow in the home it's usually in a place out of sight. Toxic black mold needs a lot of moisture for a long time before it can begin to grow. This is why it often grows where there has been a water leak hidden from view. Leaks inside walls, above ceilings or under floors are common causes of toxic black mold.

How Long Before Toxic Black Mold Grows
Toxic black mold does not grow as quickly or as easily as most molds. Toxic black mold needs a suitable material to be very wet for at least a week before it can begin to grow.While most molds take just one or two days to colonize, toxic black mold usually needs eight to twelve days. Once toxic black mold is growing though it usually forces out any other molds growing nearby and takes over its environment.

Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins are carried on the spores of toxic black mold and are also found throughout the entire mold colony. People with toxic black mold in their homes are mostly exposed to mycotoxins through breathing them in. This leads to toxic symptoms and health problems.Toxic black mold produces trichothecene mycotoxins. These are some of the most toxic and stable mycotoxins. Trichothecene mycotoxins can take several years to break down and can be nearly impossible to remove from homes.

Toxic Black Mold Testing
If you find mold in your home which looks like toxic black mold you should have it professionally tested to be certain. It's important that you determine whether it's mycotoxin-producing toxic black mold or a non-toxic species of mold. Once you know for sure then you can plan how to remove it.
Toxic Black Mold Inspection
If you suspect you have toxic black mold in your home, you should have an inspection performed. Some reasons to think that you might have toxic black mold include you are suffering toxic symptoms, you have had bad water damage or you have already found a toxic black mold colony and think there could be more. When having an inspection you should not only try to find the mold colony but also the water problem which caused it.
It's best to hire a professional mold inspector to find toxic black mold. Toxic black mold often grows in hidden places and professional mold inspectors can use tools such as moisture meters and fiber optics to find hidden mold with minimal disturbance to your home.Things to look out for during the mold inspection include mold odors, water damaged materials and signs of moisture such as warped walls and peeling paint. Areas where water flows, such as around pipes, and where potential water leaks can occur should especially be checked.

Toxic Black Mold Treatment
There is no cure or antidote which can be taken for toxic black mold. The only solution is to remove the toxic black mold from your environment or remove yourself from the environment. Once you are away from toxic black mold your body will start to recover and most of your symptoms should go away over time. However some of the damage from toxic black mold can be permanent.

Toxic Black Mold Spores
a toxic black mold colony the spores are kept within a slimy, gelatinous mass. Toxic black mold spores are a brownish color although they can't be seen with the naked eye of course.
Under the microscope toxic black mold spores that are still attached to the mold colony look similar to a dandelion with clusters of spores growing at the end of a "stem" called hyphae.

How Toxic Black Mold Spores Spread
The wet coating of a toxic black mold colony usually prevents its spores from becoming airborne. If its moisture source runs out though, a toxic black mold colony can dry out and release many of its spores into the air. When toxic black mold is dry it looks gray and powdery. Other things like changes in humidity can also trigger the release of toxic black mold spores.Disturbing toxic black mold can also cause a lot of toxic spores to enter the air.
This is why you should never disturb or try to remove toxic black mold if you find it in your home. Removing toxic black mold is much more dangerous than removing ordinary mold and it should only be one by a professional. Toxic black mold spores are heavy compared to other mold spores and so they do not remain in the air for very long. If toxic black spores do not land on a suitable surface to grow on then they die soon after being released. The dead spores are still just as toxic to humans though.

Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxins
It is the mycotoxins that make toxic black mold and its spores toxic to humans. These mycotoxins can be found throughout all parts of toxic black mold.

Trichothecene Mycotoxins
Toxic black mold produces a group of mycotoxins called trichothecenes. Trichothecene mycotoxins are extremely toxic. The trichothecene types below are found in toxic black mold:

  • Cyclosporin
  • Roridin E
  • Satratoxin F, G and H (the most abundant type of trichothecene)
  • Sporidesmin G
  • Stachybotryolactone
  • Trichoverrol
  • Trichoverrin
  • Verrucarin J

Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxin Production
Although toxic black mold can produce mycotoxins it doesn't do so all the time. Factors affecting whether toxic black mold produces mycotoxins include the material toxic black mold is growing on, temperature, humidity and perhaps other unknown conditions. Environmental conditions which are suitable for toxic black mold to produce mycotoxins are 55% or higher humidity along with fluctuating temperatures. Stress may also cause toxic black mold to produce mycotoxins. When it is growing on certain materials toxic black mold might not produce mycotoxins.

Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxin Exposure
A person might suffer toxic symptoms from toxic black mold mycotoxin exposure by ingestion of mycotoxin contaminated food. Toxic black mold can contaminate crops such as grains and can survive cooking. However crops are treated to remove mycotoxins after harvest.Besides through ingestion, people can also be poisoned by toxic black mold mycotoxins through inhalation. In tests on animals toxic black mold mycotoxins have been found to be 40 times more toxic when inhaled compared to when ingested.
A person might suffer toxic symptoms by breathing in airborne toxic black mold spores which contain mycotoxins or breathing in fragments of the mold which can also become airborne and also contain mycotoxins. When toxic black mold is growing inside houses the occupants are of course affected primarily through breathing in the mycotoxins.Toxic black mold mycotoxins can also enter into a person's body through the skin.

Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxins in Agriculture
Besides in buildings, toxic black mold mycotoxins have also been a problem outdoors in agriculture. In the 1930s and 40s there was an outbreak of stachybotryotoxicosis in farm animals in Eastern Europe.Since then much of the toxicity and effects of ingesting toxic black mold mycotoxins have been observed in animals.
Horses in particular are affected by mycotoxins and reportedly a horse will die from ingesting as little as 1mg of trichothecene mycotoxins. Toxic black mold mycotoxins contaminating harvests such as grains, corn, coffee and soy are also a problem for agriculture. However crops are treated after harvest to remove mycotoxins and minimize human mycotoxin exposure through ingestion.



Toxic Black Mold Removal (With Home Products)
Mold Removal Overview:
The following are the main steps when it comes to mold removal:



    1. Wear protective equipment.
  • Respirator mask
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves

  • Clothing that completely covers you and can be cleaned well or disposed of
    2. Seal rooms with plastic sheets to contain mold spores.

    3. Create negative pressure by running a fan blowing out a window.

    4. Remove the mold. You can use mold removal products such as:
  • Bleach
  • Borax
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia

  • 5. Clean belongings. Completely clean mold from non-porous objects. Porous objects may need to be thrown out if mold can't be removed.

    6. HEPA vacuum the area.

    7. Seal mold and moldy objects in plastic bags and then dispose of them.
It is strongly recommended that you hire a professional mold removal service to remove Stachybotrys mold, also called black mold or toxic black mold.

Professional Toxic Black Mold Removal
If you find toxic black mold in your home don't disturb it. If toxic black mold is harmed or disturbed it can release millions of mycotoxins into the air, contaminating your home.Instead, you should talk to a toxic black mold removal service as soon as possible, as it is extremely risky to try to kill or remove toxic black mold yourself.
Mold that is toxic should really only be removed by a professional mold removal service experienced in removing toxic black mold. The correct methods of toxic black mold removal are needed to contain the spread of spores and mycotoxins during the remediation process.

Remove Toxic Black Mold Quickly
People often do not act quickly to remove toxic black mold. However, as soon as you find toxic black mold in your home you should take steps to have the mold removed. Ignoring the problem will only let it become worse.Every day you spend in an environment with toxic black mold could be potentially causing you long term chronic health problems and permanent damage.
People often underestimate the damage toxic black mold can do to their health until it has already happened. Toxic black mold can cause problems such as mental impairment, breathing difficulty, damage to internal organs and sometimes even death.

Moving During Toxic Black Mold Removal
Experts recommend that if you have toxic black mold in your home then it's best to move to temporary accommodation until it has been removed, especially if you are suffering toxic symptoms. Ideally you should only return to your home after a professional toxic black mold removal service has completely fixed the problem. There is also a possibility that belongings you take with you when you move can continue to make you sick if they contain mycotoxins from the toxic black mold.

Removal of Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins are as small as 0.1 microns. This makes them much harder to remove than mold spores. In addition, mycotoxins are very resilient and it can take several years for them to break down naturally. In some cases mycotoxins have been found in the human body up to nine years after the original exposure. For these reasons,
it's important that toxic black mold removal be performed properly to contain mycotoxins from spreading through the house.Some experts even believe that toxic black mold mycotoxins can never be completely removed from a house which has been contaminated. There have even been cases of home owners who ended up permanently moving out, or even burning down their mycotoxin-contaminated houses as a last resort.

Mold Removal & How to Kill Mold
Mold Removal Products There are several products you can use to kill and remove mold. Some of the most effective mold removal products include:
  • Bleach
  • Borax
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Tea tree oil

Grapefruit seed extract
Instructions for how to remove mold with these products are given in the sections below.

Mold Removal with Bleach
Bleach can kill virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes into contact with, along with its spores, leaving a surface sanitized and resistant to future mold growth.Unfortunately, however, using bleach is only effective if the mold is growing on non-porous materials such as tiles, bathtubs, glass and countertops.
Bleach cannot penetrate into porous materials and so it does not come into contact with mold growing beneath the surface of materials such as wood and drywall. Using bleach on these materials will kill the mold above the surface but the roots within the material will remain and the mold will soon return.

How to Kill Mold with Bleach
Bleach produces harsh fumes so make sure the area is well ventilated before you begin. You should also wear gloves during the process to protect your hands.
For killing mold with bleach use a ratio of one cup of bleach per gallon of water (ie about 1 part bleach to 10 parts water). Apply the solution to non-porous surfaces with mold growth either by using a spray bottle or by using a bucket and a sponge or cloth.
You don't need to rinse the surface afterwards (unless it is used for food preparation or a surface which may be touched by small children or pets) as the bleach will inhibit mold growing in the future.

Does Bleach Kill Mold?
Although the active ingredient in bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is the main ingredient in many mold removal products, there are many reasons to use alternatives to chlorine bleach when killing mold. One reason is that bleach cannot completely kill mold growing in porous materials. The chlorine in bleach cannot penetrate into porous surfaces such as drywall or wood.
The chlorine is left on the surface of porous materials and only the water component of the bleach is absorbed into the material, providing more moisture for the mold to feed on.Some of the mold on the surface might be killed but the roots of the mold are left intact meaning the mold soon returns, leaving you in a cycle of repeated bleaching.
Perhaps this is why some people believe that spraying bleach on mold doesn't affect it but instead just bleaches its color so you can no longer see it.Another disadvantage of bleach is that it can damage the materials it's used on as it is a harsh, corrosive chemical. Chlorine bleach also gives off harsh fumes and it even produces toxic gas when mixed with ammonia.
There are safer alternatives such as borax or vinegar which don't produce dangerous fumes or leave behind toxic residue. For these reasons try to avoid using bleach and if you must use it, only use it on non-porous surfaces.

Mold Removal with Borax
There are many advantages to using borax to kill mold. For starters, borax is a natural cleaning product and although it is toxic if you swallow it, borax does not emit chemicals or dangerous fumes like some other mold killers. Borax, a white mineral powder, has a pH level of about 9 (baking soda is pH 8.1 and pH 7 is neutral) and a low toxicity.
Borax is commonly used as a deodorizer as well as for cleaning toilets and drains. Borax is also used as an insecticide, herbicide and fungicide and it can be mixed with water in a solution to kill and remove mold as it is a natural mold inhibitor. You can buy borax in supermarkets for a few dollars from the laundry section.

How to Kill Mold with Borax
To kill mold using borax, create a borax-water solution using a ratio of 1 cup of borax per gallon of water. Vacuum up any loose mold with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner to lessen the number of spores stirred up into the air during the cleaning process. Use a scrubbing brush with the borax-water solution to scrub the mold off the surface.
Wipe up any extra moisture and excess mold particles or dust/debris to prevent them spreading into the air once the surface has dried.
You don't need to rinse off the borax as the solution will prevent more mold beginning to grow on the surface again. Leave the surface to dry completely.

Mold Removal with Vinegar
Vinegar is a mild acid which can kill 82% of mold species. However it also has the advantages of being natural and safe. Vinegar is non-toxic and doesn't give off dangerous fumes like bleach does.

How to Kill Mold with Vinegar
To kill mold with vinegar, use white distilled vinegar which you can buy cheaply from the supermarket. Pour some vinegar into a spray bottle without watering it down. Spray the vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave it to sit for an hour.
Wipe clean the area with water and allow the surface to dry. Any smell from the vinegar should clear within a few hours. If you want to use vinegar to prevent mold growing on surfaces just spray vinegar on the surface and leave it. Repeat this every few days to ensure the surface will stay mold-free. You can even mop your tiled bathroom floor or other hard non-porous floors with vinegar if you are worried about mold growing on them.

Mold Removal with Ammonia
Like bleach, ammonia will kill mold on hard non-porous surfaces such as countertops, glass or tiles but it is ineffective at killing mold growing in porous material such as wood or drywall.Another disadvantage of using ammonia is that it is a harsh, toxic chemical. Make sure you never mix ammonia with bleach because the gas they create when combined is toxic.
Chlorine mixed with ammonia was even used as a chemical weapon during World War 2.Additionally, although ammonia can kill surface mold, dead mold and dead mold spores are still allergenic so you will need to make sure to remove them afterwards.

How to Kill Mold with Ammonia
To kill mold using ammonia, create a solution of 50% clear ammonia and 50% water in a spray bottle and spray it on moldy areas. Make sure the ammonia you use says "clear ammonia" on the label. Leave the area for a few hours before wiping and rinsing.
Often detergents or mold cleaning products will contain ammonia. In that case just follow the directions on the label and be sure never to mix it with bleach.

Mold Removal with Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide kills mold as it is anti-fungal as well as anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Hydrogen peroxide is a good alternative to chlorine bleach because it is safe to use and doesn't damage the environment, nor does it leave behind toxic residue or produce toxic fumes like chlorine bleach does.
You can buy hydrogen peroxide from drug stores for around one dollar for a bottle of 3% concentration.Hydrogen peroxide kills mold effectively on many materials such as clothes, floors, bathroom fixtures, walls and items such as kitchen appliances. Since hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent it may also help fade the stain mold leaves behind. Spot test hydrogen peroxide on the material you're going to be cleaning to make sure it won't fade the material's colors.

How to Kill Mold with Hydrogen Peroxide
To kill mold pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Spray the moldy surface completely so that the moldy areas are saturated with hydrogen peroxide. Leave the surface to sit for 10 minutes while the hydrogen peroxide kills the mold.
Then scrub the area to make sure to remove all the mold and mold stains. Finally wipe the surface down to remove residual mold and spores.
You can also use vinegar with hydrogen peroxide during the cleaning to more effectively remove the mold. Afterwards store the spray bottle in a dark place since light diminishes hydrogen peroxide's effectiveness.

Mold Removal with Detergent and Water
A solution of detergent and warm water can be used to scrub surface mold off non-porous surfaces. Although detergent itself doesn't kill mold, if the mold is on non-porous materials then the solution doesn't need to kill it as long as you completely clean away all the mold on the surface.

Mold Removal with Baking Soda
Baking soda is well known as a natural and safe household cleaner. But you can also use baking soda to kill mold in your home. Unlike other mold killers which contain harsh chemicals, baking soda is mild (pH of 8.1) and harmless to your family and any pets.Besides killing mold, baking soda also deodorizes and so using it can get rid of the smell mold leaves in your home. Baking soda also absorbs moisture to help keep mold away.
Vinegar is often used along with baking soda when cleaning up a mold problem since vinegar kills different species of mold to baking soda.

How to Kill Mold with Baking Soda
Add one quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle of water. Shake the bottle to dissolve the baking soda into the water. Spray the moldy area with the baking soda and water solution. Then use a sponge or scrubbing brush to make sure to remove all the mold from the surface. Once you've scrubbed away the mold rinse the surface with water to remove any residual mold on the surface. Spray the area with the spray bottle again and let the surface dry.
This will kill any left over mold and prevent the mold returning.You can use a cloth instead of a spray bottle to clean mold with baking soda. Soak a cloth in water and then add one quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda to it. Use the cloth on the moldy area to remove the mold with the baking soda and water solution.

Mold Removal with Tea Tree Oil
Of all the natural mold killing solutions tea tree oil is the most effective. Although it is also expensive, a small amount of tea tree oil goes a long way in killing mold.Tea tree oil is an essential oil which is harmless to people and pets. Tea tree oil is antifungal, capable of killing all types of molds. Tea tree oil is antibacterial as well.
You can buy tea tree oil for about $10 for a small bottle from most natural food stores. Make sure the tea tree oil you buy is derived from the Melaleuca Alternifolia, which is the technical name for tea tree, as not all brands always are.

How to Kill Mold with Tea Tree Oil
To kill mold using tea tree oil add water to a spray bottle, keeping in mind how many cups it takes to fill the bottle. Next add tea tree oil at the ratio of 1 teaspoon per cup of water that went into the spray bottle.
spray the solution on the moldy surface. There is no need to rinse since leaving the tea tree oil on the surface will kill the mold and prevent it from returning. An alternative to using a spray bottle is to use a rag or cloth with the tea tree oil solution to clean away mold. First create a solution of tea tree oil and water in the ratio of 1 teaspoon per cup of water. Use a cloth to apply the solution to the moldy surface and scrub the mold away.
Again, you do not need to rinse the surface afterwards. Tea tree oil has a strong smell but it will go away after some time. You can keep and use the solution you have made for a long time fterwards as tea tree oil does not lose its potency quickly.

Mold Removal with Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is similar to tea tree oil in that it is an expensive but very effective natural mold killer. The advantage of grapefruit seed extract over tea tree oil however is that it has almost no odor. Like tea tree oil you can buy grape fruit seed extract from most health food stores.
Grapefruit seed extract kills mold naturally as the citric acid from the grapefruit attacks mold. Grapefruit seed extract also disinfects areas and deodorizes as well. Like tea tree oil, a small amount of grapefruit seed extract goes a long way in killing mold.

How to Kill Mold with Grapefruit Seed Extract
To kill mold with grapefruit seed extract create a solution of grapefruit seed extract and water in a spray bottle in the ratio of 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract per cup of water. Shake the spray bottle to mix the solution thoroughly and then spray it onto the surface where mold is growing. You do not need to rinse the solution away afterwards although you can use a cloth to wipe away the mold and solution after some minutes if you like.
The longer grapefruit seed extract is in contact with mold the more it will cut through and kill the mold colony and prevent mold from returning. Repeat if needed to more thoroughly remove mold from the surface. The grapefruit seed extract solution in the spray bottle will remain potent for a long time and can be reused again and again as grapefruit seed extract.

Kill Mold on Drywall, Wood, Carpet & Tiles
Some of the most common materials mold is found on in the home are:
  • Drywall
  • Wood
  • Carpet

Tiles and Grout
You need to remove mold in different ways depending on the material it's growing on. This page tells you how.

Mold on Drywall
If you find mold growing on unpainted drywall in your home you will have to remove the drywall and replace it. Unfortunately there is no way to completely remove mold from unpainted drywall since it is a porous material.

How to Remove Moldy Drywall
Use a utility knife to cut out any section of drywall with mold on it. You should make sure to cut out an area that covers at least two of the wooden beams behind the drywall. This is so you'll be able to properly attach the replacement section of drywall onto the two beams.Next you'll need to cut out a section of new drywall to replace the drywall you just removed.
Use a tape measure to measure out the length and width of the new section of drywall that you'll need so that it will fit properly. Then use the utility knife to cut out the section of new drywall.Make sure that the new drywall fits snugly in place and then use drywall screws to attach it to the wooden beams. After this you should apply joint compound (also called drywall compound or mud) and then leave it to dry. Once you've left it for 24 hours you can then sand the joint compound down to smooth it out.
You can also then paint the drywall if you like.It's a good idea to Heppa Vacuum the room as well to remove any mold stirred up during the process.

Mold on Painted Drywall
If you find mold on drywall that is painted or primed then the good news is you shouldn't have to remove the drywall. This is because the mold should be just on the surface and shouldn't have penetrated into the drywall itself.Wipe or scrub the mold away using a cleaning product or mold killing solution.

Mold on Wood
It's usually safe to keep using moldy wood once you've cleaned it up. Although there might be some small amount of mold left below the surface of the wood, it shouldn't regrow and cause problems provided you keep the moisture in your home to a minimum. If the wood is painted then it's even better news since the mold probably wouldn't have penetrated into the surface of the wood.

How to Remove Mold from Wood
To clean moldy wood wipe or scrub the mold from the surface using a sponge, cloth or scrubbing brush, along with some water and detergent, or any other household cleaner. You can use a mold killer if you want, such as bleach, although it isn't necessary as the main goal is just to remove mold from the surface.
There are always going to be small amounts of mold and spores in your home anyway, so trying to kill all the mold spores isn't the aim. Plus dead mold spores are still allergenic.The same general process for removing mold from wood applies whether the mold is on wooden furniture, wooden walls, wooden beams or any other wood.

Removing Mold Stains from Wood
Once you've cleaned mold growth off wood there might still be a mold stain left behind. Don't worry, this is just a cosmetic problem and the mold shouldn't regrow as long as your house doesn't have any big moisture problems. And if you do get moisture problems then mold will grow in your home whether or not there's a mold stain left behind anyway.
If you don't like the look of the stain you can sand the wood if you want. This should usually remove the stain, although sometimes the mold stain might run deep into the wood so that it can't be completely sanded away.Another way to get rid of left over mold stains is to use a small amount of bleach to fade it away. This could discolor the wood though so it's a good idea to do a spot test.

Removing Moldy Wood
Another option of course is to remove and replace wood with mold on it. Usually this is not worth the cost and trouble compared to cleaning, but if it's a situation where the wood is cheap and easy to replace you might decide it's the best option.

After Remediating Mold on Wood
You'll need to Heppa vacuum the surrounding area once you've removed the mold from the wood. During mold removal it's inevitable that some mold spores are stirred up and so you need to remove as many as possible by HEPA vacuuming.
After you've finished cleaning up the mold problem you might want to coat the wood with a fungicidal sealant or paint so that you know it's completely safe. This way any mold left in the wood certainly won't affect you and no new mold should begin to grow on the wood either.

Mold on Carpet
If you can see significant mold growth on wall to wall carpeting in your home then you need to get rid of the carpet. Unfortunately there's no way to completely remove mold from fixed carpeting. And ignoring mold on the carpet will only lead to the problem getting worse.

Wet Carpet
The same goes for carpet that has been soaked right through. Once the padding on the bottom of carpeting gets wet it takes a very long time to dry out, much longer than the 24-48 hours mold needs to grow. Even though the top layer of carpet might seem to dry out fairly quickly, the layer of padding underneath stays wet long after.

Replacing Part of Carpet
If only a small section of your carpet got wet or has mold on it then you can cut out and remove just the affected part of the carpet. When you're cutting out the carpet make sure to cut an extra 12 inches on each side further than the moldy or wet part.
You can then replace it with a new section of carpet, as long as you don't mind the slight cosmetic difference of having a section which might not perfectly match the rest.Make sure to let the floor dry out properly if it's still wet before you insert the new piece of carpet. It's also a good idea to Heppa vacuum too, once the floor is dry, before you install the new section of carpet.

Removing Mold on Rugs and Non-Fixed Carpet
Rugs or carpets that aren't wall to wall, permanently-fixed carpeting can be cleaned to remove mold. The best thing is to talk to a professional carpet cleaning service or mold removal professional. Make sure they know how to remove mold from carpets or rugs and they have had experience at it.
You should be able to remove the carpet and send it to them to professionally clean and dry it to remove the mold.If you want to try to clean the mold yourself from your rug or non-fixed carpet you should first take it outside. Then spread it out, for example on the driveway, and hose both sides.
Next use a mold killing or cleaning solution on the moldy area of the carpet and scrub the mold away. Use a wet vacuum on the carpet, if you have one, to help dry it out faster once you've rinsed it. Then let the carpet dry in the sun, making sure both sides get completely dried. Only take the carpet back into your home if it is perfectly dry all the way through.Once the carpet's dry HEPA vacuum it to remove any mold spores that might be left in it. Beating the carpet on the line when it's dry also helps to remove mold spores and other dirt and dust from it.

Mold on Tiles and Grout
You'll often see mold growing on tiles in places like the bathroom. The good news is that mold can easily be cleaned from the non-porous surfaces of tiles.

How to Remove Mold from Tiles and Grout
Begin by scrubbing the mold off of the tiles and grout. You should use a scrubbing brush along with a household cleaning product or mold killing product. There are also commercial tile or grout cleaners you can buy.After this you'll probably find there is still mold stains left on the grout. You can use bleach to fade these stains away. Before you use the bleach you should spot test it to make sure that it won't discolor your tiles. You should also wear gloves to protect your hands from the bleach.
Apply the bleach to the grout and leave it sit for about 10 minutes. Instead of chlorine bleach you can use hydrogen peroxide if you like, or buy a product like Oxiclean which contains oxygen bleach. If you have a septic system it's better to use oxygen bleach than chlorine bleach.Another alternative is to use baking soda. Mix it with water to create a paste and then use a toothbrush to scrub it onto the grout. I
f you find the stain remains on the grout after bleaching then repeat the process. Afterwards rinse the bleach off thoroughly with water.If the stains won't go away you can try using paper towels soaked in bleach. Saturate paper towels in bleach and then stick them to the grout where there are stains. Give it some time and this should fade away the mold stains on the grout.

Grout Sealer
Another thing you can do is apply grout sealer to the grout. This will protect you from any small amount of mold left on the grout and also help to prevent mold growing in the future.

Replacing Grout
You also have the option of replacing the grout all together. First you'll need to scrape out the old grout. You can use a flat head screwdriver for this. You can buy new grout mixture from the hardware store and apply it yourself. Sealing the new grout with grout sealer afterwards will give you even more mold protection.



Hepa Vacuum Mold
Use a HEPA Vacuum to Remove & Prevent Mold
Regularly vacuuming your home with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaner helps to reduce allergic reactions to mold and prevent mold growing in the home.



HEPA Filters
Vacuums with HEPA filters remove at least 99.97% of the particles in a room that are 0.3 micrometers large and remove an even higher percentage of other sized particles (mold spores are about 1-20 micrometers in size).
When you vacuum with a non-HEPA vacuum cleaner most mold spores pass through the filtration, out the exhaust and back into the air, as they are too small for ordinary filters to trap them.But when you vacuum with a HEPA vacuum cleaner mold spores are caught by the HEPA filter and kept inside the vacuum. This is why vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum is one of the best ways to reduce the number of mold spores in your home which are the cause of mold allergies.

HEPA Vacuums Help With Allergies
Besides reducing mold spores, HEPA vacuums also remove other types of allergens from the home which could be causing you to suffer allergic reactions. For example, pollen and dust mite feces.It's best to vacuum your home at least once a week with a HEPA vacuum cleaner to minimize the amount of mold spores and other allergens in the air. Not only will less mold spores in your home's air reduce allergic reactions but it will also reduce the chances of mold growing in your home.
HEPA Vacuums in Mold Removal & Remediation
Besides being a great help in minimizing mold spores in the home through regular vacuuming, HEPA vacuum cleaners are also vital during the mold removal and remediation process.If you have found mold in your home, after removing the mold growth the final stage should be to vacuum the room with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. This will vacuum up any mold spores stirred up during the mold removal process. Surfaces where the mold was growing should also be HEPA vacuumed, if practical, to remove any residual mold particles.

Buying a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner
If you want to purchase a HEPA vacuum cleaner you can expect to pay about $300 for a good HEPA vacuum. The HEPA filters in HEPA vacuums have ratings such as H10 or H14 based on the percentage of microscopic particles they can trap. The vacuum with the higher number filter rating is usually more expensive but should also be able to remove more microscopic particles, such as allergens, from your home.

Non-HEPA Vacuum Cleaners & Mold
If your vacuum cleaner is not HEPA filtered it probably won't remove many of the mold spores in your home, apart from a small number of mold spores which might be stuck to dust. In fact, vacuuming with a non-HEPA vacuum can stir up even more mold spores into the air of the home, as mold spores which get sucked up into the vacuum pass right through it and out the exhaust. This is why you should never vacuum over a patch of mold growth using a non-HEPA vacuum.

HEPA Vacuum Cleaners & Mycotoxins
Although HEPA filters remove mold spores from the air they aren't effective at filtering the mycotoxims produced by toxic mold. Central vacuum systems can help to remove some of the mycotoxins from a home if the air is exhausted outside the house. However most of the mycotoxins in materials such as carpet will remain embedded even after vacuuming. There is no way to remove all the mycotoxins from carpets and so carpet that has been in an environment with mycotoxins should be removed and replaced.



Toxic Mold History
The dangers of toxic black mold have been recorded as far back as in the Bible



Toxic Black Mold in Biblical Times
The dangers of toxic black mold have been recorded as far back as in the Bible. According to Chapter 14 of the Book of Leviticus if toxic black mold was found on a stone within a house then the stone was to be removed and taken outside of the city.
Anyone who had lived or eaten in the house had to wash themselves. If the mold appeared on more stones in the house after this then the house was to be dismantled and the stones placed outside the city.

Toxic Black Mold in Eastern Europe
In 1837, the Czech mycologist August Carl Joseph Corda originally described (toxic black mold) after he found the mold growing on a wall of a house in Prague. Later, in the 1930s and 1940s, farm animals (especially horses) in Ukraine, Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe mysteriously began to die from a strange new disease.
The symptoms included bleeding, immune system suppression, infection, nervous system disorder and shock. In 1938 Russian scientists discovered that the disease was caused by toxic black mold. The mold had been growing on the animal's hay and feed which had been wet.
The scientists called the new disease stachybotryotoxicosis.Toxic black mold was then studied. Tests were performed on animals to examine the toxicity of toxic black mold. Stachybotryotoxicosis occurs throughout the world today but it is still especially common in Eastern Europe.

Toxic Black Mold Affecting Humans
The first reports of humans being affected by toxic black mold came from Russia in the 1940s. Farm workers who were in contact with grain or hay infested with toxic black mold became sick.They had toxic symptoms including skin irritation and bleeding, inflammation of the airways, fever and fatigue. People who ate grain infested by toxic black mold showed symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.

New Building Codes Increase Mold Indoors
Previously the reported cases of toxic black mold had been outdoors, relating to agriculture. However beginning in the 1970s new construction methods made it more likely that toxic black mold would grow in homes.After the energy crisis new construction codes came into effect in the United States during the 1970s.
These required buildings to be more airtight to conserve energy. This resulted in buildings being less ventilated, allowing pockets of moist air to become trapped for longer periods of time.Cheaper building materials such as drywall also became popular. Because of these factors mold growth became more frequent inside homes.

Toxic Black Mold in Homes
Since the outbreak of the 1930s in Eastern Europe, study of Stachybotrys had continued and there was increasing information reported on toxic black mold. However it was not until 1986 that a case of people being affected by toxic black mold growing indoors was reported.In Chicago, a family lived in a home for five years with toxic black mold growing in it.
During this time they showed symptoms of stachybotryotoxicosis. These included skin and throat irritation, headaches, sickness, flu and cold symptoms, diarrhea and tiredness.Testing of their home found toxic black mold spores in the air. Stachybotrys was also found growing on building materials in the home and on some organic materials. These materials had become wet from a moisture problem in the house.
Testing also found trichothecenes in the air, a type of mycotoxim produced by toxic black mold. These mycotoxins were found to be highly toxic when tested on animals. After the toxic black mold was removed from the house the family's health problems faded away.Toxic black mold started coming to the public's attention even more after 1993-1994. Almost 30 infants were found to have pulmonary hemorrhage in Cleveland, Ohio after their homes were flooded.
Several of the infants died from the lung disease. Later investigation of their homes revealed toxic black mold growing in the houses.

Toxic Black Mold in Biological Weapons
Because of its high toxicity, toxic black mold has been used as a biological weapon, beginning with the Yellow Rain attacks during the Vietnam War. The "Yellow Rain" was actually concentrated T-2 trichothecene mycotoxins harvested from toxic black mold.Later on, T-2 mycotoxins were again used during the Iraq-Iran war by Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
It has also been proposed that biological weapons made from toxic black mold were the cause of Gulf War syndrome. Biological weapons made from toxic black mold were also created by the Soviet Union.For more information about toxic black mold mycotoxins being used in biological weapons.

Toxic Black Mold and Biological Weapons
T-2 Trichothecene Mycotoxins and Biological Weapons Biological weapons have been made from T-2. These are the same mycotoxins produced by toxic black mold which can be found growing in thousands of homes.The only difference between the mycotoxins in these biological weapons and the mycotoxins found in homes infested with toxic mold is the concentration level.Several countries have grown toxic mold to harvest concentrated T-2 mycotoxins for biological weapons.

Toxic Black Mold and Yellow Rain
During the Vietnam War, concentrated T-2 trichothecene mycotoxins were released over remote jungle areas in Laos. This caused over 6300 deaths between 1975 and 1981. These biological attacks were dubbed Yellow Rain because of the eyewitness's descriptions of a yellow oily liquid being released from low flying aircraft.In one case, witnesses reported seeing a cloud of yellow liquid falling from the sky onto a village.
When they entered the village they found every person and animal had died. As they left the village they reported feeling severe shortness of breath.Yellow Rain attacks also occurred in Kampuchea during 1979 to 1981 leading to over 1000 deaths. They were also used by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1981 resulting in over 3000 deaths.

Toxic Black Mold in Gulf War Biological Weapons
During the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq reportedly used biological weapons containing T-2 mycotoxins against American soldiers. After an Iraqi missile was detonated over a US military base in Saudi Arabia, the American soldiers reported symptoms that matched those caused by trichothecene mycotoxins.Gulf War syndrome may at least partly be caused by exposure to T-2 mycotoxins. Trichothecene mycotoxins were also reportedly used against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war.



Toxic Black Mold Today
Today toxic black mold is still a problem in agriculture with Stachybotrys infesting crops. Harvests such as grain have to be treated with binding agents before consumption to remove toxic spores and mycotoxins.


Since the early cases of toxic black mold in homes, there have been increasing reports in the media about toxic black mold. In 2001 a toxic black mold story ran on the front page of the New York Times. Increases in flooding and storms are today also making toxic black mold more widespread.Cases of toxic black mold infested houses having to be burnt down have also appeared. Numerous law suits have also resulted because of toxic black mold growing in houses.

"Sick building" has become a well known term. Toxic black mold infestation is one of the leading causes of sick building syndrome.There have been alarming reports of children suffering toxic black mold poisoning because of infested schools and horror stories of people whose health has been devastated by toxic black mold so badly that they have ended up in hospital. It is estimated that over 500 000 people in America die each year because of toxic black mold.



Aspergillus
Aspergillus is a group of approximately 200 species of molds. Aspergillus mold species are found throughout the world and are the most common type of fungi in our environment.



What is Aspergillus
Aspergillus is a group of approximately 200 species of molds. Aspergillus mold species are found throughout the world and are the most common type of fungi in our environment. About 16 species of Aspergillus molds are dangerous to humans, causing disease and infection.

Aspergillus Growth
Aspergillus molds thrives best in oxygen-rich environments. Aspergillus molds also grows well on materials rich in carbon which they feeds off for nutrients. However some species of Aspergillus molds can survive in environments with very little nutrients and can survive off very little moisture such as just the humidity in the air (known as xerophilic).
One common place you might find Aspergillus growing is in compost or on fallen leaves, since Aspergillus grows well on decaying vegetation. Aspergillus often also grows on still living plants and trees, and foods with starch such as potatoes and bread may frequently foster Aspergillus growth.
In buildings and the home Aspergillus often can be found growing inside dirty air conditioners. This has even been a problem in some hospitals. Aspergillus also grows well on building materials and so it might often grow on or inside walls in the home, particularly if the house is damp or has been damaged by flooding.At the Where Mold Grows page you can find more information about where mold commonly grows in the home.

Aspergillus Species

Out of the approximately 200 species of Aspergillus there are about 16 which can cause infection in humans. These include:

  • Aspergillus clavatus
  • Aspergillus flavus
  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Aspergillus glaucus
  • Aspergillus nidulans
  • Aspergillus niger
  • Aspergillus oryzae
  • Aspergillus terreus
  • Aspergillus ustus
  • Aspergillus versicolor

Aspergillus molds have a powdery texture. However the color of the mold's surface differs from species to species and can be used to identify the type of Aspergillus.The rate of growth can also be used to identify Aspergillus, with most species growing quite quickly. After one week of growth at around 25 degrees Celsius an Aspergillus colony will generally be 1-9 cm in diameter, however Aspergillus glaucus and Aspergillus nidulans grow more slowly and will generally be 0.5-1 cm after the same time.

Aspergillus Niger
Aspergillus niger is the most abundant species of Aspergillus in nature as it can grow on a great variety of substances. Aspergillus niger can even grow in environments with very little nutrients available and is often found growing on damp walls in houses.Of the Aspergillus species, Aspergillus niger infects humans the third most often. A fungal ball in the lungs is eventually created by Aspergillus niger after it infects the lungs and begins to grow. The health effects of Aspergillus niger include hearing problems and hearing loss.Aspergillus niger is black on the surface and white or yellow underneath.

Aspergillus Flavus
Aspergillus flavus produces the carcinogenic mycotoxin, aflatoxin which often contaminates foods such as nuts. After Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus is the second most common Aspergillus mold infecting humans.The surface of Aspergillus flavus is yellow-green in color and it is gold or red brown underneath.

Aspergillus Fumigatus
Aspergillus fumigatus causes infection in humans more often than any other Aspergillus species. People who handle or who are exposed extensively to Aspergillus fumigatus often develop a hypersensitivity to it so that they develop severe allergic reactions to the mold. Aspergillus fumigatus is often found growing in decomposing organic material.
Of all the Aspergillus species, Aspergillus fumigatus is the most tolerant to temperature and can grow in environments between 20 degrees Celsius and up to 55 degrees Celsius.Aspergillus fumigatus can be identified by the blue-green or gray color of its surface and appears white or tan underneath.

Aspergillus Symptoms
Aspergillus spores are everywhere and although we constantly breathe aspergillus spores in, it is usually not in high enough quantities to affect our health. However if a person is breathing in a much higher amount of Aspergillus spores than normal, as can happen if Aspergillus is growing in a person's home, then they can suffer negative health symptoms. If Aspergillus exposure increases beyond a person's natural tolerance levels there are three main types of health effects they can suffer:Allergic symptoms.
People who are allergic to Aspergillus spores will suffer allergic reactions if they are exposed to high enough levels of Aspergillus spores. People with severe asthma often are sensitive to Aspergillus and can suffer asthma attacks from exposure to Aspergillus spores. Toxic symptoms. These are caused by the mycotoxins (such as aflatoxin, a very potent carcinogen) produced by some species of

Aspergillus, especially Aspergillus flavus.
Infection. Aspergillus species can infect humans (also animals) and begin to grow inside them, especially in the lungs. Usually only people with weakened immune systems will be susceptible to infection by Aspergillus. Aspergillus infections are categorized in the group of diseases called Aspergillosis.

Aspergillus Mycotoxins
Some species of Aspergillus molds can produce mycotoxins. These Aspergillus species do not constantly produce mycotoxins but can be triggered to by factors such as stress. These mycotoxins are mostly produced by the species Aspergillus flavus.
The mycotoxins most produced by these Aspergillus molds are aflatoxins. As well as being very toxic, aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic (cancer causing) especially in animals and they have also resulted in miscarriage in animals such as sheep and cows. Crops and foods such as peanuts and maize are often contaminated by Aspergillus leading to mycotoxins being present. There are safety limits set for the mount of aflatoxins allowed in food. However there are no similar levels set for aflatoxin concentrations in the air of buildings and there has not been enough research on them despite the fact that aflatoxins in the air are also dangerous to human health.

Aspergillosis
The group of diseases in humans which are caused by Aspergillus exposure is known as Aspergillosis. The main diseases of Aspergillosis are:
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis Acute invasive aspergillosis Disseminated invasive aspergillosis
Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a disease where a person's immune system is hypersensitive to Aspergillus spores. This hypersensitivity causes allergic reactions in the person when they are exposed to Aspergillus as the immune system tries to expel the spores from the body.People with cystic fibrosis or asthma are especially vulnerable to Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, with approximately 5% of asthmatics suffering this disease at some point in their life. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is usually caused by Aspergillus fumigatus.

  • Symptoms:
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Symptoms of asthma, asthma attacks
  • Coughing up mucus
  • Coughing blood
  • Sinusitis (infection or inflammation of the sinuses)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • General malaise and feeling unwell

In later stages can cause lung damage (fibrosis)
Tests for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis can be performed through x-rays, skin tests or blood tests.The treatment for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is for steroids to be taken through mouth or nasal spray. An antifungal drug called itraconazole can also help to treat the disease in conjunction with steroids.

Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis and Aspergillomas
This disease is caused by Aspergillus infecting the body and growing in cavities in the lungs. These cavities in the lungs would usually have to be created by a previous health problem such as tuberculosis. Once the Aspergillus mold has infected the lungs it begins to grow into a fungal ball (called an aspergilloma or mycetoma) which then makes the person sick because of the allergens or toxins it puts out into the person's body.At first the symptoms of an aspergilloma might not be noticeable but as time goes on it can show in health problems such as:

  • Breathing problems
  • Chronic coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Losing weight
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue

Aspergillomas can be detected through x-rays or blood tests. Once a person is diagnosed with an aspergilloma it is usually treated through taking drugs such as itraconazole or voriconazole. Anti-fungal drugs may even be injected into the cavity where the aspergilloma is growing in order to fight it. In some cases surgery might even have to be performed to remove the aspergilloma from the lungs.