Mold is a type of fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Mold reproduces by releasing spores, which are tiny airborne particles. When these spores land on a wet surface, they grow and spread.
Mold exposure can cause serious health problems in adults, children, and pets. In particular, symptoms of black mold exposure may include coughing, sneezing, eye irritation, skin rashes, and asthma attacks. Pets may also show signs of black mold exposure, such as sneezing, runny eyes, and fatigue.
It’s critical to seek medical attention immediately if you think you or members of your household have been exposed to mold. Black mold exposure can occur in a variety of ways. The toxic spores can be easily inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin or eye contact. When mycotoxins enter the bloodstream, the consequences on human health can be dangerous if not intervened in time.
To prevent mold exposure, it’s best to be aware of what to look for and what to do should you discover it in your home. Following are answers to some critical questions you may have regarding black mold.
1. How Does Black Mold Affect Children?
Black mold exposure can impact a child’s health if they inhale, ingest, or come into skin or eye contact with mold spores. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), black mold exposure is linked to respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. In addition, black mold exposure can cause some children to develop asthma, especially those who have genetically compromised immune systems.
2. What Are the Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure in Children?
The first symptom to watch out for is allergic reactions. Children who are allergic to black mold may begin to sneeze, have runny noses, itchy eyes, and develop a cough or wheeze.
Respiratory issues can worsen when in contact with mold toxins. Asthma sufferers can display symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath that are further aggravated by black mold.
Black mold exposure can also cause irritant reactions in children prone to health sensitivities, such as skin and eye irritations, itching, rashes, or headaches.
In addition, there are neurological symptoms caused by mold toxins, such as memory problems, anxiety, depression, trembling or shaking, numbness, disorientation, shortened attention span, slow reflexes, and dizziness.
3. What Type of Doctor Should I See for Black Mold Health Problems?
The CDC recommends first consulting a family or general health care provider that can refer you to a specialist if necessary. The type of specialist depends on the health problem. Allergists treat patients with mold allergies, infectious disease physicians treat mold infections, and pulmonologists treat lung infections.
4. How Do Black Mold Spores Affect Pets?
Unlike humans, pets are more likely to consume moldy food and tend to spend more time in places prone to black mold growth. When exposed to black mold for a prolonged period, pets can exhibit allergy symptoms such as respiratory difficulties, pulmonary hemorrhage, nose bleeds, runny noses, fatigue, and more.
Pets can be affected by mold through ingestion. Spoiled items such as cheese or sour cream may contain mold that releases poisonous chemicals known as mycotoxins. Pets that eat food containing mycotoxins may exhibit muscle spasms or body tremors. Don’t allow your pets to eat spoiled food. Take your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect they’ve been exposed to black mold.
5. Where Can Black Mold Be Found in Homes?
Black mold thrives in warm and damp environments, such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. To prevent black mold growth problems in your home, make sure there are no leaks that can lead to water damage. Use fans and dehumidifiers to keep the humidity in your home between 40% and 50%. Learn more about mold prevention tips here.
6. How Do I Deal With a Mold Issue in My Home?
If it’s a large-scale mold growth problem (the affected area is larger than 10 square feet), it’s advised to hire professionals to effectively remove the mold. They can thoroughly eliminate the mold with the use of specialized equipment and techniques. For a small mold infestation, you can consider removing it yourself by following these tips.
To learn more about how to deal with small-scale mold problems in your home, check out our tips to remove mold from your bathroom, basement, and kitchen, as well as from unexpected areas in your home.
Contact PuroClean For Professional Mold Remediation Services
Black mold issues can pose a challenge to homeowners, but thankfully you don’t need to go about it alone. As “The Paramedics of Property Damage®,” PuroClean is ready to assist you with professional mold mitigation services. Our technicians have extensive training in the most effective strategies to get rid of mold in your home safely and efficiently. If you spot mold in your bathroom or anywhere on your property, contact your local PuroClean office immediately. Our office locator can get you easily connected, or call us at (800) 775-7876.