Toxic mold (black mold), Stachybotris Chartarum.
Stachybotris Chartarum – is a greenish black and highly toxic mold.
Mold has seeds called spores. Spores are 1/10th the width of a human hair.
Spores are released when the fuzzy molds are disturbed. Mold needs water and cellulose to grow, once they get started, they don’t need much water to continue growing. Mold uses enzymes to break down cellulose into usable food for itself. Mold multiplies faster than rabbits. The only real control is to remove the source of moisture.
Bleach solution to kill toxic mold.
A 10% bleach solution will kill mold, but does not kill mold spores. Spores can withstand up to 500° temperatures, and survive freezing because they encapsulate themselves.
The smell of mold is from aldehyde, an organic compound released during oxidation.
Once all molded surfaces, drywall, wood, paneling, carpeting, etc, have been thoroughly removed from a house, one technique for removing mold spores that remain in the air and on hard surfaces is industrial ozone generators that electrically generate a very high concentration of ozone in the house which can kill most airborne and surface organic material. Note: Typical air cleaning household ozone machines are not useful for this task, the ozone generators referred to here generate more ozone than a person can be exposed to and cannot be operated with anyone in the house.
Sources of moisture for mold growth.
Sources in a home where moisture may start feeding mold:
- Leaking pipes
- Leaking sinks
- HVAC ducts
- Drains from sinks
- Drains from bathtubs
- A/C refrigerant lines
- Leaking windows
- Walls EIFS
- Through outlet cover plates
- Through walls
- From attics
These fixtures and locations in the house should all be properly inspected in order to insure no leakage has, or is occurring and encouraging mold growth. If you have had a leak and moisture buildup in warm weather conditions for almost anytime period at all, mold will have started to grow there. If there are no noticeable leaks, you should look for signs of water stains where water may have been leaking either when the water was on, or the weather changed. Any places with water stains are going to be high risk zones for mold growth and should be cleaned, or replaced, once the water source has been repaired.
Mold begins 24 – 48 hours after the onset of moisture.
To successfully remove the mold you must contain all mold spores, protect workers with space suits and HEPA (high energy particulate air) filters originally designed to filter radioactive particulate matter from the air. Moisture sources must be removed, the mold growth must be removed, and the contamination (spores) must be removed.
Mold spores are more easily absorbed through the skin than through respiration.
Why does it seem there are mold problems now?
We spent 25% of our time indoors in the 50’s. Now we spend about 92% of our time indoors, that’s where the mold is.
The problem with molds is that they release mycotoxins which are toxic to people. The mycotoxins are released by the mold spores to kill anything that might compete with the mold for food supplies. These mycotoxins can remain stable for weeks. Mold toxins can affect the immune system, central nervous system and cause headaches, tremors, mood swings, aching, numbness, cognitive difficulty, coughing, wheezing, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory problems, short term memory loss, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, sore throat, hair loss, behavioral problems and skin diseases. They can cause cancer of the kidney, esophagus, and blood (leukemia).
Treatment. Discover which systems are affected and damaged, and treat them, not the symptoms.
Further Information about Mold
Further useful information about mold and remediation, can be found at the following.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Texas Department of State Health Services
Article excerpts, contributions and edits have been made by HousesFast editors. While every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur.