In the wake of a flooding event, one of the most compelling reasons to immediately undergo water damage cleanup is to prevent the growth and proliferation of black mold. Stachybotrys chartarum is the scientific name for what’s commonly called black mold, and it can develop when organic materials used in building construction remain damp for more than 24-48 hours. Some of the dangers associated with black mold are the spores and mycotoxins that it secretes into the environment as it grows and reproduces, as there are some significant health consequences associated with exposure to black mold. That’s why when you experience water damage mold in Roswell must be treated quickly and completely to prevent health-related issues.
What exactly are the specific health risks that are associated with exposure to black mold stemming from water damage? The list of symptoms that indicate a patient is suffering from black mold exposure is long, and those symptoms can vary in severity. Keep reading to learn more about the health risks associated with black mold following a flooding event.
While not life-threatening, the kind of allergies and irritation caused by breathing mycotoxins produced by black mold can make life miserable for those who suffer those symptoms. Some people may be more sensitive to the presence of mold than others, and exposure can result in symptoms that mimic those of seasonal allergies such as a runny nose, watery eyes, shallow cough, sore throat, skin rash, and sinusitis. These issues may sometimes be mistaken for season allergies or flu, but when they become persistent and don’t appear to respond to conventional treatment for those conditions, black mold exposure could be the culprit.
Those who are particularly sensitive to mold may experience heightened symptoms that can be more dangerous such as asthma attacks, shortness of breath, or lung problems. In fact, some research indicates that black mold, as well as other varieties of household mold, may increase the risk of children developing asthma by the age of 17. Exposure to black mold may also worsen the conditions of those who already suffer from unrelated asthma or lung issues.
Mold is a type of fungus. While the human body, when healthy, is equipped with a strong natural immune system built to fight off fungal invaders, those who suffer from weakened immunity may develop severe fungal infections if exposed to black mold. For example, patients who have HIV, those who’ve had recent transplants, or people with depleted immune systems due to cancer treatment could experience life-threatening consequences from black mold exposure that leads to fungal infections.
Another often mentioned condition attributed to black mold exposure is mycotoxicosis, which is poisoning caused by exposure to mycotoxins that many molds produce. In theory, those poisons can cause a litany of health problems, though there is little research that provides a solid correlation between black mold and health problems such as fatigue, behavioral problems among children, lung disease, mental issues, or cancer. In fact, the concept of “toxic black mold syndrome” has largely been written off as hype after numerous studies failed to find a correlation between black mold exposure and a heightened risk of these conditions. That doesn’t mean that black mold doesn’t carry health consequences, but only that some of the earlier reports of its dangers may have been exaggerated.
If you’ve experienced water damage of any kind, it’s a good idea to have a follow-up mold inspection in Roswell to ensure you and your family aren’t exposed to black mold growing in unseen spaces. Though black mold may not be as dangerous as the media hype once proclaimed, it still carries some negative health consequences that should be avoided through swift water removal and damage restoration. To learn more about the health issues associated with black mold, contact Integrity Restoration & Remodeling Contractors at (770) 966-9987.