A silent killer. What is black mold and why is it dangerous to humans
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The fungus is not easy to notice, but it can be deadly, especially to young children.
Mold is quite common in homes – it can appear on tiles, fabrics, carpets, wood or other materials in the presence of moisture. As a rule, the fungus forms where there is condensation and high humidity – window frames, bathrooms, basements and other rooms, writes The Guardian.
Researchers note that two fungi can be found most often in homes – Cladosporium and Alternaria. Less common is the black mold Stachybotrys chartarum, which releases specific toxins that are harmful to humans.
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Wet and moldy environments are generally dangerous for humans, especially for people who are sensitive to allergens. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction to mold are:
- sneezing and runny nose;
- red eyes;
- skin rash.< /li>
However, mold can also affect our immune system and cause more serious problems such as asthma attacks. Scientists note that Cladosporium and Alternaria can provoke severe and sometimes fatal asthma attacks, and prolonged exposure to mold only exacerbates the risk.
At the same time, Stachybotrys chartarum can lead to diseased vision syndrome – toxins released by the fungus make people feel unwell. Studies have also shown that the fungus can be deadly, for example, leading to idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhages in infants.
Who is at risk
Doctors say that the most vulnerable to exposure black mold are:
- small children;
- people with respiratory diseases (asthma, allergies);
- People with skin conditions (atopic eczema);
- Immune-compromised people
Prevention of black mold
To prevent development black mold scientists advise:
- regularly inspect the house for water damage and mold;
- fight with sources of moisture; eliminate leaks and dampness;
- control humidity;
- keep the house warm.
Note that a small amount of mold in the house can be dealt with and on one's own. However, if you allow the spread of black mold in the house, you will have to turn to specialists to eliminate it. The researchers also warn that painting over the mold will have no effect – it will reappear over time.