A black mold infestation in a home or business can be not only costly, but could also cause serious health effects in people. If you notice that you are starting to develop symptoms like sneezing, itchy throat, coughing, or eye irritation it may not be allergies or the flu. If home and business owners are experiencing these kinds of health effects outside of allergy or flu season, they may want to have their building inspected for black mold.
Is Black Mold Making You Sick?
Black mold releases spores into the air as it feeds on surfaces in a home or building. People breathe in these spores as more and more are released into the air. Black mold ingestion can produce a number health effects ranging from respiratory and congestive problems to more serious problems like organ failure and even cancer.
The toxic spores can be ingested in a number of ways:
- Food Contamination
- Direct Contact
Under most circumstances, the effects of black mold only persist while black mold is present. Once a home or building has undergone proper mold removal, home and business owners should no longer experience related health effects.
Black mold has toxins that kill neurons in the brain and can impair mental function. This can also lead to chemical changes in the brain or may result in nervous disorders.
Other common symptoms might include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
- Impaired reflexes
Breathing in black mold spores is the most common way of ingestion in homes. As spores can become lodged in they can result in a variety of respiratory health effects.
Some symptoms might include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Burning sensation in mouth
- Stuffed nose
- Nose bleeds
- Swelling of lungs
- Bleeding in lungs
After ingestion, black mold can make its way to the blood stream. Toxins in the spores may produce circulatory issues. This could include serious health risks, such as heart damage, blood clots and hemorrhaging.
Other circulatory symptom effects might include:
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Low blood pressure
- Vomiting blood
- Internal bleeding
- Heart damage
- Heart inflammation
Effects on Vision
Toxic black mold spores may find their way into a person’s eye. Contact with cells in the eye may lead to inflammation and deterioration, creating vision problems.
Symptoms of black mold’s effects on vision might include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Blurred vision
- Yellowing eyes
Black Mold Effects on Skin
Direct contact with the skin is one of the most common ways of ingesting black mold spores. Handling black mold can cause skin irritation and rashes on parts of the skin that make direct contact. Spores can also be transmitted from one part of the body to the other by scratching, rubbing or wiping away sweat.
Other possible common skin symptoms include:
- Yellowing of skin
Effects on Immune System
Black mold spores contain chemicals that impair a body’s immune system. A compromised immune system may lead to increased likelihood of illness and infection. It also increases exposure to harmful diseases and viruses.
Symptoms of an affected immune system may include:
- Recurring infections
- High frequency of common cold
- Viral contraction
Black mold toxins can target the body’s reproductive system. They can cause cell mutations and inhibit reproductive functions. This may be especially dangerous during pregnancy as black mold toxins could endanger the fetus and lead to birth defects.
Other possible symptoms of black mold’s effects on the reproductive system include:
- Likelihood of miscarriage
Discomfort and Fatigue
In addition to all the previously listed symptoms, a person may experience a variety of other symptoms related to discomfort and fatigue as the body attempts to combat the effects of black mold.
These symptoms might include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain