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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Black and Toxic Mold

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Black and Toxic

Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we want you to learn about common misconceptions about mold. The term "black" mold is misleading at best. First, while the terms "toxic" and "black" mold are commonly used interchangeably, only one is recognized as black mold by most professionals: Stachybotrys chartarum, sometimes called Stachybotrys atra. Other common indoor toxic molds include - but are not limited to - Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. Furthermore, Stachybotrys isn't actually black, but a greenish-black color instead. Finally, with more than 100,000 known types of mold, many of them are black. Unless they are Stachybotrys, however, they aren't "black" mold and may not even be toxic.

Mycotoxins

Another misleading term is "toxic." As the Centers for Disease Control explains, the mold itself isn't actually poisonous. Some molds are, instead, "toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins)." These chemical compounds sometimes attach to mold spores - reproductive seeds - and drift away in search of a new home. When they are inhaled, they may cause health effects. Fortunately, mold generally only releases spores when it is disturbed, such as by the breeze of a closing door or the vibration of a pounding hammer. In addition, the mold doesn't release mycotoxins constantly, so even if spores are released, toxins may not. However, any mold is never healthy in a home - much less Stachybotrys - especially for individuals with lung problems, compromised immune systems or simply allergies to mold.

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