Black mold exposure and black mold poisoning can cause a wide range of health problems. Some black mold symptoms can actually be really serious.
You may have found this article from googling “black mold in shower” or “mold in house.” Unfortunately, mold problems are not unusual in the home, and the shower is a classic location to find black mold flourishing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, molds in general are very common in homes and buildings and they can grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture.
You can help your body recover if you’ve been exposed to black mold. You can also naturally rid your home of black mold and prevent it in the first place! Black mold symptoms are highly unpleasant so you really don’t want to deal with them if you don’t have to.
What Is Black Mold?
Black mold is easily distinguishable from other molds because, not surprisingly, it tends to be dark black. Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, can be found indoors growing on a variety of surfaces, especially things with a high cellulose content like wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, lint and dust.
Other than being black, what does black mold look like? Black mold can actually be a greenish or grayish black. It has a distinctive odor that’s musty and mildew-like.
What is mold? A mold is a type of fungus that grows in filaments and reproduces by forming mold spores that cannot be seen by the naked human eye. Mold can grow and thrive in any season, indoors or outdoors, in damp, warm and humid environments, and it spreads like wild fire. Mold itself flourishes in warm, moist environments, but mold spores can actually survive in harsh, dry environments. The spores float around in indoor and outdoor air. When the spores land on a moist surface, the mold can then start to grow.
Black mold is most likely to rear its ugly head in areas of the home that are warm, humid and damp. In addition to showers, basements and crawlspaces that may have leaks, or some other sources of moisture, are commonly susceptible to the growth of toxic black mold.
I want to note that according to the CDC, the term “toxic mold” is not accurate. However, it does admit that molds (like black mold) can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins) that are toxic or poisonous. So maybe we should call it toxin-producing black mold.
Black Mold Symptoms
There are several common black mold symptoms. Symptoms of mold exposure include:
Irritation to the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat
Black mold symptoms are even worse if the black mold exposure is severe, has lasted for a long time or if the individual has a mold allergy. Symptoms could include nausea, vomiting, as well as bleeding in the nose and lungs. Studies have also linked household mold exposure to depression. (4)
The extent of black mold symptoms depends upon the number of spores inhaled and the duration of exposure. Black mold easily causes mold allergy symptoms, and symptoms likely persist until you get rid of the the black mold. Sometimes people don’t realize the health problems they’re having are actually black mold symptoms. Black mold is not something to ignore because it only gets worse the longer you ignore it.
If you’re looking for a way to confirm that you have black mold poisoning, some laboratories offer testing for the presence of mycotoxins in the body. Labs use an immunology test called an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) to test urine samples for aflatoxins, ochratoxin A and trichothecenes. (5)