Last Updated on March 19, 2014
To start with, molds come in different color that includes black, blue-green, white, yellow and green. In this article, we are going to concentrate more in black colored mold types. People fear black molds due to the associated health risks they pose. Some families even demolish buildings suspected to be black mold manifested. In the last decade, the toxic black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum or S. atra) has been the subject of many scientific studies. These studies have all been proved that this sort of mold produces toxins that make people really sick when they are exposed to it. It is even fatal to animals if ingested.
Not all black molds are the toxic Stachybotrys species
There is some mold types that are black in color and grow in damp drywalls, though are not toxic in nature as the S. atras detailed mentioned above. Good examples of these include the Cladosporium species, the Ulocladium species and some few others. However, these also can cause allergic reactions, but are not as toxic as the Stachybotrys.
Moss and algae are not black mold
Moss and algae are blue green in color and grow in damp exterior or interior surfaces in a home. These two cause cosmetic issues rather than health related, that is, unless you slip on their slimy surfaces. They can easily be scrubbed away though they will probably grow back if the surface continues to be damp. So, these two should not be mistaken for any of the mentioned health risking black molds that have to be eradicated in whichever way possible.
It is black but not black mold!
Some people mistake soot stains for problem causing black molds. However, inhaling soot particles can cause all sorts of health issues and hence they should be removed as soon as they appear. The best way to remove these is repainting the surface or cleaning an affected carpet. A portable HEPA air purifier, that is, the variety with high-efficiency particulate arrestance filtration, can help reduce indoor fine particles exposure.
Size of mold spores
Mold spores from green molds, blue-green molds and so forth are quite tiny and become airborne when exposed to air disturbances, physical or otherwise. They remain suspended in the air for many hours and as they are so small, anybody who comes into the room inhales them deep into their lungs. Those from black molds such as Stachybotrys on the other hand are normally stuck together in clumps and become airborne when the mold growth itself is physically disturbed. They normally settle out of the air and land on the surfaces in less than an hour, however, the effects to people who come in contact with them is dire.
Get suspected black molds tested
Though not always the case, the majority of molds produce mycotoxins, particularly when under certain growing conditions. Regardless of the mold type in your place, you should be concerned about allergic reactions to those who come into contact with it. So if you are wondering whether that dark staining on the walls and ceiling in your home is black mold, have it tested. This is especially crucial to families with allergies, asthma and the likes. Confer with the right indoor air quality professional in your area to find out the available options for mold testing and remediation.