We need to talk about black mould poisoning.
There is a commonly held belief that black mould exposure can cause poisoning like symptoms, sometimes even cancer or death. And the concept of mould toxicity being an undiagnosed cause of chronic diseases has been gaining momentum over time.
As a result, many terms have been coined by the public to describe this phenomenon, with ‘black mould poisoning’ being one of the most popular.
In this article we’ll break down the misconceptions surrounding black mould poisoning and separate the actual health concerns from the nonsense.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Black Mould Poisoning?
Black mould poisoning is a term coined by the public to describe the symptoms of overexposure to black mould or inhaling it’s mycotoxin spores.
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by toxigenic mould types like Aspergillus, Alternaria, Stachybotrys Chartarum and Fusarium. These species often appear as black mould, one of the main reasons you’ve probably heard it referred to as ‘toxic’ or ‘poisonous’ black mould.
While there are several health conditions that have been ‘linked’ to mould exposure, nothing has any consensus from the broader medical community, especially black mould poisoning.
Black Mould Poisoning – The Fact And The Fiction
As we’ve mentioned, there is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding black mould poisoning and the health effects of black mould as a whole.
So, we’ve dedicated this section to break down a few myths and misconceptions surrounding black mould poisoning.
Is It A Real Condition?
There is no scientific or medical evidence to suggest that black mould exposure alone can lead to poisoning like symptoms of fatigue, memory loss or an inability to focus.
In fact, there are few reports of any unique or rare health conditions as a result of black mould in the home.
Is It The Same As Toxic Mould Syndrome?
Black mould poisoning and toxic mould syndrome are alike in the fact that they are both colloquial terms that lack any official diagnosis as a medical condition.
Is It Related To Sick Building Syndrome?
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a term used to describe the acute health effects experienced by those who have spent a significant amount of time in a building. While individuals with SBS may suffer symptoms of acute discomfort, no specific causes or illnesses can typically be identified.
When inside the building of concern, suffers of SBS complain of symptoms like headaches, nose and throat irritations, itchy skin and more. These symptoms of SBS are very similar to those experienced by people who think they’re suffering from ‘black mould poisoning’.
The causes of SBS are believed to be associated with poor ventilation, chemical contaminants and biological contaminants like mould.
Black mould poisoning and Sick Building Syndrome are two conditions that lack medical legitimacy but share a common thread.
They all describe a non-exhaustive list symptoms experienced as a result of prolonged exposure to mould and breathing in its potentially harmful spores.
The Actual Symptoms Of Prolonged Mould Exposure
While the symptoms of mould exposure are often minor and likened to that of allergy sufferers, prolonged mould exposure is a different story.
Especially for those in at risk groups, prolonged exposure to black mould can result in more serious symptoms such as:
- Worsening asthma
- Shortness of breath
- Development of mould allergies
- Increased risk of respiratory symptoms
This is how the term ‘black mould poisoning’ is believed to have come about.
Individuals that experience these more severe symptoms think that mould is genuinely poisoning them. When in fact, the truth is that their immune systems just can’t fight off the mould particles as well as healthy individuals.
Who Is Most At Risk?
For people with healthy immune systems, mould infections are not typically an issue.
However, those with weakened immune systems are more at risk of fungal infections as a result of mould exposure. These individuals include:
- Children and infants
- The elderly
- People with chronic respiratory conditions
- Cancer patients
- Transplant patients
- Those with HIV
How Do You Prevent Mould Exposure?
The best way to protect yourself from the symptoms of mould exposure is to prevent mould from growing in the first place.
Educate yourself on what causes mould in the home and the steps you can take to prevent mould growth from occurring in the first place. These include:
- Circulate air regularly, especially in dark, naturally damp areas
- Clean and dry any flooding, water damage or spills promptly
- Hang wet clothes to dry outdoors
- Use a dehumidifier, especially in above average humidity climates
- Ensure bathrooms and kitchens are well ventilated
- Regularly clean out external drainage, guttering, downpipes and eaves
Concerned About Black Mould Becoming A Problem?
If you’re concerned about black mould growing in your home, the MouldMen team can help you take action to avoid a serious infestation.
We’ve helped thousands of Australian’s remove and keep mould out of their properties. To get back to living in a safe, healthy home sooner, contact us on 1300 605 960 or book your free inspection today.