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Is Black Mould As Dangerous As You Think?

Technician Explaining Mould Cause to Tenant

You don’t have to look around the internet for long to read about the dangers of ‘toxic black mould’.  

And navigating the truth about the real dangers of black mould can be confusing amongst the abundance of misinformation and fear mongering out there.  

MouldMen is here to cut through the nonsense.  

In this article we’ll break down the fact from the fiction when it comes to black mould and your health.  

Here’s what you need to know.  

Firstly, What Is Black Mould?

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Black mould is a general term used to describe any type of fungus that appears black in colour.  

That’s right, there are thousands of species of black mould, not just the infamous Stachybotrys Chartarum variety. Other species that can identify as black mould include Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Auerobasidium and Alternaria 

Is It Actually Dangerous?

Yes, black moulds can be dangerous.  

However, to fully understand the health effects of black mould as a whole, certain factors need to be taken into consideration. These include the type of black mould, the duration of exposure and the individuals immune system.  

Some species of black mould have the ability to release mycotoxins, a toxic substance known to cause a variety of respiratory and dermatological irritations as a result of prolonged exposure.  

This is often the reason black mould is commonly referred to as ‘toxic black mould’.  

Despite black mould being the only mould referred to as toxic, almost all moulds can be dangerous under the right circumstances.

So in short, black mould can be dangerous and has the potential to make you sick. However, there is lack of medical evidence to suggest it cause adverse reactions like cancer or death like some other websites suggest.  

Can You Be ‘Poisoned’ By Black Mould? 

Along with the term ‘toxic black mould’ you’ve probably also come across the phrases ‘toxic mould syndrome’ or ‘black mould poisoning’.  

While these terms are found scattered all over the internet, the one thing you won’t find is an actual medical diagnosis for any of these conditions.  

So, while there are several health conditions that have been ‘linked’ to mould exposure, there is nothing that has any consensus from the broader medical community. Instead, studies suggest that these conditions are often nothing more than the result of misunderstanding and media hype. 

Who Is Most At Risk Of Black Mould Exposure? 

Black mould affects everyone differently, with some people at risk of more severe reactions than just the typical mould exposure symptoms 

It is also important to note that there is no set amount of mould that may result in mould exposure symptoms, rather it is the biological makeup of the individual exposed that makes all the difference. 

Those more at risk of black mould exposure include: 

  • Children 
  • The elderly 
  • Asthmatics 
  • Immunocompromised individuals 

These groups will experience more severe symptoms as a result of prolonged exposure to black mould as their immune systems are less capable of fighting off subsequent infections. 

What Species You Should Be Concerned About 

yellow mould

As we’ve mentioned, some black moulds can be harmless, while others have the ability to release toxic spores that pose a risk to your health. 

These species include: 

Stachybotrys Chartarum 

The most famous black mould species of them all, Stachybotrys Chartarum is a species of greenish black mould that grows on materials with a high cellulose content. It starts to grow when there is a buildup of moisture as a result of water damage, leaks, condensation or flooding.  

Stachybotrys Chartarum is known for its ability to release toxic mycotoxin spores. However, the level of toxin exposure that occurs following inhalation is often very minor.  

This means that serious reactions as a result of Stachybotrys Chartarum exposure are often only experienced by those in the ‘at risk’ groups mentioned above.  


Aspergillus is a common mould type found both indoors and out. For those with healthy immune systems, exposure to this species of black mould is unlikely to become a problem.  

However, for those with weak immune systems, prolonged exposure to Aspergillus may cause a range of infections in the lungs or sinuses. This includes a range of hypersensitivity diseases such as asthma, pneumonitis and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.  

How Do I Identify These Species? 

It is almost impossible to identify a mould species purely from a visual inspection.  

So, if you’re concerned about either of these black mould species growing in your home, the only way to know for sure what type of mould you’re dealing with is through a professional mould inspection.  

Symptoms Of Black Mould Exposure

mould exposure symptoms

The symptoms of black mould exposure are no different than exposure to any other type of mould.  

While symptoms will vary from person to person, some of the most common symptoms reported after coming into black mould include:  

  • Coughing and wheezing 
  • Runny nose 
  • Sneezing 
  • Headache 

If you fall into one of the more ‘at risk’ groups we’ve mentioned above, the symptoms of mould exposure may be more severe – the reason why these symptoms are informally referred to as ‘mould poisoning’. 

In Summary  

Black mould is not as deadly as it’s made out to be – but it can make you sick.  

The best way to avoid a reaction to black mould is to understand what causes it, how to prevent it and how to remove it as quickly as possible if you do find it.  

Worried About Black Mould In Your Home? Book A Free Inspection Today 

Black mould can cause serious health concerns if left untreated. So, if you suspect black mould growing in your home or property, it’s important to take immediate action to eradicate it.  

A free inspection from MouldMen will cost you nothing up front but can save your health and your wallet from the cost of serious infestations later down the track.  

The MouldMen team will inspect, treat, and provide you with a Mould Management and Prevention Plan to ensure that your home is kept safe and free from mould. Call us on 1300 60 59 60 to book your free inspection today. 

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