What Does Black Mold Smell Like
If you smell a musty, earthy smell that seems to be out of place, it might be a sign that a mold colony is nearby. Some experts say that the smell of black mold is close to that of dirt and rotting leaves.
Black mold odor comes from MCOCs , which is the off-gassing of molds as they feed and reproduce. If you can smell mold growth in your home, then spores are moving through the air and compromising the air quality.
This foul odor tends to be found in moist areas in the home because black mold likes to settle on water-saturated cellulose-based materials. This includes materials such as cotton, lumber, cardboard, or gypsum board.
The Hidden Dangers Of Black Mold
Physical signs of mold exposure can range from itchy, water eyes to asthma and airway problems. The body reacts to a mold that may not otherwise be toxic by exhibiting allergy-related symptoms, such as an irritated throat, coughing, or a runny nose. For some people, the reaction may be more severe, causing nausea, fatigue, sinus infections or trouble breathing. In more extreme cases, fungus can produce volatile organic compounds, which can affect the central nervous system and cause headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and decreased attention span, according to www.toxic-black-mold-info.com. The Environmental Protection Agency also has information on mold and how to combat it and protect yourself and your home.Documentation of the dangers of mold, the result of studies being undertaken by countries around the world, is pointing toward an increase in the prevalence of the health problems mold can cause, particularly in children.
The Mold You BreatheMethods for Preventing and Dealing With Mold
Are You A Clean Freak?
It’s easy to spot a clean freak when you see one in action. What’s not so easy is recognizing the signs of compulsive obsession with cleanliness when you’re the one who’s obsessing. Having a clean house doesn’t mean that you are a clean freak.
Toxic Mold Syndrome: It Was Like I Lost My Personality
September 11, 2017
Kimberlyn, a 46-year-old married mother living in Arizona is not your average patient. She is highly detailed, analytical, logical, and carries with her a masters degree in pattern analysis. When Kimberlyn got sick, she applied as much as she could from her work life to try to uncover what was adversely affecting her. Even so, coming to the right diagnoses took a lot of work and required outside help.
What Is A Black Mold
Showers are perfect breeding grounds for mold. Mold thrives in damp areas with poor ventilation. These conditions are often found in bathrooms. Mold needs adequate moisture, oxygen, food, and the right temperature. In these conditions, mold will grow and reproduce by releasing spores, which are microscopic cells that act like seeds.
When people use the term black mold, they are usually referring to Stachybotrys chartarum, which has been referred to as “toxic black mold.” The color of the mold doesn’t have any connection to how dangerous it is.
However, there is no evidence that exposure to any type of mold causes memory loss, trouble focusing, headaches, fatigue, infant pulmonary hemorrhage, which is bleeding into the lungs, or autoimmune disease.
Toxic substances called mycotoxins are released by some types of mold, but mycotoxins are not that harmful when they are inhaled. They are most dangerous when they are eaten.
Although the dangers of black mold have been exaggerated, mold can cause health problems in people who are sensitive to it.
Mold Was In My Hvac System
That said, I want to take a look at how mold/fungus may have contributed to my dementia. It was indeed present in my home. Aspergillius. Cladisprium. Pennicilium. Basidiospores. All airborne mold spores.
Several years before my husband or I showed any signs of dementia, it was brought to our attention that our HVAC system was producing mold in significant amounts. After reading up on mold, and how it can cause a whole host of health-related problems, we had a whole new HVAC system installed. Including all new duct work.
How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
For Help With Mold Removal
If you have experienced memory loss and other serious mold-related health problems, your doctor may recommend against trying to remove the mold from your home yourself. Doing so would further expose you to the very mold that is affecting your memory and making you sick. You can schedule a free in-home consultation with a mold removal expert to discuss your options. Theres no cost and no obligation on your part, so you have nothing to lose. Even if you opt to do the work yourself, you can benefit from some expert advice from an experienced professional. Be sure to ask how to protect yourself during the cleanup process and how to make sure the mold doesnt return in the future. Follow this link to get a list of local mold removal professionals offering free consultations.
Four Types Of Mold In Our Home
Three of the mold spore types initially found in my home were known to pose threats to the respiratory system and/or brain. These included aspergillius, pennicilium, and cladosporium. The other mold, basidiospores, is not talked about much, as it is generally found in gardens and forests not in homes.
But the level of basidiospores in my home was 640, as compared to the levels found in the air outside my home, which was < 13. The mold inspector was a little surprised about the higher reading inside our home. He said that particular type of mold spore is usually found more outdoors than inside. Yet in my home they were like 600 times higher inside, than out.
Basidiospores is a type of fungus that comes from mushrooms. The spores travel in the wind, and can get inside your home through an open door or window. I used to open my front door to allow fresh air inside on cooler days. So its possible that it got into my home that way.
Nervous System Symptoms Due To Mold Exposure
- Forget what you are doing
- Can’t remember names or words
- Poor word recall
- Visual perception issues
Often Missed By Practitioners Due To Lack Of Training
It is normal for the practitioner who does not know about “mold illness” , to think the individual before them has dementia, depression, a head trauma or some other mental/emotional related illness. They might think about Borreliosis or other infections. The practitioner might even think about some type of environmental toxin causing the issue, but mold exposure is all to often not on their list of possible causes. Although, they know that mold and mycotoxins are unhealthy, they were never trained to recognize “mold related illness“, so when it shows up looking like dementia, or some other more common malady, they simply think that is what it is. Additionally, some people have more than mold as an issue, so it becomes complicated, and practitioners are so overwhelmed by the need to meet the demands of governmental rules, as well as insurance rules, that they just don’t have time for complicated patients. They are slowly learning about the health hazards of water-damaged buildings and “mold related illness”, but in the mean time, their patients have to help them learn by pointing them to websites like this one.
A Short Personal Story
Society Is Slowly Becoming Aware Of Mold And Other Toxins Causing Brain Inflammation
There Is A Solution
Symptoms Of Mold Illness
Symptoms of mold illness vary from person to person, although mold has been correlated with a significant increase in asthma.
People who live, work, or go to school in moldy buildings complain of pain, fatigue, increased anxiety, depression, and cognitive defects such as memory loss. Researchers say the symptoms are similar to those from bacterial or viral infections, due to the inflammatory cascades mold triggers.
The effects of mold illness on the brain have gone largely dismissed by the standard health care model due to insufficient research on the neurological effects of mold illness.
However, this study demonstrates what people with mold illness already know it messes with your brain. Hopefully similar studies will follow.
In the study, researchers observed that mice inoculated with mold spores showed increased inflammation in the hippocampus, causing notable losses of memory, increased pain, and more anxious behavior compared to mice inoculated with saline.
What Does Black Mold Smell Like In A Home
Before I begin speaking on the dangers of black mold in a home, let me first introduce myself. My name is Victor Coppola- I am a building biologist at GreenWorks with decades of indoor mold and air-quality testing experience. I have come across countless homes that contain different types of molds throughout my career. But to me, black mold has always been the most concerning.
On many occasions, I have visited other peoples homes and caught the old musty scent of a black mold infestation. And when I inform the homeowners of this black mold smell, they often tell me, Its alright. It has been there for some time, and we are ok with it.
Not to burst their bubble, but a black mold smellis a tell-tale sign of an unhealthy place to live. As much as people might try to minimize the severity of a mold growth issue, nobody enjoys waking up to the smell of black mold in the morning and more importantly, it is extremely dangerous to your health.
But what exactly is black mold?
The idea of a black mold can be misleading. Black mold is a nickname used for a type of toxic mold called Stachybotrys that can range from greenish-black to oily-black in color.
In addition, black mold is categorized as toxigenic, not poisonous. When you say toxigenic, it means that although the molds arent outright harmful, they can produce toxins .
So, what exactly are the dangers of black mold, and how can you smell it growing in your home? Lets discuss.
Olfactory And Visual Investigation:
We then conduct a visual inspection of your home and see if we can smell any musty odors that indicate mold growth.
When mold is visible or odorous, it means the issue has been going on for a while. So, this investigation helps us determine where mold is growing in your home and the level of severity.
What Should You Do If Youre Experiencing Memory Loss
Everyone has moments of forgetfulness, but if you feel your memory is slipping or you are forgetting more than normal, see your doctor. Dont ignore the development of memory problems because it can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. Let your doctor know if youve been exposed to mold and if youre experiencing any other symptoms.
Your doctor will do a thorough examination and may also order some tests in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Lots of things other than mold can cause memory loss, including stroke, head injury, Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia, depression, stress, sleep deprivation, nutritional deficiencies, use or abuse of alcohol or drugs, and certain medications. Therefore it may take a little time for your doctor to determine the cause of your memory problems.
Treatment will be prescribed based on the results of your exam and any tests you have undergone. In addition to prescribing the appropriate medical treatment, your doctor will most likely advise you to avoid further exposure to mold as much as you can.
I Was Not Genetically Predisposed
Dementia does not run in my family. I was the only case. So my development of dementia was not genetic. It more than likely came from my head trauma, inflammation, deficiencies, and/or exposure to mold toxins most of which are preventable and treatable. In fact, only 5% of all Alzheimers cases are genetic, and those are the early-onset type.
Could Your Depression Anxiety Brain Fog And Insomnia Be Due To Mold Toxicity
Toxic mold based illness is a very prevalent and under diagnosed condition that can manifest in many different ways, including with symptoms that are exclusively psychiatric, such as depression, anxiety, attentional problems, brain fog and insomnia. Vulnerability to mold toxicity is only present in 25% of the population, who in most cases, have a genetic predisposition which inhibits their clearance of biotoxins. A family can all be living in the same house with mold growth, but only one family member will become ill. This is because that person is the only one with the genetic vulnerability.
Mold growth is initiated through water damage. Due to common building practices of using Drywall or Sheetrock, which was not a construction material used in the past, more people are now being exposed to toxic mold, as Drywall is a great medium for mold growth. In addition, the current practice of making homes more energy efficient, means that there is less ventilation with outside air, and toxic mold gasses can be trapped inside, potentiating their effect.
Mold toxins can accumulate in the body, continuing to wreak havoc long after exposure ceases and require an extended course of treatment. But for everyone, the first and most crucial step in treatment, is to identify where the mold is located and to get away from it.
Some of the common symptoms of toxic mold and CIRS are:
36. Metallic Taste
Health Issues That Black Mold Can Cause
Many black molds are toxigenic which means they release toxins that can be harmful or even irritating to those who have preexisting conditions. Toxic molds can cause serious health problems and symptoms such as breathing problems, brain impairment, damage to the internal organs, and even deaths. However, since these symptoms are not the same for everyone, it can be hard to diagnose. The main problems that toxic black molds causes include mental problems, respiratory issues, circulatory symptoms, skin problems, eye problems, reproductive system problems, immune system problems, discomfort, and tiredness.
My Feet Developed Fungus
My feet developed some kind of fungus. I usually walked barefoot around the house. Janet bought me a foot bath and tea tree oil, but it didnt help. Probably because I continued to go barefoot. Richard didnt get it, likely because he always wore house slippers. At the time, none of us realized that the carpet had mold/fungus in it.
Who Is At Risk For Mold Toxicity
While anyone can become ill from exposure to mold and its mycotoxins, some are more susceptible than others.
People who already have allergies or asthma can be more severely affected by mold toxicity than those who do not have allergies.
Also, people who are already ill, have immune suppression, or who have respiratory illnesses are more likely to have noticeable and intense symptoms resulting from mold exposure.
Symptoms of mold toxicity are relatively persistent and should not be ignored.
Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Many types of indoor mold, not just black mold, can cause symptoms if you are sensitive to them or are exposed to them for a prolonged period of time. Symptoms of mold exposure include:
Symptoms of mold exposure may be worse in people who are most at risk, including:
- People with an allergy to mold
- People with a weakened immune system, who may develop infections
- Older people
Eliminate The Source Of Mold
Mold can grow anywhere there is dampness. To reduce the risk of mold in your home or office, fix water leaks. Use fans to circulate the air and dry the area. Clean susceptible areas like bathrooms often and use ventilation fans to decrease the humidity in your home. When cleaning, make sure that you wear a mask to prevent the inhalation of mold spores. Once you finish cleaning moldy areas, wash your clothing immediately, and take a shower to prevent spreading mold spores throughout your home. If your home has been subjected to extensive water damage, contact a mold remediation specialist and have your home professionally cleaned. The cleaners may recommend carpets, draperies, and upholstery to be disposed of if they cannot be properly cleaned by the professional.
Mold can be several different colors, including green, black, and brown. Sometimes mold will appear as a spot and begin to grow. Mold has a musty, earthy smell. Mold can be hidden behind drywall, under carpets, or behind wallpaper. Routinely inspect your roof, basement, and crawl space for moisture. Check plumbing pipes, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms for any signs of mold. Routine inspections of these areas can prevent a large mold infestation. As soon as you notice the first traces of mold, use a mixture of bleach and water to clean the area, and destroy the mold spores.
Mold Could Thrive In Your Home
It is estimated that half of the buildings in the United States may be WDB, meaning water-damaged buildings. Construction techniques in the U.S. turn out to be a feast and buffet for mold and fungal organisms. Our homes here are often built of wood and drywall rather than stone or brick as in Europe. Mold and fungi thrive on drywall, wood, and other soft materials.
Mold thrives in dark and moist environments and doesnt take much water to get the process going. A small drip from a leaky toilet, shower, or sink is all it takes. Small roof leaks are also common causes. If you see a stain on the ceiling or the wall there is very likely an associated hidden mold growth. This is not the type of mold that you see on the shower wall, but rather it is lurking behind the walls and in air ducts, crawl spaces, attics, and other areas.
Linking Mold Depression And Anxiety
Linking Mold, Depression, and Anxiety
Recently, emerging evidence between depression, anxiety, and environmental factors has surfaced. Exposure to mold is most commonly associated with allergies and asthma. However, it is now thought to be associated with many complex health problems, since black mold species such as Aspergillus, Fusarium and Stachybotrys. These black molds produce mycotoxins that are toxic to central parts of the body, including the brain.
When the environmental conditions are right and toxic black molds begin to grow, they produce by-products that are released from the growth area, they include MVOCs, Spores, and Mycotoxins. Many mycotoxins are neurotoxins causing lesions in the brain in the grey matter and the white matter. This directly affects the frontal cortex, cause dopamine dysfunction which can create psychological disorders like anxiety or depression. These disorders occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine are slowly destroyed. Without dopamine, the nerve cells in that part of the brain cannot properly send messages.
About 40% of the residents lived in visibly damp, moldy households, and overall their risk for depression averaged 3444% higher than that for residents of mold-free dwellings, with moderate exposure associated with the highest increase in risk.
My ears were ringing and it felt as if my head was about to explode.
I had anxiety, brain fog, memory and cognition problems, difficult concentrating and speaking.
How To Test For Mold
The workup for CIRS includes tests that are widely available via LabCorp and Quest, although they are somewhat esoteric tests, including MMP9, TGF beta 1, MSH, VEGF, and others. Urine testing for actual mold toxins circulating in the body can also be utilized, however, these results are questioned by some in the field of CIRS treatment.
Brain toxicity due to mold or other toxins and the psychiatric and cognitive health issues associated with it cant wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to normal is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.
At Amen Clinics, were here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834or visit our contact page here.
Memory Issues From Mold Exposure
Did you know that exposure to mold in the home can cause memory issues, including short-term memory loss? Most people know that mold can cause respiratory problems, like sinus infections and asthma attacks, but many are surprised to learn it can sometimes lead to neurological problems as well, including memory loss, forgetfulness, poor concentration and a shortened attention span. Well tell you how mold can affect memory and how to get help if you are experiencing memory loss. You can follow this link to read about other health problems caused by exposure to mold in the home.
What Is Black Mold
Black mold strikes fear into the heart of many homeowners. It has a reputation for being a sinister, insidious bringer of disease. However, the truth is a little simpler. While black mold is a nasty presence in your home and can bring some health issues its not necessarily worse than any other type of mold.
In fact, more often, the cause of health issues is the same as the cause of the mold; damp, musty environments that are not properly cleaned. Black mold is, therefore, a symptom, not a cause.
If you have black mold in your home, you should aim to remove it as soon as possible it can spread quickly and colonize a home within a couple of weeks. However, while it may be an unwelcome presence, it doesnt mean that you and your family are in serious, immediate danger.
This guide will walk you through the myths about black mold, talking about the health problems it may or may not cause. Most importantly, it will talk about how you can remove black mold from your home because, while its not as bad as it may seem, youll still want to get rid of it as quickly as possible.
How Can You Test For Black Mold
There are do-it-yourself mold testing options that are available at many hardware stores. However, you should be wary of their accuracy. There have been many instances where at-home tests have been wrong; some have even been moldy upon purchase.
The best way to identify and eradicate black mold is by having it professionally tested and removed. Professional mold inspectors, like myself, will accurately detect the types of molds growing in your home and the level of severity.
Talking To Your Doctor About Memory Issues
There are many things that can cause problems with short-term memory. While exposure to mold is a possible cause, your doctor will most likely want to consider and rule out other possibilities, such as:
- Sleep disorders
- Alcoholism and other substance abuse
Your doctor may order a number of tests in order to make an accurate diagnosis, including blood tests and a CT scan or MRI. You may be referred to one or more specialists, as well, for evaluation and/or treatment, including a neurologist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an endocrinologist, a sleep disorders specialist or an infectious disease specialist.
Make sure you tell your doctor about all the symptoms you are experiencing, even those that dont seem related to your short-term memory loss. It might be helpful to make a list so you dont forget to mention anything. Include when you first noticed the symptom and whether it has gotten worse or stayed the same over time. You might also ask close friends or family members if theyve noticed symptoms such as forgetfulness and include that information with your list.
Take a notepad and pen with you to your appointments so you can make notes of what your doctor tells you. You might also want to bring someone with you to appointments to make sure you dont miss or forget any important information.