Diseases Linked to Black Mold

The University of Minnesota states that mold is belongs to the fungi family. It lives and reproduces on organic matter, with around 100 indoor mold types posing a threat to human health through released toxins. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list cladosporium, penicillium, alternaria, Stachybotrys and aspergillus as some of the more common indoor molds. They can sometimes be identified as a dark, blackish stain.

A patch of black mold on the ceiling of a home. (Image: mikeinlondon/iStock/Getty Images)

Allergy

The CDC explains that some people have a sensitivity to molds causing nasal congestion and stuffiness, wheezing, coughing, sneezing and eye irritation. In those with a more severe allergy, shortness of breath and even fever might be experienced. Workers who are employed in areas with high concentrations of mold are more susceptible to symptoms.

Organ Toxicity

According to the University of Minnesota, prokaryotes, cells that lack a nucleus, and eukaryotes, complex cells, are the most vulnerable to the mycotoxins from penicillium, Stachybotrys and aspergillus. These molds can affect major organs, causing acute liver damage, tumors, cirrhosis of the liver, immunosuppression and respiratory infections.

Infant Pulmonary Hemorrhage

The CDC maintains there is a possible link between infant pulmonary hemorrhage and Stachybotrys; the agency recommends that proper medical attention be sought for children who have been exposed. The University of Minnesota also cites an association between a child's length of exposure and the severity of the disease. Symptoms include bleeding of the lungs and respiratory distress.

Sheet-rock, wood and ceiling tiles are ideal breeding grounds for this mold. High humidity levels and fluctuating temperatures also help create a mold-friendly environment.

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