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Black mold

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Black mold
MOLD 4.jpg
Scientific Classification
  • S. chartarum
  • S. cylindrospora
Image Description
MOLD 5.jpg

Black Mold is the common name for the species of fungi, which is given the scientific name Stachybotrys chartarum. This mold is a toxic form that can be hazardous to human health and very dangerous to infants through its production of many harmful byproducts, which are called mycotoxins[1]. It is a problem world-wide, and a nightmare for home owners. In these temperature ranges is where black mold grows and produces spores: 2°-40°C (36°-104°F)[2].


Tape impression of fungal contamination seen on water damaged wallboard. This fungal growth was seen in the building described in Figures 2 and 3. This slide was stained with Lactophenol Cotton Blue. The conidia and mycelia are characteristic of Stachybotrys chartarum.

Black mold (stachybotrys chartarum) is a greenish black mold substance. It is toxic and can lead to fatality if not deal with properly. Black mold appears as to look like dirt, and like ashes. The spores of the mold are usually brown. When a group of spores starts to form into a colony, the mold's surface becomes soot-like and dusty. It is mostly moist and slimy when touched. At first glance this fungus can seem to have threads of white and gray lines. It all depends on the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. Depending on the molds' border, the texture of the fungi can be rough and uneven or squishy and flat. The vegetative part of this fungus is usually a dark black color, mixed with gray and a dark shade of green[3].


Black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) reproduces primarily asexually producing millions of tiny spores.[4].


Black mold can be found indoors and outside. When inside, black mold spores can sprout in any location given the right atmosphere. Indoors this mold grows in dry and wet locations. It is commonly found on items that are high in cellulose. Products that are high in cellulose can be: chips of wood, wood of all kinds, straw, hay, paper products, insulation, cardboard, dust, wallpaper, dry wall, and particleboard. Black mold can only begin to appear when in a humid and damp environment. It can take from days up to weeks for this mold to sprout and become visible to the human eye. If there is humidity in a enclosed indoor area it will result in condensation which ultimately leads to water vaporization. Mixing water vapor and indoor household items will cause mold spores to sprout. Molding can appear in various places when indoors. These places include: roofing, underneath sinks, in bathrooms, around showers and bathtubs, dry wall, in kitchens, bedrooms, garages, attics, and many more nooks and crannies.[5]

The Living Room (Only the black mold is living there now.)

Health effects

Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) was first found as a health risk to humans and animals in Russia. Also it was observed that the animals that inhabited farms in Eastern Europe were affected by the mold from eating moldy hay in the 1930’s and early 1940’s. The problem was first discovered when examining horses. The horses had consumed large amounts of highly contaminated Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) straw and hay. The horses suffered from internal bleeding and infections. The first humans who were affected from black mold were workers in a agricultural field. They worked with hay and straw that turned out to also be contaminated with Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold). The workers suffered from the following symptoms: nose bleeds, fatigue and skin irritation (rashes and itching)coughing, burning sensations in the mouth or nose, runny nose, and headaches.

There have been other many other reports of black molds' effects. The poisonous toxins made by black mold are touched or handled by humans and possibly animals, it can be fatal. This mold can damage a immune system if not demolish it completely. It will also affect the bone marrow and lymphoid tissue in a human body. Humans have showed signs of being effected by this fungus from these symptoms: memory loss, diarrhea, headache, dermatitis, cold, flu symptoms, cancer, sore throats, intermittent local hair loss, fatigue, muscle aches, and certain types of malaise.

Prevent Black Mold Growth

-Put a dehumidifier in the rooms of the house with the most moisture.

-Do not put carpet on the floor of rooms that tend to be damp, wet, or moist.

-Insulate all of your pipes, in order to prevent condensation.

-Install storm windows in your house to eliminate any condensation on glass of the window panes.

-Cover the dirt on top of a house's crawlspace with plastic and make sure that the area surrounding the crawlspace is ventilated.[6]


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See Also