There is a mold pandemic sweeping across America and affecting millions.
Sadly, many people don’t realize that the fungi incorrectly referred to as ‘black mold’ (Stachybotrys chartarum) is a serious problem and it can severely compromise your immune system after a simple exposure. Another unknown fact is that each type of mold has different effects on the body but the most dangerous types or species of mold are those that produce mycotoxins. These secondary metabolites wreak havoc on our health and cause innumerable health issues.
Take migraines for instance. Did you know that mold in your home can trigger nasty migraines? Most people living in hot humid, damp areas have serious mold issues in their home and don’t even know why they keep getting infections and upper respiratory sicknesses.
The spores from certain types of mold can be allergenic, pathogenic and toxigenic. This means that toxic mold also causes the allergic reactions that other common household molds do. For example: sneezing, sore eyes or a runny nose. Exposure to pathogenic and toxigenic molds which produce mycotoxins can also cause a person to develop Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, cancerous growths, diabetes, aspergillosis, heart complications and many other health issues including Neuro-immune illnesses.
To read about how I was injured by mycotoxins please click here.
Need to find out what to do in your home or work place if you have mold, click here.
Below is a list created by blackmold.awardspace.com of health issues that daily exposure to toxic types of mold can cause. Please note that the term black mold mainly refers to Stachybotrys chartarum and other mycotoxin producing molds:
Toxic Symptoms in Humans
The main types of toxic symptoms which toxic mold causes in humans are:
- Mental and neurological symptoms
- Respiratory symptoms
- Circulatory symptoms
- Vision and eye problems
- Skin problems
- Immune system problems
- Reproductive system problems
- Tiredness and discomfort
- Other illnesses and health problems
Toxic Mold Symptoms – Mental & Neurological
The trichothecene mycotoxins produced by toxic black mold are neurotoxic. This means they can kill neurons in the brain and impair a person’s mental ability. They also cause nervous disorders such as tremors and can cause personality changes such as mood swings and irritability.
- Brain fog
- Shortened attention span
- Difficulty concentrating and paying attention
- Slowed reflexes
- Memory loss and memory problems
- Impaired learning ability
- Aggression and other personality changes
Toxic Mold Symptoms – Respiratory System
People living in homes with toxic mold are exposed mainly through breathing in spores and mycotoxins. Toxic mold mycotoxins create irritation and a burning feeling in a person’s air passages, like the nasal cavity, mouth and throat.
The mycotoxins can even become lodged in the mucus membranes, sinuses and the lungs which then causes a burning feeling, breathing problems and bleeding in the lungs.
- Difficulty breathing – breathlessness or shortness of breath
- Pulmonary edema – swelling of the lungs
- Pulmonary hemorrhage – bleeding in the lungs
- Sore throat
- Burning sensation of the mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose
- Stuffy, blocked nose
- Nose bleeds
Toxic Mold Symptoms – Circulatory System
Toxic mold mycotoxins can be breathed in, ingested, or absorbed through a person’s skin or eyes. Eventually the mycotoxins then find their way into the person’s blood. This leads to heart damage, problems with blood clotting and internal or external hemorrhaging.
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart inflammation
- Damage to heart
- Low blood pressure
- Bone marrow disruption
- Bleeding tendency
- Blood not clotting properly
- Hemorrhage – internal bleeding
- Vomiting up blood
- Bleeding in the brain and in other organs
Toxic Mold Symptoms – Vision & Eyes
Toxic mold mycotoxins that are in the air can enter a person’s eyes. The mycotoxins are cytotoxic (toxic to cells) and when they come into contact with eye cells they cause inflamed and injured eyes and create vision problems.
- Eye inflammation and soreness
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- Eye damage
- Blurry vision and vision worsening
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes)
Toxic Mold Symptoms – Skin
Via the skin is one of the three main ways that toxic mold mycotoxins enter the human body. In one case in the past, people handled hay contaminated with toxic mold and developed severe rashes and skin problems on their body where they touched the hay, as well as on sweaty areas like the armpits.
- Crawling skin
- Dermatitis – skin inflammation, rash, blisters, itchiness
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
Toxic Mold Symptoms – Immune System
Toxic mold puts out chemicals which suppress the immune system. In fact many immunosuppressive drugs are actually created from toxic molds. A person who is immunocompromised from being around toxic mold will more easily get infections and sicknesses.
- Immunosuppression – immune system not functioning properly
- Infections reoccurring
Toxic Mold Symptoms – Reproductive System
Mycotoxins from toxic mold are teratogenic. This means they can cause problems in the fetus during pregnancy which then leads to birth defects. Toxic mold mycotoxins are also cytoxotic and mutagenic (cause cell mutations) and inhibit protein synthesis including DNA and RNA.
- Fetal development problems
Toxic Mold Symptoms – Tiredness & Discomfort
When a person is around toxic mold the immune system may release a sedative called Chloral Hydrate. This is used as a defense to try to slow down the effects of toxic mold. But this also makes a person tired and causes fatigue. Toxic mold can also cause soreness of the muscles and joints.
- Chronic fatigue
- Aches and pains
- Muscle pain
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Malaise – general discomfort
- Cold or flu type symptoms or recurring colds
Other Illnesses and Health Problems from Toxic Mold
- Hair loss
- Weight loss, anorexia
- Hearing loss
- Liver disease
Allergic Symptoms from Toxic Mold
Like other molds, toxic mold is allergenic. The spores from toxic mold cause allergic reactions such as breathing problems, sore eyes, runny nose, itchiness, sneezing and a sore throat.
For a more detailed list of allergic reactions caused by mold visit Mold Symptoms and Allergic Reactions.
Does Toxic Mold Cause Different Symptoms for Different People?
Toxic mold affects different people in different ways. Some people won’t experience symptoms as severe as what others experience. Children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are usually the worst affected by toxic mold.
Can Toxic Mold Cause Cancer in Humans?
Experts suspect that toxic mold can cause cancer in humans, although there still needs to be more research. Some other toxic molds, like Aspergillus for example, definitely cause cancer though. The aflatoxin mycotoxins which Aspergillus produce are among the the most powerful carcinogens.
Can Toxic Mold Cause Hair Loss & Baldness?
Being around toxic black mold can cause hair loss, even in females and children. The mycotoxins in toxic black mold can make a person’s hair fall out rapidly and can lead to baldness.
Even molds that aren’t toxic can cause hair loss because they trigger allergic reactions which can make people lose their hair. There is more about allergies causing hair loss at Mold and Hair Loss.
Will the Symptoms from Toxic Mold go Away?
Once a person is no longer around toxic black mold most of their symptoms should gradually decrease. Some of the health problems caused by toxic black mold are permanent though. For example, after a person has lived with toxic black mold their immune system won’t be as strong as it used to be and they’ll be more sensitive to mold and mycotoxins in the future.
Below are a few important sites to visit if you believe you are suffering from exposure to mold:
Here are some more links you can click on with helpful information: