The effects of black mold on human beings are a much debated topic. Some researchers claim studies show black mold doesn't really have any effect on people. Other studies show black mold of certain toxic strains can cause severe health issues and even death.
How Black Mold Affects Health
Black mold needs to eat-and when it does, it breaks down substances-like wood, drywall and carpet in the search for nutrition. When those substances are broken down they release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are toxic to the elderly and the young.
Some forms of black mold seem to feed other mites, bacteria and tiny creatures that actually cause more health problems than the mold. Dust mites for instance can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Scientists have found larger populations of dust mites, bacteria and allergens in homes with black mold. It makes sense to assume that health issues in homes with black mold may be caused by this accompanying populations of allergens.
Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure
- Watery eyes
- Sever headaches
- Joint pain
- Problems concentrating
Duration of Effects
Most minor to intermediate reactions to black mold should fade within a week of exposure to the mold. Sensitive individuals or those with severe reactions to the mold, bacteria or toxins may last longer or lead to respiratory complications.