Black mold poisoning is one of the most severe forms of indoor pollution that people come across. This article tells you how to treat this problem.
Black mold is a type of fungus that thrives on areas that are warm and moist. That is why, you can find their greenish-black slimy colonies spread all over your bathroom tiles and walls, leaky ceilings and pipes, sinks, leather goods, shower heads, and foods that have been lying outside the refrigerator for some days. Also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, its toxicity is what makes it to be the most dreaded form of indoor pollution. Its by-products are known as mycotoxins (toxic substances), which, when make their way into the body, attacks the immune system.
Black Mold Poisoning Symptoms
- Abdominal pain
- Altered immunity
- Body aches and muscle pains
- Bruising easily
- Burning in mouth, and throat
- Coated tongue
- Common cold
- Dandruff problems (chronic)
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Dirt-like taste in mouth
- Face flushing intermittently
- Food allergies
- Frequent bloody nose
- Frequent infections
- Hair loss
- Infertility (long term side effect)
- Irregularity in blood pressure
- Irritability, mood swings
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Itching of nose, runny or stuffy nose
- Lack in concentration
- Memory problems
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Nose or throat irritation
- Open skin sores and lacerations
- Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome (ODTS)
- Pitting up mucous
- Poor appetite
- Prolonged muscle cramps and joint pain
- Puffy or droopy eyes
- Rashes, hives on skin
- Reddening of eyes
- Respiratory difficulties
- Sensitivity to smells/odors
- Sneezing fits
- Unexplained fevers
- Watery eyes
Ways to Treat Black Mold Poisoning
The best treatment is to take measures to avoid any further exposure. For this, either you may make use of a few home remedies to get rid of the mold colonies, or you may have to go for a professional help. However, for the symptoms, you can avail certain medications after consulting a chemist about your discomfort. Most people find relief from using nasal corticosteroids, as they help in reducing inflammation and swelling of the sinus passages – common symptoms of toxic black mold exposure.
Itching, sneezing and runny nose are the classic symptoms of black mold poisoning. For their treatment, antihistamines do a good job. When the body encounters an allergic reaction produced by the black mold, it releases a chemical known as histamines. And this is why, symptoms such as itching, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, etc. occur. So what antihistamines do is, they block the secretion of the chemical, and relieves all these symptoms.
Decongestants can also be availed in the form of liquids, tablets and nasal sprays. These can be obtained over the counter or through prescription. As you must be aware, these medications help in providing relief from nasal congestion, which are also common for black mold exposure to cause in people. Rinsing the nose with over-the-counter nasal spray helps in clearing the nasal passages, lessening the production of mucus, and relieving pain and discomfort.
So these are some common medications you may use to treat the symptoms of black mold exposure. However, the symptoms caused by this substance are so many in number that, you may need more than these medications. But again, if you hit the core of the problem, then it is most likely that you would recover from all such symptoms.
So here are a couple of home remedies to deal with the pesky black fungi in your house:
- Get some vinegar, an empty spray bottle, soapy water, a hard scrubber, and a few washcloths. Also, wear a face mask and a pair of rubber gloves. To begin with, fill the bottle with the vinegar, and spray it all over the mold-infested surface. Spray it generously, and ensure that you leave no spot untouched. Now after you are done spraying it, you would have to wait for about an hour, to let the vinegar do its work.
In the mean time, you can locate other places which are associated with warmth and moisture, to look for signs for black mold. Post one hour, start scrubbing the moldy surface, and dislodge the colonies. If you are doing it right, then you would find that the surface is getting cleaner. Thereafter, wash the place with the soapy water, and then with clean water. Wipe it with a washcloth, and wipe it again with another washcloth. The idea is to help the surface dry. If you wish, you can also make use of a hair blower.
- There is another method that is similar to the above one, except for a change in one ingredient. It is tea tree oil in place of vinegar. An additional advantage with this oil is, its scent would help dispel the moldy smell in the area.
And once you are done with getting rid of the black mold, you must concentrate on fixing all the water problems in your house. And the best person to look for this, would be a plumber. Also you must realize the importance of keeping your house well ventilated. Foul air encourages mold growth, while air that is circulating all the time, inhibits it. So better keep the windows in your bathroom open, and possibly all the ones in your house.
And to conclude this article, if you see that the infestation is way out of your hands, then do not hesitate to spend a few bucks on hiring a professional to clean the problem out of your house for good.