What are the hazards of black mold to an unborn fetus?


Quick Answer

Although there is no proven link between pregnancy loss and the inhalation of toxigenic molds such as black mold, animal studies using mice have shown that mold toxins can negatively affect fetal development, as stated by Mold & Bacteria Consulting Laboratories. Pregnant women should avoid exposure whenever possible.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, research shows that oral ingestion of Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, causes a decreased frequency of pregnancy in mice and an increase in resorbed, stunted and dead fetuses, according to Mold & Bacteria Consulting Laboratories. However, it is unlikely that the inhalation of black mold directly exposes a human fetus to the spores. When inhaled in large amounts, black mold can cause health problems such as breathing difficulties, skin rashes or an allergic reaction with symptoms similar to hay fever. Those with the greatest risk of developing these health issues include children, elderly individuals, pregnant women and individuals with compromised immune systems. Those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies and sinusitis are also at a greater risk.

Individuals who discover mold in the home or office should test it to discover if it is black mold, as encouraged by Mold & Bacteria Consulting Laboratories. They should work with disposable gloves and either a mask or a breathing filter, ensuring no skin is exposed before cutting off a piece of clear tape and pressing it onto visible mold growth. After removing the tape, they can place it in a zip-top bag and label where it was found before sending it to a laboratory for testing.

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