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What are the health effects of black mold on children?

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Quick Answer

Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is linked to respiratory illness in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children with allergies and asthma are more much more likely to develop symptoms from indoor mold exposure.

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Full Answer

Stachybotrys chartarum is a greenish-black fungus that grows on cellulose products such as wallboard, wood and lint. For mold growth to occur, a surface must contain some level of moisture at all times, notes the CDC. Because all molds must be removed with the same safety precautions, there is no need to identify which type of mold is present.

Molds are not poisonous, but some do produce toxic spores. Mold spores are released at very low levels, and Stachybotrys chartarum is no more harmful than any other mold, states the CDC.

Infants, children and the elderly are most likely to suffer from symptoms of exposure, points out WebMD. Long-term inhalation may cause lung scarring, but recovery is possible if the mold is removed. If a child has shortness of breath, runny nose, a cough, and throat and eye irritation, an allergy test for mold should be considered. If the test is positive, a thorough search of the home for water damage is recommended in order to locate the mold.

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