What are the health hazards of black mold?


Quick Answer

Exposure to black mold might result in allergy symptoms, immunosuppression or cancer, according to class notes from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Symptoms and the severity of the reaction vary for each individual.

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Full Answer

Black mold, also called Stachybotrys atra or S. chartarum, is a type of mold that produces toxins that easily absorb into the skin, airways and intestines, explains the University of Minnesota. Some allergy symptoms possibly caused by black mold and other indoor molds include sinus congestion, headaches, sore throat, nosebleeds and skin and eye irritation. In addition to the allergic reactions that can be caused by any mold, research suggests that the toxins from black mold may also cause cancer, renal toxicity, neurotoxicity and pulmonary fibrosis.

Individuals with asthma may have their asthma triggered by exposure to mold, advises the Environmental Protection Agency. Individuals who have prolonged exposure to molds or a strong reaction to mold might experience fever, obstructive lung disease or mold infections in the lungs.

Mold exposure might also contribute to the development of asthma in children, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Black mold is also suspected of causing acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in infants, although this relationship has not been proven.

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