Q:

What health risks are associated with black mold?

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Quick Answer

Black mold causes both mental health and physical risks, including causing confusion, dizziness, shortness of breath, respiratory issues, damage to vision and irritations to the skin. Any direct exposure to the mold can be harmful to health, and must be treated by a doctor, states the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Full Answer

Mold that is black in color is in a group called Stachybotrys, a type of fungus. The spores of the fungi produce slime, and the particular type that appears black in color is called S. Chartarum. This particular type of mold is very toxic and is a result of water damage in homes and other buildings. Some doctors believe that toxic molds, such as the S. Chartarum, play a hand in more serious illnesses, such as cancer, although this has yet to be proven as of 2015.

Due to the serious nature of exposure to black fungus, medical attention is always recommended if contact occurs. Simply touching or breathing in the spores can have negative effects on the body. While the effects of such fungi are still being studied, the fungi remains to be classified as dangerous, reports the World Health Organization. Removal and cleansing of affected house areas is also recommended right away to prevent ongoing illness. However, most illness caused by the spores is treatable and doesn't become serious unless exposure to the mold is prolonged.

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