Most often black mold or stachybotrys chartarum does not cause side effects, although people who are sensitive to molds may develop nasal stuffiness, eye or skin irritation,and wheezing, explains the CDC. Limited evidence suggests that indoor mold exposure may be linked to respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.
The symptoms that some people experience after black mold exposure are caused by the mycotoxins that the mold produces, explains the CDC. This mycotoxin production is what classifies black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, toxigenic. There is no precise data on how common black mold is indoors, but it's less common than other molds. While toxigenic molds have been found in homes, reports of exposure causing memory loss or pulmonary hemorrhage have not been proven and are rare.
The Institute of Medicine found sufficient evidence in 2004 of a link between indoor mold exposure and upper respiratory tract symptoms, wheezing and cough in healthy people, cites the CDC. It also linked mold exposure to asthma symptoms among asthma sufferers and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The American Lung Association explains that hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an inflammation of the lungs after breathing in fungus-containing allergens.
Black mold is greenish-black, states MedicineNet.com. It grows on high-cellulose content surfaces, including paper, wood, dust, lint and fiberboard. The mold thrives in humid, warm and damp environments.
Fever and shortness of breath can occur when a person is exposed to large amounts of mold, states the CDC. Normally this occurs in farm workers or in other occupational scenarios. Furthermore, people who have chronic lung diseases are more susceptible to fungal infection of the lungs. As of 2015, there is no proven connection between stachybotrys chartarum and acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in infants.
The CDC does not suggest that black mold is cause for extra precautionary measures and lists instructions for removal of mold from the home.
To clean mold from hard surfaces, including black mold, a person may use soap and water, a bleach solution that contains one cup of bleach per gallon of water or special commercial products, states the CDC. Bleach must not be mixed with ammonia or any other type of household cleaner. Mold in carpeting, insulation or wallboard cannot be removed. These types of items must be thrown away and replaced. Additionally, a person who has mold in their home also has a problem with water or moisture, and this issue must be addressed.