There seems to be a few different answers for this depending on who you talk to. Let’s review a few things and clarify what toxic mold actually is.
To some extent this can be considered a misnomer. Meaning it is not labeled correctly. It is more accurate to say ‘toxigenic mold’. This is said since many molds produce what are called ‘mycotoxins’ which are generally produced by a mold to fight other molds that are in the area. These mycotoxins are many times on the outside of the mold spores produced by the various molds. The spores, of course, are the ‘seeds’, if you will, that mold grows from once it gets a water source.
Mycotoxins can affect people’s health. Much of it depends on how much of this is inhaled and the immune system of the person. People can develop sensitivities to various molds and mycotoxins over a period of time. Some people are immediately affected by these.
Black toxic mold that many people have heard of has come from one type of mold called Stachybotrys which has several species in it. This type of mold has gotten the reputation of not being very friendly to people. And the color is generally black. But you need to know that there are many other mold types that are black, not just Stachybotrys. And not all of species of the Stachybotrys type are ‘unfriendly’ to people. But since on initial examination the lab cannot identify the species we generally have to consider ‘Stachybotrys’ types as a whole as potentially dangerous.
Keep in mind that we breath in mold spores all the
time from the outside and some of these are invariably Stachybotrys and we are not necessarily affected by them usually because it is not a large number we inhale.
There are some 5.1 million species of mold and about 100,000 types of mold. The most important aspect of most any mold is that we don’t want to breath in too much as that can overwhelm our lung alveoli and with any mycotoxins present can potentially adversely affect our health. That is why it is important to address any possible leaks in our homes quickly so mold and bacteria do not have a chance to grow and potentially affect our health.
If you are unsure if you have a mold problem then have the home inspected by a professional with the proper credentials. And see your Doctor to address your health concerns.