Many times people tell us they have seen black mould in their houses and they want to know the health effects associated with it. There are a number of moulds such as Alternaria, Cladosporium, Memnoniella, Ulocladium and a few others that may appear black. However, when people talk of black mould they often refer to Stachybotrys chartarum. In many cases black mould that people see in their kitchens, bathrooms, window sills, and ceiling tiles is not Stachybotrys chartarum. The only way to tell whether the black mould is Stachybotrys is through laboratory mould testing. In the laboratory the mould is examined by a qualified microbiologist or mycologist and identified. After identification, the lab may give information (if available) on the health effects associated with the identified mould. It is important that a laboratory with a qualified mycologist is used because if the mould is incorrectly identified, then the information provided would be misleading.
Health Effects Associated with Black Mould (Stachybotrys chartarum)
The scientific community is still divided on the health effects of indoor moulds. Some believe there is insufficient scientific evidence to prove Stachybotrys chartarum is the sole cause of health problems reported in various publications. Health effects often associated with Stachybotrys chartarum and a few other species of moulds include:
- Allergic reactions
- Chest tightness,
- Irritation of the mucous membrane,
- Pulmonary haemorrhage (breeding of lungs) in infants,
- Sore throats,
- Flue symptoms,
- Recurring colds,
- General malaise
Regardless of the health effects, extensive mould growth indoors could be an indication of an unhealthy living environment.
If you have a question regarding the health effects of black mould (Stachybotrys chartarum) please give us a call at 905-290-9101.