Black mold and associated health effects are frequently on the news making the public more concerned about mold health effects. People are worried whenever they see black mold growth either in their home, school or office. We often get questions such as “Is black mold or toxic mold making me sick?” or “How can I tell if black mold in my house is toxic or not?” As we have mentioned before, the colour of mold does not determine whether a mold is a health hazard or not. Not all molds (regardless of colour) are toxigenic or allergenic. The only way to tell if a mold is toxigenic or not is to have it tested by a qualified mycologist (someone who has specialized in mold biology).
Health Effects Associated With Black Mold
Some of the illnesses associated with mold growth in homes or offices include:
- lower respiratory symptoms
- respiratory infections such as aspergilloses
- allergic diseases, including allergic asthma and bronchitis
- non-inflammatory, nonspecific symptoms, such as eye and skin irritation, fatigue, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
An Inexpensive Method to Test if You Are Exposed to Toxic Black Mold or Not
If you see mold growth you may want to have it tested so that you are sure of the type of mold you are dealing with. It doesn’t have to be black mold. Testing for visible mold growth is easy and inexpensive. To have the mold tested you can use the Mold Tape Slide™. The procedure for taking the samples is simple and takes very little time. If you would want to order these tape slides and test the mold growth in your home or office, click Mold Tape Slide™.
Taking mold samples using the MOLD TAPE SLIDE™
- Wear suitable gloves. If you are likely to disturb the mold, you should also wear a mask since you don’t want to inhale excessively high amounts of spores.
- Record the sample number on the slide label. For example:
- Sample #1 or Tape #1.
- Peel off seal from slide to expose adhesive (see the words “Peel Here”).
- Place sticky side of slide onto the surface with visible mold growth and press gently.
- Place slide back into plastic snap-case (remember you don’t need to replace the seal).
- Repeat the same procedure for any other sample you wish to take.
- Once you have taken all the samples, complete the Mold Analysis Request Form.Provide information on where the samples were collected, for example:
- Tape #1: Basement, west wall
- Tape #2: Windowsill, kids bedroom
- Tape #3: Ceiling tile, kitchen
- Tape #4: Under counter, bathroom.
- Enclose samples in an envelope for sending by post or courier. Click Mold Testing Laboratory for more details about the Mold Tape Slide™ and for where to send the samples.