My law firm is contacted at least 25 times every year by a homeowner or parent worried that mold is contaminating their home. Mostly, they are worried about the possibility that “black mold” is in their home.
“Black mold” is often found in warm, humid, damp areas of a home, which have a source of moisture. Basements, crawl spaces.
It has a long, fancy, scientific-sounding name- “Stachybotrys chartarum”-which unnecessarily complicates its detection. Just remember this: “black mold” is black. Jet black. Other kinds of mold may be grey or greenish in color.
Black mold becomes a problem for human health when it feeds on dampened materials like drywall, carpeting or insulation and then releases spores. When spores enter the human body through the mouth or nose, they can provoke coughing; sneezing; irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; rashes; fatigue; and headaches. Note that these are the milder symptoms, usually caused by shorter term exposure to mold spores.
The good news for most is that these symptoms are diminished and then eliminated by separating the affected person from the mold, and making sure he/she receives the proper treatment from a doctor.
However, prolonged exposure to mold can produce more serious health effects, some of which can endure, for example: “lethargy, dizziness, memory loss and even infertility”. Obviously, anyone exposed to mold for a significant period of time, especially if they are exhibiting any of these symptoms, should see a doctor immediately.