Microbial growth contributes to the ecosystem by secreting enzymes that facilitate the decomposition of organic matter. Some types of mold help fertilize the soil and nourish vegetation outdoors. Mold can be beneficial when introduced on purpose in places and situations where they are needed. Anywhere else, and they are more likely to cause harm than good.
Mold can be harmful when it begins to grow uncontrollably in your home. If you discover a substantial growth, and it appears black, it’s best to call specialists for mold remediation in Chicago North Shore at once. Black mold is a known toxic mold that can be dangerous to health, especially for children and pets.
What Is Black Mold?
Black mold or Stachybotrys Chartarum propagates by releasing tiny, invisible spores in the air that can cling to clothing, shoes, and animal fur. The spores will grow and spread as black mold if they land in a spot that has the perfect growing conditions:
- Wet or moist surfaces
- High humidity (at least 70 percent)
- Temperature is between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Organic material as a food source (ex: wood, paper, food crumbs)
Unfortunately, a house has many rooms and spots that fulfills these requirements: bathrooms, kitchens, basements, attics, cupboards, even corners and walls hidden behind large and heavy pieces of furniture. Considering the speed of its growth, black mold can proliferate undetected in the hidden areas of your home. By the time you discover this type of mold, you will need to call experts in mold remediation in Chicago North Shore to get rid of the microbial growth.
Children Are Vulnerable to Black Mold
Why is black mold dangerous? It releases mycotoxins that are dangerous when ingested. Although there is not enough scientific evidence that links inhaling black mold mycotoxins to deadly diseases, medical professionals warn that people with weak immune systems or who are sensitive to known allergens will be vulnerable when exposed to black mold. The risk is higher in young children, whose immune systems are still in the process of maturing and strengthening.
How does black mold affect children’s health? First of all, individuals react differently to mold. Secondly, certain factors affect how severe the symptoms will be or how long a person experiences them:
- Method of exposure
- Amount of mold
- Duration of exposure
Children with weak immunity are more susceptible to the detrimental effects of black mold. Some might instantly show symptoms if inhaled or touched the mold. Those with more robust immune systems won’t be as affected, especially if they only touched but didn’t inhale mold spores (and washed off the fungi with a disinfectant soap).
The duration and amount of exposure also matter. A quick, one-time exposure may have zero impact on a child’s health, but exposure to many mold spores at one time or over a long period may result in serious health issues.
These factors can affect what symptoms children experience, how intense, and how long.
The Effects of Black Mold on Children’s Health
Children with reasonable sensitivity who are exposed to black mold may experience some short-term effects:
- Nasal congestion or irritation
- Difficulty breathing
- Water, itchy, or red eyes
- Blurry vision
- Coughing, wheezing
- Sore throat
- Asthma attacks
- Skin irritation, redness, or rash
Children who are prone to primary immunodeficiency (a disorder that weakens the immune system) or have been repeatedly exposed to black mold (i.e., black mold grew undetected for months in their home) may, unfortunately, suffer long-term health problems with prolonged or repeated exposure to black mold:
- Chronic sinusitis
- Chronic fatigue
- Acquired mold allergy
- Increased susceptibility to asthma / developed asthma
- Increased risk of contracting upper and lower respiratory diseases
- Legionnaires’ Disease
- Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
- Memory loss
- Inability to focus
- Organ damage
The long-term effects of mold on children’s health can be significant. If a child shows any short-term symptoms without apparent reason, mold could be the culprit. It’s best to take them to a doctor as soon as possible – and in the meantime, enlist a professional to check for the possibility of a mold infestation in your home.
The Effects of Black Mold On Your Pets’ Health
Domestic animals can also experience health problems due to black mold exposure. In many ways, they are more at risk because they can sniff and crawl into tight corners and dark, damp spaces – right into the areas where black mold might be growing. If your pet dogs or cats love to roam all over your home, they are at high risk of inhaling and ingesting a large amount of black mold and its spores.
Pets who accidentally eat and inhale large amounts of black mold spores will show the same symptoms humans do: sneezing, wheezing, watery and red eyes, runny nose, difficulty breathing, and apparent discomfort.
Here are some of the severe long-term effects that you need to watch out for:
- Uncharacteristic fatigue
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Fur loss (due to itchiness and constant scratching)
- Red skin, sores, or rash
- Loss of appetite
- Chills and shaking
- Odd behavior or irregular movements (neurological and motor control problems)
Pets depend solely on their owners for care and medical attention. Consult your veterinarian if your pet is experiencing respiratory distress and intense allergic reactions.
Call Restoration 1 for Mold Remediation in Chicago North Shore
Our family’s health is our number one priority – and for many of us, that includes the four-legged household members. So keep a watchful eye on the areas prone to microbial growth, and at the first sign of mold, call our experts in mold remediation in Chicago North Shore.
Restoration 1 of Chicago North Shore specializes in mold remediation and property restoration. We have highly trained and certified technicians, carpenters, and engineers – all working together to ensure your home is safe, structurally sound, and properly rid of black mold.
Call Restoration 1 of Chicago North Shore at (847) 713-1951 to schedule a consultation. You may also get in touch via our contact form.