What is black mould? “Black mould” does not refer to a single type of mould. Many black moulds in the house can appear black especially at advanced stage of growth when the mould produces dark pigmented spores. Some of the moulds in the house that appear black include Aspergillus niger, Ulocladium species, Cladosporium species, Memnoniella species and Stachybotrys species. Black mould is erroneously used to refer to Stachybotrys.
Is black mould in the house a health hazard? The colour of a mould does not determine whether it’s a health hazard or not. For example, a number of species of Aspergillus are not black yet they produce highly potent toxins and/or are highly allergenic. All moulds regardless of their colour should be considered as potentially hazardous if found growing in occupied spaces (in houses or offices), on food or feed.
Mould is everywhere, outside and inside. However, black mould is common in water damaged buildings especially behind dry wall, on wood, carpet, basically anywhere. Mould is not meant to grow in abundance buildings… so one’s chronic exposure can cause debilitating symptoms.
Mould is able to grow on almost any surface if proper conditions are there. Mould growth is a problem that can stick around forever if not treated properly the first time. Mould growth is an indicator of moisture problem and it is very easy to see in areas that have excess moisture.
Black mould may cause different forms of allergy, chronic bronchitis and asthma. It may induce asthma and cause asthmatic flare-ups in those who already have the condition.
The following statements frequently appearing on the internet are false or unsubstantiated:
- Black mould is the only one of the common indoor moulds that is known to cause health problems.
- Black mould is the most common type found in the home.
- Black mould can also attack the mucous membrane and bring on frequent nose bleeds.
- Black mould has been linked to headaches, difficulty concentrating, chronic sinus infections and dizziness.
Mould can be spread by pets, heating systems, and air conditioning systems. Although mould can be destructive, it can also beneficial in that it helps in the breakdown of organic matter thus recycling nutrients. Mould can survive in much cooler or warmer temperatures, but it reproduces most rapidly when it’s warm. Mould will continue to be an issue with homeowners. Mould has certainly been hyped by the media and often with a lot of false information.