Dr. Straus is afraid, with good reason, of certain buildings in Texas. This professor from Texas Tech has a warning to pass along. His experience with Stachybotrys cautions us to be very careful of buildings that are infected with toxic black mold. In fact, wearing a moon suit is one of his recommendations in case we have to work in such a place.
Stachybotrys is a fungus that Dr. Straus knows all too much about. On spending just half an hour in a Texas home infested by black mold, he developed mold poisoning symptoms ?like vomiting and dizziness. Unfortunately, things didn’t end there. He suffered permanent hearing loss, which he attributes to the toxic effects of the black mold. ?There is no way to prove that Stachybotrys is the culprit. But the professor has no doubt about it.
Is black mold the new thug on the block?
In 1998, Dr. Straus conducted a study to show that people who work in certain buildings often present symptoms of toxic mold sickness when they are inside. Respiratory distress and skin rashes are common. These allergic symptoms are partly due to the airborne spores of the mold. But certain toxic substances produced by the mold, known as mycotoxins, are also involved. They can affect us in different ways causing a wide range of symptoms of mold poisoning. ‘Sick building syndrome’ is now considered a serious air quality issue in the United States.
Fungi reproduce by making spores that are released into the air. The mycotoxins are concentrated in these spores. On exposure to the spores of the black mold Stachybotrys Chartarum people may develop immediate reactions ranging from skin rashes and burning sensation in the eyes to more serious mold toxicity symptoms like sore throat, runny nose, headache and fatigue similar to that of a flu attack.
Who should be afraid of Mycotoxicoses?
Mycotoxicoses includes all the different kinds of illnesses caused by toxic molds and other fungi such as poisonous mushrooms. The severity of the mycotoxicosis symptoms due to mold exposure varies from person to person because different people react differently to the toxins in the mold spores. Recent studies have shown that most people are affected some way or other. Even animals are not spared. Pigs affected by a particular toxin called zearalenone are known to have stillbirths. It may render them infertile too.
Certain mycotoxins are carcinogenic. Some act as immunosuppressants. Lowered immunity may make the affected people susceptible to a host of other infections too. Some symptoms of mold exposure are temporary and subside when the source of exposure is removed. Others are long-term or even permanent.
To treat the various symptoms of mold mycotoxicosis, different treatment measures should be devised with the help of a health expert familiar with this problem. Many physicians misdiagnose the condition as the symptoms of mold mycotoxicosis vary. The source of the mycotoxin should be identified and removed. Even after recovery, further exposure should be avoided by staying clear of buildings with black mold infestation.