The words Stachybotrys chartarum might sound like something out of a horror movie, but this is simply the Latin or scientific name for black mold, one of the most common types of dangerous molds that occur in homes after flooding. Unlike some common molds, Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold has been linked to significant health problems in sensitive people.
THE BASICS OF MOLD
Molds are very common and grow anywhere there happens to be enough moisture to support them. They prefer dark, moist environments but can actually latch on to any source of moisture, even in brightly-lit areas. For example, if you have ever left an orange out on the counter too long, you probably noticed a light-green fuzzy mold growing on it. This type of mold wafts through the air and lights on a surface, such as your orange, that has enough moisture to support it. It then begins to grow and eventually releases spores into the air that repeat the cycle.
The most common household molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. These molds usually do not cause reactions in people, although they can certainly ruin food, textiles and other objects. However, they are not associated with the health risks of Stachybotrys chartarum.
WHY IS STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM SO DANGEROUS?
Stachybotrys chartarum, which is also known as Stachybotrys atra, is attracted to surfaces that contain low nitrogen and high cellulose levels. This describes most paper, fiberboard, gypsum board and wall board in homes and businesses. Stachybotrys chartarum grows particularly rapidly on these surfaces, and is often found in out-of-the-way areas where it is not visible. This means that, if your home floods, you could have a Stachybotrys chartarum infestation and not be aware of the fact.
People with allergies can be highly sensitive to mold, especially Stachybotrys chartarum. People with suppressed immune systems are also at high risk. Stachybotrys chartarum has been linked to serious asthma attacks, skin reactions and other health issues. Sometimes, the health issues appear before the home or business owners realize they have a mold problem, making it difficult for doctors to diagnose the cause.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE MOLD?
Any type of mold outbreak should be considered serious, particularly if there is a chance that Stachybotrys chartarum is involved. Call the professionals at J&M Keystone in San Diego, and we will help you solve your mold problems quickly and simply.
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