Mold in the News Headlines

Deadly Black Mold Infests the Headlines

A new and rapidly growing hazard has been spotted in the headlines these days. Mold—deadly black mold, more specifically—is popping up in local evening news programs, national publications, and radio news reports.  Stories about illnesses related to mold infestations and lawsuits over damages from mold-infested buildings are spreading through the media, raising awareness about the potential dangers of black mold, otherwise known as stachybotrys atra or stachybotrys chartarum.

Black mold is one of the rare varieties of toxigenic molds, one that releases mycotoxin particles into the air. Black mold isn’t always black. It’s typically slimy and white at first, turning darker over time. There are millions of different kinds of mold, or moulds, and it’s nearly impossible to tell what kind is present in your home based on the color. The only way to tell for sure what is black mold and what isn’t is to have a professional test completed using air and surface samples. Toxic mold can cause serious health problems for people who are exposed to high concentrations of it. Short-term effects include allergy and flu-like symptoms, …

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Mold versus Asbestos

Mold vs. Asbestos

Mold and asbestos are two potential household hazards that receive plenty of attention from the media. News stories and articles about mold illnesses, asbestos lawsuits, and, of course, mold and asbestos removal are all over the headlines these days. But are black mold symptoms worse than asbestos diseases? Which airborne pollutant infects the lungs faster? Which one is easier to remediate? This article will begin with some background about mold and asbestos and then compare and contrast their characteristics.

What is black mold?

Mold is a kind of fungus that can grow on just about any surface, in a wide range of environments. Although not every kind of mold has been identified and classified, some estimates put the number of different mold species in the hundreds of thousands. Most people are concerned about so-called “black mold,” or “toxic mold,” the scientific name of which is Stachybotrys chartarum (AKA Stachybotrys atra). Stachybotrys does look black in color most of the time, but it has been known to appear white or greenish. It grows on cellulose-rich surfaces, which includes common building materials, …

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