Folks, remember “Toxic” Black Mold is just a name. All black molds are not necessarily toxic.
The genus of Stachybotrys Chartarum is what is often referred to as toxic black mold. The mold itself is not necessarily toxic, but it can secrete “mycotoxins.” Mycotoxins are simply poisons produced by a fungus.
There are a lot of different fungi, and they create a wide variety of mycotoxins. But even if a fungus is not a mycotoxin-creating species, a person may still be allergic, just as people are allergic to flowers, which are non-poisonous but still allergenic to susceptable individuals. NOT all fungus create mycotoxins. Some cause hallucinations, skin inflammation, liver damage, hemorrhages, miscarriage, convulsions, neurological disturbances, and/or death in livestock and humans but these are usually a specific type of mycotoxin called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are a complex of mycotoxins produced by species Aspergillus and have been related to liver disease and some consider the mycotoxin to be carcinogenic.
Mushrooms which create mycotoxins are not edible, and some closely resemble edible mushrooms.
If you find black mold in a house, it doesn’t matter if it is or is not toxic; it is probably allergenic regardless of the type.
Take safety precautions when cleaning it up. You may not need body armor or a full hazmat suit, but if you are going to brave cleanup yourself, bring along gloves and a mask and common sense. If it is a big job, get a professional. Sure, you can do it yourself, but you don’t want to accidentally spread it through your house by leaving your AC running while you clean-up, not cordoning off the area, or inadvertently spewing spores into the air. Note that spores spread when they are dry; and some professionals dampen them first with a bleach-water solution so they don’t spread. Never dampen with pure water, which can start the growth cycle. Removal must be a combined approach of killing and removing as much of the mold as possible.
If you’re in California, you might want to give us a call and see about getting an assessment from Byebyemold.