Stachybotrys toxic mold hasn’t been well studied but is often considered an allergen and toxigenic. Stachybotrys is not pathogenic.
- Allergen: coughing and sniffles
- Toxigenic: young, sick, and elderly
- Pathogenic: everyone
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To grow, Stachybotrys needs a constant water source; think pinhole sized water supply line leak behind a wall from a refrigerator. Like all molds, Stachybotrys needs food; it loves sheetrock, but not plaster. Stachybotrys can grow on the dust film of plaster, as well as all other cellulose-containing materials.
You will find this mold in soil, decaying plants, decomposing cellulose, leaf litter, and seeds. Stachybotrys growth flourishes in manure. The wind carries these spores as do raindrops, water that splashes from the mold reservoir, and insect.
The mold reservoirs created by the growth of Stachybotrys is gelatinous like Jello. It spreads much more easily when the cellulose it’s growing on becomes dry. Then when that cellulose material, like sheetrock, is moved the airborne spore counts can rise by 1000%.
The takeaway: If you move your refrigerator or dishwasher and see any kind of discoloration STOP. Call us or another mold professional.
Along with hay fever and asthma, Stachybotrys produces Macrocyclic trichothecenes which include:
- verrucarin J
- roridin E
- satratoxin F
- G & H, sporidesmin G
These toxins can produce a condition known as Stachybotrys mycotoxicosis. This is characterized by dermatitis, cough, rhinitis, itching or burning sensation in mouth, throat, nasal passages and eyes. The best-described toxicoses are from domestic animals that have eaten contaminated hay and straw or inhaled infected material from contaminated bedding. Many human reports of Stachybotrys toxicosis are anecdotal. Stachybotrys mycotoxicosis is currently the subject of toxin research.
Areas subject to temperature fluctuations with relative humidity above 55% are ideal for toxin production. The spores die quickly when they are airborne. The dead spores are still allergenic and toxigenic. Individuals with chronic exposure to the toxin produced by the fungus reported cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, intermittent local hair loss, and generalized malaise. The toxins produced by the fungus will suppress the immune system affecting the lymphoid tissue and the bone marrow. Animals injected with the toxin from the fungus exhibited the following symptoms: necrosis and hemorrhage within the brain, thymus, spleen, intestine, lung, heart, lymph node, liver, and kidney. Effects of absorption of the toxin in the human lung are known as pneumocystosis. Cutaneous absorption has caused mild symptoms.
Additional information can be found at EMLab Fungal Library.
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