By Alli Earnest and Alane Palmer, ND, CNC
About a year ago I was reaching down to plug something into the wall and noticed the edge of the carpet was black. My immediate thought was BLACK MOLD! I panicked, called up a mold specialist, and went to the internet all the while realizing that if it were black mold, it would be all over the inside of my house. Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, itself is not toxic, but it is toxigenic meaning it produces toxins. These toxins are known to cause upper respiratory tract issues ranging from coughing and wheezing to more severe reactions for long-term exposure like blindness, brain damage, long-term memory loss and, cancer. Like most infections, the symptoms for mold are worse for people with weakened immune systems including asthmatics, children, and the elderly.
While I was waiting for the specialist to inspect my carpets, I searched other common areas for mold around my house like the shower walls and ceiling, under the sink, and around the air conditioning units. For those wondering about the mold on your shower curtains, that is almost always not black mold because it needs a wet cellulose material to grow on like paper, cardboard wood, drywall or…ahem, carpet.
Fortunately for us, the mold specialist showed up the next day and determined that our case wasn’t mold but was the result of our air-conditioning pushing air down the wall and the carpet acting as a filter over the years and collecting dust and debris to give off a black appearance. Even if you have a specialist inspect your house for mold, that doesn’t mean you haven’t been exposed to it. Mold spores are everywhere outdoors, indoors, your house, place of work, restaurants, and so on, and you breathe it in without even realizing it. Once it gets inside our body, it can even continue to grow!
There are TWO ways to test yourself to see if you have mold or if you are reacting to it.
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Medical disclaimer: Our test kits cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.