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What are Some Black Mold Symptoms?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There is considerable dispute even among respected medical facilities about the degree to which people should be concerned regarding black mold symptoms. It can first be stated clearly, that anyone allergic to mold is likely to have severe allergic reactions in the presence of black mold. Another agreed upon point is the black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, can be toxic when eaten. In many cases, people don’t know it’s present in their homes. It has not been made clear that airborne black mold is fundamentally life threatening, though there is enough evidence to suggest that it can be dangerous, particularly to infants, children, and those with impaired respiratory systems or immune systems; it is also particularly challenging to anyone who is truly allergic to molds.

There are a number of “black mold symptoms” or those symptoms associated with exposure to this mold. Not all people get these symptoms and not all people get all of them. Some of the most common include headache, trouble breathing, development or increase in asthma symptoms, runny nose, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, teary eyes, and cough. Some people have complained of stomach discomfort or digestive system problems too.

A few other black mold symptoms are not reported by everyone. Yet some people have discussed things like losing memory or concentration ability or they may feel extremely tired and have dizziness. In some instances blood pressure problems are reported as one of the symptoms of black mold, or there is also discussion of how black mold might affect sexuality, fertility and the urinary tract. The belief that black mold exposure is even linked to a condition that can make babies bleed in their lungs is very scary, though again, connection isn’t fully established.

It’s clear that getting rid of black mold might be very important to provide a healthier living space. When some people talk of black mold symptoms what they are really asking is how to find it in a home. Here, they should follow guidelines for looking for any kind of mold. Check for moldy or musty smells, hold suspect any stains on the walls, be warier of mold if surfaces are wet or damp (and especially check moisture-laden places in the home), and stay tuned in with how people in the home are reacting through health conditions. Chronic allergies or breathing difficulties can be a sign of mold present. If black mold is found, most people need to hire someone to remove it, and there are plenty of people licensed to do so that can be found in the phone book.

Yet the very term toxic black mold may be part of the problem and may enhance fear. Mold can be problematic, but the whole list of black mold symptoms aren’t experienced by everyone and the issue may start to create a lot of anxiety. Having a chat with a family doctor about what to do if black mold is found may be helpful, since doctors usually have the most current information on how the medical profession perceives this risk, and can answer questions people have that are specific to any ailments they might possess. Moreover many of these symptoms can suggest other health conditions, so having a doctor’s exam could be important to insuring future health, especially if mold exposure isn’t the likely cause.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By pj5712 — On Nov 11, 2019

At work I sit next to a wall that I recently discovered had been wet and had lines of something black dripping down it. I mentioned this to management and the black lines were cleaned off but the crumbling, bubbled wall is still there. If the wall is now dry, is the mold inside the wall still dangerous? I was having horrible breathing problems (I have asthma) which have subsided since I now am wearing a paper mask at work.

By SteamLouis — On Jul 18, 2014

I think children are particularly affected by mold, and specifically black mold. My poor niece became very ill from black mold. Her parents did not even realize that there was black mold inside the house. It had grown in the corners of walls in the basement and no one noticed. But it was enough to make my niece sick who developed severe allergies and fatigue that would not response to anything. Medications did not work and she was getting worse by the day.

Then, her doctor asked about mold and after an inspection of the house, they discovered the black mold and had it removed and cleaned immediately. My niece's symptoms went away soon afterward.

By discographer — On Jul 18, 2014

@fify-- There is something called "toxic mold syndrome." I think that's what you meant. Toxic shock syndrome is something else.

I'm not a doctor, but as far as I understand, some of the symptoms mentioned in this article can be symptoms (or the beginnings) of toxic mold syndrome. Black mold seems to have several different types of effects. It can affect respiration and cause headaches and nausea. It may affect the skin if spores get on skin. They can also cause mental confusion.

But these symptoms are severe and people who are very sensitive to this fungi and are exposed to it persistently during a long period of time may develop them. So toxic mold syndrome is not all too common, but it does happen.

By fify — On Jul 17, 2014

Can black mold lead to death or something like toxic shock syndrome?

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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