Of all the topics related to mold in our industry, nothing provokes the fire and garners more media attention than so-called Black Mold/Toxic Mold. But what is the REAL truth about black mold?
- Is toxic mold the same as black mold?
- Are all black molds toxic?
- Does the color of the mold really make a difference?
- Is black mold any more dangerous or safer than other color shades of mold such as white mold, green mold, red mold, just to name a few?
By the end of this short article, you will know all the answers to these questions.
Few topics get us more upset than seeing all the misinformation publicized about Black Mold (and mold in general) by unscrupulous companies and the zealous media who are more interested in sensationalism than fact reporting.
To put it bluntly, our industry is sadly full of bad bad bad information about mold, and especially about Black Mold. We see misinformed media reports all the time about Black Mold. We also hear story after story of someone getting taken advantage of by an immoral contractor or unscrupulous company who uses misinformation and scare tactics to take advantage of vulnerable customers who are given bad information about mold and Black Mold.
Mycotoxins & Toxicity
Media reports of Black Mold often refer to molds that can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), such as groups of molds known as Stachybotrys.
Mycotoxins will not always be produced when these types of mold are present. To put it another way, the presence of mold does not necessarily mean mycotoxins are present. The conditions needed for mycotoxins to be produced are not fully understood. Further, mycotoxins can be produced by other types of molds besides Stachybotrys and these molds are not always black.
In other words, the color of the mold to the naked eye cannot tell you anything about whether its toxic or not. With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it virtually impossible to tell what type of mold you have without a microscope and lab testing performed from a Mold Inspection and Testing.
Toxic mold can come in many colors (not just black) and black mold is not always toxic. Further, as noted above, certain conditions must be met for the toxins to be produced.
So as we can see from the above, the term Black Mold and its typical association is usually completely misunderstood. If you have visible mold or a suspected mold problem, our advice is always the same regardless of the color of the mold: Get rid of the mold. Whether you decide to personally get rid of the mold or hire a professional like Moldman to do so, be very careful and make sure currently accepted Mold Removal and Mold Remediation Principles and protocol are followed.
If you already see or smell mold, however, spending money on testing and inspections is usually unnecessary since all mold in the home, regardless of the color or species type, should be remediated and removed. And all mold, regardless of the color or species, should be remediated and removed following the same accepted Mold Removal Guidelines.