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A Brief History Of Black Mold (Stachybotrys Chartarum)

Given all the recent news stories and hysteria about Black mold, many people believe that this problem sprung into being overnight. But, just as with anything that exists, there is a history behind the origins of this household health threat. Here is a brief history of black mold throughout the ages.

Black Mold in Biblical Times

Yes. Black mold goes back at least that far. In fact, in the Old Testament Book of Leviticus the Bible gives instructions on how to eliminate toxic mold. It says that any house with “defiling” mold should be taken away from civilization and that anyone exposed to it should bathe thoroughly. Here is an excerpt from Leviticus 14: “The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mold, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house.” Not quite the sophisticated methods we use today but it does show a very early acknowledgement of the problem by our forbearers.

Toxic Black Mold in Eastern Europe (1800s – 1900s)

Perhaps the person most closely associated with discovering toxic black mold in the modern era is Carl Joseph Corda, a Czech mycologist. Corda first described poisonous black mold in 1837 after he found it growing on the walls of his house in Prague. Later in the 1920’s, many Russian farm animals died from what appeared to be a mysterious disease that has since been linked to the presence of toxic black mold. At that time, the disease was called stachybotryotoxicosis.

Black Mold in Modern Timesblack mold

Toxic mold was first recognized as being a danger to human health in the 1940s. It caused disease in Russian farm workers who had been exposed to black mold from farm animals and their surrounding environment. The farm workers suffered from the same afflictions that were seen in their animals such as bleeding, fever, fatigue and respiratory difficulties. A few victims of black mold exposure even died at the time. Additionally, black mold is so toxic that it has been used as a biological weapon staring back in the Vietnam War. At the time, it was the key component to “Yellow Rain”. (This was a concentration of T-2 trichothecene mycotoxins which was harvested from toxic black mold.

Today

We’ve come a long way in our knowledge of black mold. We have technologies that can detect it in its most minute form. We have processes that can eliminate it and prevent it from becoming a danger to human health. Our company does mold cleanup Thousand in Oaks, in the aftermath of flood events. But mold remediation is only one component of what we do. We also do fire damage and smoke repair as well.

6 Holiday Fire Safety Tips: How to Stay Safe While you Celebrate

There are many in-home fire hazards over the Christmas season such as candles, fairy lights, trees, etc. In fact, statistics gathered by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that 30% of all home fire deaths occur during the months of December, January, and February. To help you protect your family this year, we have made this list of 6 things you can do to prevent home fires during the holiday season!

  • Christmas tree fire hazards: If you buy a natural Christmas tree make sure that it is fresh and green. To indicate this, the needles should be hard to pull away from the branches. If you purchase a natural tree that is brown and has needles that pull apart from the tree easily you are essentially placing a huge pile of kindling in your living room. Also, if you purchase an artificial tree – as many of us do – then purchase one that is labeled “fire resistant.”
  • Inspect your Christmas lights: Before plugging in your Christmas lights, inspect not only the bulbs but the strands as well. Throw away frayed or otherwise damaged wires and cracked/worn bulbs. Finally, make sure that you never overload the outlet you will be plugging your lights into.
  • Candle fires: What Christmas would be complete without warm, glowing candles? However, candles pose one of the greatest fire hazards of the season. Remember to extinguish candles before you go to sleep and to keep them far away from items they might ignite such as trees, decorations, curtains and furniture.
  • Space heaters: According to the US. Fire Administration (USFA), space heaters are behind 25% of all Christmas tree fires. Never place a space heater anywhere near your tree or near anything else that is flammable. Also, if you do use a space heater, make sure you buy one that has a safety cutoff feature to prevent overheating. holiday
  • Check your smoke detector batteries: Smoke detectors save lives. There is no doubt about it. Check the batteries in your smoke detector and test it before beginning your celebrations.
  • Cooking and baking: No holiday celebration would be complete without a feast. Just make sure to be extra careful when preparing those holiday meals as kitchen fires can start in an instant.

As experts in flood damage restoration in Thousand Oaks and water damage repair, we have seen all too often how the festive mood of Christmas can be ruined by one careless act. However, by following the above safety tips you can make it a truly wonderful time of year for all. And for more home fire safety tips visit the American Red Cross.

Why Mold Sometimes Returns

Mold is an unusual organism with special characteristics. It is aggressive, prolific and can often re-appear even after a homeowner’s best efforts to destroy it. It can reappear even after mold remediation has been performed by experts. So, what is the value of hiring mold cleanup in Thousand Oaks? Well, we can find mold even when it may escape detection by homeowners and our experience and equipment can make it far less likely to reappear after we have treated the area.

Déjà vu all Over Again

So, once mold appears many homeowners wonder why it is happening to them again. The simple answer – as we said – is that mold can be very persistent. However, it is a bit more complicated than that. Here are some other reasons why mold can sometimes reappear in homes and offices.

  • It was not completely removed in the first place: The danger of using DIY methods to remove mold is that they are usually quite incomplete. Mold can hide in a number of places around the home. Some of these places are not always obvious to homeowners. Thus, someone can believe they have removed all mold from their home when they indeed did not. We have equipment that can detect the presence of mold in the air. Most DIYers do not have access to such equipment.
  • The right solution was not used: Most people think that bleach alone can permanently destroy mold. This is not true. While mold may destroy surface mold in some cases, it is not effective in killing all mold particularly when it covers porous surfaces.
  • Moisture levels were not controlled: When you pull moisture out of the air mold is in effect suffocated. Mold requires moisture, warmth and a place to grow. Try using a de-humidifier after we have successfully performed mold remediation on your home.
  • Mold was spread during the cleanup process: The other danger that is created when non-professionals attempt mold removal is that they sometimes release microscopic particles into the air as they are attempting to remove mold. These particles can land elsewhere in the home and the problem can begin all over again. Moreover, airborne mold particles can enter the body through the nose, eyes or ears during this attempted cleanup.
  • Proper ventilation was not used: One way to decrease the chance that mold will reappear is to maintain proper ventilation all throughout your home. When you do, moisture levels and reduced meaning that mold will not have an environment in which to grow.house mold

At Conejo Restoration, we handle mold remediation right the first time! Moreover, our experience and the special equipment we use decreases the change that mold will make an unwanted re-appearance in your life. We also handle water damage repair and fire damage repair.

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Newbury Park, CA 91320
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