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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.

Mold Poisoning in Cats and Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

When mold rears its ugly head in our homes it threatens every member of the household. This includes our non-human, four-legged pets – namely our cats and dogs. However, unlike the human members of our families, our pets cannot always express to us exactly what ails them in a way that we can understand. Thus, it is important to recognize the signs of exposure in our pets and to know that treatment does exist for our furry friends in the event they become exposed to mold.

Symptoms

As discomforting as it may be, it can be far easier for our pets to become exposed to mold than it is for us to be. After all, they can move around in tight, remote corner of the home, do not recognize mold as a danger and can come into contact with it as they explore their world. In other words, they can easily lick, brush up against and inhale all kinds of mold without the capacity to understand the dangers that such actions cause. Therefore, as caring owners we should recognize these signs of mold exposure in our pets.

  • Respiratory distress: This includes difficult or rapid breathing, nasal discharge, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, lethargy and in severe cases, bleeding from the nose and/or mouth
  • Gastrointestinal distress: This includes vomiting, sudden stool changes, etc.
  • Physical irritation: Depending on the kind of mold your pet is exposed to, the signs of physical distress can include scratching, chewing, licking or biting at itchy areas of the body. If the distress is great enough, it may even lead to sores and fur loss.cats and dogs

Treatment for Mold Exposure

Of course, if you have discovered that your pet has been exposed to toxic mold rest assured that there are treatments that can be effective. Your vet will give you greater detail on this but natural detoxifying agents such as glutathione, NAC, artichoke extract can help in some cases. However, don’t try these treatments until you have taken your pet to a veterinarian and he/she recommends you use these medications.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe from Mold

Of course, prevention is always the wisest course to take when it comes to mold exposure. Thus, we recommend cleaning your pets’ toys, bowls, etc. on a daily basis and having your home inspected for mold by professionals. Professionals can detect mold on a microscopic level. Our company also does water damage in Thousand Oaks as well as flood damage restoration in Thousand Oaks. So, be safe. Protect all the members of your family.

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