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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.

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.

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
Phone: (805) 338-6653

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