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Is this mold?

cigana

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Location
UK
Hi,
In my house I have "black stuff" in the corners of the rooms, between the walls and the ceilings. I painted over most of it when I moved in, but some still remains. I can't tell itf it's a type of mold or not (it kind of looks like dust, but it is more black than dust and sometimes appears in kind of spots that look a little like spores, but it is hard to tell).

Anyway, I've attached a photo, does anyone know whether this is mold or not?

Thanks

Edit: also found what I think is the same stuff on the toilet lid underside (sorry if this is a little gross), which I think definitely looks like mold.
 

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minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
That looks like mold to me but without testing it you won't know. THe first thing I would do is cover it with plastic so you don't inhale any of the spores while you figure it out. Painting over it obviously does nothing. You can use bleach to kill it but that is toxic to breath in. Also, if there is mold on the surface, it could also be behind the walls where you can't see.

Mold can't grow without a water source though, so was there a leak in that area?

I had a mold problem, I knew there was water intrusion and I used this kit.

http://www.amazon.com/5-Minute-Home...&qid=1387644937&sr=8-1&keywords=mold+test+kit

You can get an immediate result but also send in swabs for some additional money. I did that and it was worth it because it turned up black mold.

Or you can just call a mold guy for a ton more money to test it.
 

cigana

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Location
UK
Thanks for your reply minkeygirl.

I do not know if there was a leak before I moved into the apartment. But it is a bathroom, so I guess there is a lot of steam etc.

I have looked more and I think there is mold on the outside of the apartment which I would not be able to remove because it is too high, and I've found black-colored mold in every room, especially around outside doors and windows.

I was not aware mold can live under paint (obviously I've lived a naive existence ;) )? How can it produce toxins if it's been painted over, are they able to cross through the paint?
 

minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
I can't answer how it lives under paint but I've seen TV shows where people were sued because they painted over mold to hide it before a sale and it grew back.

Outside mold isn't an issue to your health. But you need to find out what kind of mold. That will determine the next step. If it's steam related it may not be Stachybotrys. Stachybotrys grows with repeated incidences of water.

Spray some bleach on some and see if it helps. But you still need to find out what kind of mold
 

cigana

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Location
UK
Well the same mold is found in other parts of my house that get wet, such as window sills and near outside doors, where there is no steam.
How can outside mold not be an issue?...I mean, if it is covering the outside walls and I have the windows open all day, isn't it possible that the toxins are entering the apartment?
 

minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
I'm not a mold specialist. It is rare to have toxic mold outside per the guy who tested my place after the mold was removed.

If it is leaking through the window seals then that has to be repaired then kill the mold.

And a lot of molds look the same but are not, so without testing, you have no way of knowing what is what When I did the test I showed you, it immediately showed Aspergillius and penicillium. It wasn't until I sent it samples to the lab that Stachybotrys showed up.
 

leela

Senior Member
Messages
3,290
Oh dear, @cigana, this is bad. From what you describe, and the photos, you have a serious mold problem.
I would consider relocating if I were you. That may sound drastic (and it is a huge pain) but I have had to do it several times myself due to mold.
Your home is essentially acting as a perpetual immune assault. I've just posted on your other thread, but I'll add here as well that you might want to look at some of @slayadragon 's threads to get further info.
 

leela

Senior Member
Messages
3,290
I had stachy, aspergillus and penicillium in the one house I actually tested. Aspergillus may be a common outdoor mold, but for the immunocompromised, and for those with genetic predisposition, it can be a real health problem. Same goes for penicillium.
 

cigana

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Location
UK
Thanks leela. I've been reading through slayadragon's threads with great interest today.

I certainly am seriously considering moving, but I think a test of 2 weeks or so in a dry climate might be a better start.

The other big factor is that I share my apartment with one other person, who was also recently been diagnosed with CFS. We were both healthy before moving here. The chances of this must be tiny.

The thing is when you read these mould posts, it sounds like mould-avoiders get very obvious symptoms when they are near mold, like an allergy. For me it's not the case, I am just constantly in the same "ill" state. (You read those posts and you think "that doesn't quite fit me"...but then maybe it's only the obvious cases that are easy to recognise).
 

cigana

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Location
UK
p.s. I gave up on the mold hypothesis after KDM tested me for mold exposure (I was negative).
But now I'm beginning to reconsider.
 

leela

Senior Member
Messages
3,290
The phenomenon you describe is masking/unmasking. When you are constantly in mold, you experience a set of symptoms that are, let's say, "adaptive". Once you have experienced a clear environment you become unmasked, so your symptoms become more obvious, or shift to a more acute-response set of symptoms.

Get the hell out of there, both of you. :nervous::eek:
 

slayadragon

Senior Member
Messages
1,122
Location
twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
Leela is giving you good advice.

Stachybotrys grows inside walls and can be very poisonous even if it cannot be seen at all. When it can be seen, it generally looks like smears of dirt on the wall, as in your picture.

One problem to consider is that after people are around mold for a long time and get sick, even tiny amounts of particularly bad mold (such as Stachy) can create the same symptoms as larger amounts. So moving may not be sufficient to help you to feel any better. Other experiences suggest that you may need to put aside or discard the possessions that you have right now, to get on the road to feeling better.
 

cigana

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Location
UK
@minkeygirl I did the tests you suggested and each room came back positive for aspergillius and penicillium, one place was weakly positive for stachy.
 

minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
@minkeygirl I did the tests you suggested and each room came back positive for aspergillius and penicillium, one place was weakly positive for stachy.
I was told by my mold guy that aspergillosis and penicillium are
Nothing to be concerned about, that they are in the air. The big concern is the stachy. My test showed no stachy until I sent in a swab.

My feeling, which has zero scientific basis is, if you go mild stachy from what you saw what is going on with what you can't see.

Are you going to send swabs in? I took off baseboards and that is where the bad stuff was.
 

leela

Senior Member
Messages
3,290
The propaganda about aspergillus and penicillium nbeing of little concern is NOT true for people with compromised immune systems or genetic predisposition to mold sensitivity. Many of these mold testing people have very wrong imformation--especially when it comes to proper abatement.
Some of these companies just make the mold spread more by uninformed technique.

Stachy is recognised as very bad by even the more mainstream, but one thing about it is the spores do not poof around as much as the other two do (if left undisturbed.)

But the other two can be very bad as well. "Aspergillosis" is in fact the name for when you have become infected with aspergillus overgrowth in your body.

This from Wikipedia:
"Opportunistic infection by molds[15] such as Penicillium marneffei and Aspergillus fumigatus is a common cause of illness and death among immunocompromised people, including people with HIV, AIDS, and asthma to name a few.[16][17]"

This from mold-help.org:
"Aspergillus,Penicillium,Helminthosporium,Epicoccum,Fusarium,Mucor,Rhizopus, andAureobasidiumare also common. One of the mycotoxins,aflatoxin, is produced by the fungi Penicillium,Aspergillus flavusand Aspergillus parasiticus. Four different aflatoxins, B1, B2, G1 and G2, have been identified with B1 being the most toxic,carcinogenic and prevalent. "

aflatoxin is a serious toxin:
"Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, species of fungi. The name was created around 1960 after the discovery that the source of turkey X disease was Aspergillus flavus toxins.[1] Aflatoxins are toxic and among the most carcinogenic substances known.[2] After entering the body, aflatoxins may be metabolized by the liver to a reactive epoxide intermediate or hydroxylated to become the less harmful aflatoxin M1."

For more info, here is a good resource, check it out:
http://www.dynamiclist.com/export/static_html.aspx?node=53687436-2e3a-4aec-9f29-cc878ce9974d

"Aspergillosis is now the second most common fungal infection requiring hospitalization in the United States."
Your mold guy needs to take a continuing ed course, @minkeygirl!
 

minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
I guess I needed to expand and say if levels in the inside are much higher than outside then you know
Remediation didn't work.

What I also said was that both were found In the air normally. So go ahead and wear a mask all the time if you want.

I refuse to live my live in constant fear that everything I eat, drink, breath and am exposed to will furthe mess up my immune system. I mean are we supposed to live in bubbles? That's not realistic.
 

leela

Senior Member
Messages
3,290
I am certainly not trying to tell anyone how to live their life, and especially not advocating living in fear :eek:

i do feel strongly about correcting certain misperceptions that are repeated by some mold "professionals" because they can cause people
far greater troubles in the long run. botched remediations have caused some people to become far, far iller.

we all have to find our own unique threshold for what works and doesn't work. this i know from my own direct experience.

i felt moved to post extra info on this particular thread because cigana noted that the second occupant became sick after moving into the house that is clearly moldy in the extreme. the evidence seems strong in this instance that this place is likely not good for them. there is a point at which remediation is not practical.

i certainly did not mean to cause offense.
 

Soundthealarm21

Senior Member
Messages
420
Location
Dallas, TX
My doctor hasn't sent me the results yet, but she told me I had tested positive for some mold.

We used this visual contrast sensitivity test:
https://www.survivingmold.com/store1/online-screening-test

It's $15. After I failed that we sent for the big test, and my doc says 'part of the test has come back'. I've never heard of results being sent back in pieces before. But either way I do know mold is playing a role in my illness.

I would agree you should get the hell out of there.

"We were both healthy before moving here." I think that just set off a major alarm bell for bio and neurotoxins.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/08/09/detoxification-biotoxins.aspx
 

cigana

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
Location
UK
Thankyou all for your responses. I will send the swabs in for further analysis.

I take all of the types found seriously. I certainly have raised cytokines, and my c4a was raised before I started chlorella, in line with what Shoemaker is saying. Shame there is no UK doc who can perform his other tests.