Several stains produce spores with poisonous toxins. Chronic exposure has caused cold and flu symptoms, fatigue, diarrhea, headaches, sore throat, hair loss, immune system suppression, memory loss, and severe brain damage. Whereas most mold spores can begin growing after just 24 hours of wetness, Stachybotrys spores take at least 48 hours of wetness to begin growth. Stachybotrys survives and grows best in a continually wet environment like a slow water leak in a wall. Stachybotrys spores are rarely airborne. Stachy is usually identified by direct swabs or lift tape samples of the mold itself with laboratory analysis. When active and growing in a wet environment, the mold can look black, shiny, and slimy.
The Â“black moldÂ” of media hype. Needs lots of humidity, has sticky spores that rarely are found in air samples, but if they are in an air sample, look out! Stealth toxinÂ—a toxin whose presence is undetected
A common saprophyte found on many substrates like grains, decaying plant materials, textiles, and tobacco. Grows indoors on water-damaged cellulose rich materials, such as sheet rock, paper, ceiling tiles, insulation backing, gypsum board, and wallpaper. The presence of this fungus can be significant due to its ability to produce mycotoxins under certain environmental conditions. Exposure to the toxins can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin exposure. It is possible that Stachybotrys may play a role in the development of sick building syndrome, but probably only in conjunction with other factors. Until more information is available on the health risks of environmental exposure to Stachybotrys, caution should be taken when dealing with this fungus.
a particularly virulent type of toxic mold
(stack-ee-bought-ris) contaminant, found indoors primarily on wet cellulose containing materials. It is the "toxic black mold" that has garnered much media attention. Some species produce a potent toxin that is lethal to animals, though dose effect on humans is not clear. One species produces a toxin linked to the bleeding lung deaths of several infants. A host of other toxic reactions in humans are also linked to it, but many of these require further study. Stachybotrys is sometimes difficult to detect indoors because many times it will grow unseen on the back of walls or in the wall cavity with little disturbance that would cause it to be detected by routine air sampling. This is potentially also when it is of most health concern: when it covers entire wall areas and constantly produces toxins undetected. Non-cultured lab analyses (air-o-cells and tape-lifts) usually are the proper method of identification because Stachybotrys does not grow or compete well on most culture plate media, and it is reported that even non-viable spores can be toxigenic.