The Effects of Black Mold on Children

As much as fungi and molds are everywhere and an essential part of the ecological system, having them in your house is gross and unhealthy. Certain types of fungi can release mycotoxins into the air causing mild to severe reactions, especially in children or anyone with a compromised immune system. Check with your health-care provider if you suspect your child is having a reaction to something.

  1. Allergic Effects

    • Allergic reactions to household fungi include symptoms commonly associated with allergies, such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose and post-nasal drip. These are the same allergic reactions to pet dander and outdoor sources. Take note of where your child is and what he is coming into contact with when the symptoms appear.

    Toxic Effects

    • Stachybotrys is colloquially referred to as “black mold” or “toxic mold.” The mycotoxins produced by certain fungi may cause toxic effects when inhaled or absorbed by the body. A 2003 article, "Stachybotrys chartarum: cause of human disease or media darling?" published in "Medical Mycology," suggests that the link between stachybotrys and neurological problems is not well-supported and remains controversial while a study conducted at Brown University in 2007 claims to have found a possible link between household mold and depression.

    Irritant Effects

    • Some irritant effects from inhalation of what are called microbial volatile organic compounds or MVOC, can lead to irritation and inflammation of the body's air passages. According to a report from the New York Health Department, the levels of MVOCs and fungal glucans indoors are usually low and not enough to cause health problems.

    Hypersensitivity Effects

    • A study conducted in Boston examined in-home high-fungal concentrations and the possible link to childhood asthma and allergic rhinitis in the first five years of life. Another study published in the February 2009 "Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology" journal suggested that some levels of dust and fungal glucans may help children avoid asthma and other allergies, saying that smoking around children was more likely to cause childhood asthma.

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