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What is Cladosporium Mold?

If you have noticed a black pepper type substance growing in your toilet tank, it is most likely Cladosporium, the most common of all molds. It is categorized as Black Mold and the genus is Cladosporium, which includes over 30 species. The differences can only be detected under a microscope.

Cladosporium MoldMold spores live indoors and outdoors, and are an airborne allergen. Cladosporium mold is commonly found, in dying and dead plants, in the soil and on food. It thrives in a damp, dark, nonporous environment such as window frames and the inside of refrigerators. It will also multiply in houses with poor ventilation and in straw roofs built in low damp areas. Samples from fuel tanks, face creams, paints and fabric reveal the presence of Cladosporium.

How can Cladosporium mold be eliminated?
Since Cladosporium mold is airborne, it can be stubborn to get rid of. Most important is to treat the environment. The spores seem to be less active during the winter months (most likely due to the cold) but come spring, they return with force. Surfaces that appear moldy should be well-scrubbed with a bleach-containing product and wiped dry. Allergy-sensitive individuals should avoid any kind of contact with the mold.

Who is affected by mold?
Although Cladosporium mold is non-toxic to humans, all molds can be hazardous to your health, particularly affecting those with allergies, asthma and immune-compromised systems. Cladosporium is one of the molds that cause the most allergy symptoms, producing a positive skin reaction in allergy-sensitive individuals. In certain people, a high concentration of mold is not needed to trigger a reaction. Those most at risk to develop allergic reactions are infants, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms most common to Cladosporium mold are: congested or runny nose, sinus problems, red and watery eyes, skin irritation, fatigue, sore throat, cough and hoarseness. Over time, more serious symptoms may develop such as, ear inflammation; nose bleeds and joint pain, without swelling.

What is the treatment?
Symptomatic treatment is all we have right now to treat allergies. Over-the-counter anti-allergy medication may help relieve symptoms (analgesics to ease joint pain, eye drops to soothe the eyes, and preparations to control cough).

In some cases, physicians use an injectable serum, with varying degrees of success. The process is called desensitizing. A doctor who specializes in allergies will create the serum containing the specific substances that caused a reaction in the patient’s skin test. Initially, the injections consist of a weak solution, but the concentration is gradually increased over time; the dosage and frequency is determined by the allergist. If the individual’s symptoms worsen, the serum is further diluted. It may take several weeks before the dosage can be increased. The process is slow, can be costly and not every case achieves positive results.

Author info: Carol C. is a registered nurse with experience in many areas of nursing who specializes in mental health and addictions. Her articles allow her the opportunity to share her knowledge and expertise on many health subjects.


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