Stachybotrys has the appearance of a greenish-black gelatin substance. Normally it has a slimy look because of its wet upper layer. If the water/moisture source feeding the mold disappears, the colony’s appearance may change from slimy to dry and powdery. These molds need very moist environments to grow and thrive.
If you see mold that fits the description of Stachybotrys, don’t panic right away. There are other less hazardous molds that have a similar appearance. Only a mold expert with the aid of a microscope and trained eye can tell the difference with 100% certainty.
Toxic black mold is a common reference to the mold Stachybotrys. It’s an ominous name but well-deserved for the threat it poses to human health. The toxin produced by Stachybotrys is the most concerning and deadly of the molds. While it is linked to minor disease such as hay fever, this mold is more than an inconvenience. The health risks associated with this mold can be very serious and life-threatening.
If exposed to Stachbotrys, some symptoms that may be exhibited are:
- respiratory problems
- hay fever/nasal and sinus congestion
- eye irritation (watering, burning, itching)
- sore throat
- immune system difficulties
- hacking cough
- chronic fatigue
- mental impairments
- central nervous system issues
- general aches and pains
Like many other molds, people who are elderly, very young, and have weakened immune systems are the most likely to have a risk of complications from exposure.
Some of the complications and risks associated with Stachybotrys include:
- liver damage
- pulmonary edema
- brain or nerve damage