Toxic Black Mold

Symptoms of Toxic Black Mold Exposure

mold symptoms toxic black mold
22 min read

You’re eating vegetables, exercising, getting enough rest, and your house is clean…

But there’s one more thing that is making you sick

Exposure to black mold is probably one of the most disregarded health hazards of the modern age, with black mold being commonly found in residential and commercial structures in all climates. This is due to the fact that fungi are ubiquitous organisms that can get into buildings by attaching on the surface of structural materials or on fabrics. The spores that cause black mold can also be transported via active and passive ventilation due to their diminutive size, then silently cause signs of mold sickness or exposure to black mold.

Once indoors, black toxic mold finds a presence of moisture and nutrients and grows.

There Are Toxic Black Molds in Your House and You Don’t Know About It

Growth of toxic black mold usually occurs in humid areas, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements. Black mold can also be found in inconspicuous areas that have been infiltrated by water from flooding or plumbing issues, such as beneath your new carpeting and precious hardwood floorboards!

Given that it can survive in spaces that do not receive much attention, and where water can seep, a lot of people only become aware of the existence of toxic black mold in their living space once they experience the signs and symptoms of mold poisoning. The closeness of its appearance to other non-toxic molds is another factor for the delayed action against signs of mold sickness. This puts you at risk of long-term effects of black mold exposure.

It’s Not Just Seasonal Allergy

Signs of mold sickness, such as wheezing, coughing, and eye irritation, are similar to those of seasonal allergies. This is another reason why people are unaware that they were already experiencing toxic black mold symptoms without realizing they were even exposed to black mold.

Why Is Black Toxic Mold So Prevalent?

Reports of severe illness due to toxic black mold have increased in the past 50 years. This began when people started building air-tight, energy-efficient structures that cannot “breathe”, delaying evaporation, promoting mold growth, and trapping mold toxins.

The transition from plaster to drywall in residential and commercial buildings in 1970 has also worsened exposure to black mold because this material is highly vulnerable to moisture.

How Does Mold Toxicity Affect the Human Body?

There are numerous mold poisoning symptoms in humans that can lead to a variety of health issues from sore throats to headaches for acute mold exposures to mold bain and cancer for more chronic long term mold exposures. Failure to immediately address these black mold toxicity symptoms can be fatal, particularly for immunosuppressed individuals. These include patients with cancer, kidney disease, liver problems, diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, or any chronic infection. Long-term effects of black mold exposure can affect health in many ways, to the point that your personality and quality of life are changed, even for relatively healthy individuals.

How To Identify Black Mold Exposure

Toxic Black Mold: The Deadly Fungi

Toxic black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum is a group of micro-fungus that is often found is cellulose-rich and nitrogen-low areas such as the fiberboards, gypsum boards and wooden components of water-damaged buildings. It was discovered in 1837 by Czech mycologist August Carl Joseph Corda, on the wall of a house.

S. chartarum is a greenish-black fungal species in the division Deuteromycota, an inclusive group for fungi with unknown sexual reproduction stages. It has a worldwide distribution, although some species limited to the tropical and subtropical regions.

They Feed on the Dead

Stachybotrys species are saprobes, meaning they act as decomposers of decaying organic material, which include dead plants, litter, and the water-damaged and other wooden components in your home. Signs of mold sickness may be experienced as they grow inside your living space.

They Will Deceive You With Their Innocent Look!

They have septate hyphae with conidiophores at the tip. Conidiophores produce the asexual, non-motile spores of black toxic molds, called conidia, which are rounded and may be translucent or pigmented, 1-celled, and in clusters.

The conidiophores may be simple or branched but are always attached with phialides. Phialides are flask-shaped stalks that project from the dilated peak of the conidiophore. These may be translucent or pigmented, cylindrically-shaped, and form clusters made of 3 to 10.

During the earlier stage of the S. species, the hyphae and the conidiophores are translucent. As time goes by, greenish-black pigmentation accumulates in these areas.

It takes only four days for Stachybotrys to grow a mature colony.

They Could Be Anywhere Inside Your Home

Black mold contamination is higher in cereal grains, dehydrated fruits, and tree nuts. Some usual plant hosts of this group include soybean, maple, pine, oak, and walnut. Exposure to black mold can still be possible after many years because the spores maintain its viability using a protective covering.

Are They Airborne?

Because the spores of black mold species are typically produced in clusters and coated in dried slime, they’re not instantly airborne. They only become so when dried and disturbed, or are glued to particulates.

They Don’t Need Keys to Get Inside

In an indoor environment, black mold species have been isolated from drywalls, floorboards, glass fiber wallpaper, pipe insulation, beneath carpeting, and other areas. They prefer moist surfaces and warmer temperatures and significant cellulose content.

Bringing contaminated crops and moist building materials inside your home increases the chances of suffering from long-term effects of black mold exposure.

Exposure to black mold can be promoted by excessive moisture from water leaks, flooding, condensation, and humidity.

They Are Heavily-Armed

Toxins are small molecules produced by living organisms that are capable of causing health problems when on contact with or absorb by body tissues. These are secondary metabolites, meaning, they are organic compounds which are not necessary for the normal growth, development, and reproduction of the organism. It is purported that the purpose of black mold toxins to weaken the host and competitors.

The toxin produced by fungi, such as toxic black mold, is called a “mycotoxin”, and is the driving factor behind mold sickness.

So What Happens Mold Spores Are Inside Your Body?

Stachybotrys is capable of producing at least six chemical classes of toxins, including trichothecenes, which is the largest group of mycotoxins known to date. It consists of more than 150 chemically-related toxic compounds that cause toxic black mold symptoms.

Exposure to black mold toxins may be by ingestion or inhalation. These mold toxins affect the normal processes in the body in many ways, such as blocking protein synthesis, weakening immune response, and triggering anti-histamine influx. Long-term exposure to black mold can also lead to behavioral toxicology.

Here’s how to know if it’s Toxic Black Mold or Just Another Ordinary Black Mold

Not all fungal species produce mycotoxins, and not all mycotoxins affect humans. Others are specific for plants or animals.

Another extremely important point to remember is: not all black-pigmented molds are Toxic Black Molds.

There are many other fungi that are dark pigmented, such as Nigrosphora and Cladosporium. But they have no known harmful effects.

Black Doesn’t Mean Toxic

The color and toxicity of molds are not related, and the term Toxic Black Mold refers to a specific species which is Stachybotrys chartarum.

Through the naked eye, it’s impossible to determine if it’s Toxic Black Mold or just an ordinary mold because their morphological differences are microscopic. You will have to take a sample to a certified mold inspector. However, exposure to black mold should be assumed if the following are present:

  • Musty Smell
    A room with black toxic mold is filled with a musty smell. If there’s nothing unusual at the initial glance, they could be hiding beneath the wallpaper, tiles, or boards.
  • Dark Spots and Rings
    Dark spots or rings on your walls or ceilings are indicative of mold growth. If these are not mold yet, they mean water damage, which is a favorable breeding ground for them. These should be eradicated by a professional mold exterminator to prevent long-term effects of black mold exposure.
  • Re-occurring Respiratory Irritation
    The months of seasonal allergies are gone, but you’re still suffering from watery eyes, stuffy nose, skin irritation, headaches, and coughs without cold.

Identify Black Mold On Wood Before Exposure

Toxic Mold Statistics

There are 100,000 recognized mold species worldwide, and 1,000 of them can be found in the United States. One of them is Stachybotrys chartarum or the toxic black mold.

Concerns about exposure to black mold emerged in the middle of the 1980s. Reports were documented from residential and non-industrial environments in Canada and the United States. This brought attention to how does mold toxicity and mold sickness affects the human body.

Yet, most people still neglect and ignore the toxic black mold symptoms in their household, thinking a mere mold can’t do that much.


It’s Like You Hit Your Head….Very Hard

In 2003, a study assessed the neuropsychological effects of human exposure to varied colonies of toxigenic molds. The testing revealed that the observed alterations associated with mold sickness are similar to mild traumatic brain injury.

It Worsens Asthma Attacks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 12 adults and 1 out of 11 children in the United States are asthmatic. More than 50% of them are allergic to molds. If your family member has sensitive asthma, he/she might experience re-occurring attacks if there is continuous exposure to black mold.

Or It Can Give Your Child Asthma

In August 2011, a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology stated that infants in moldy environments have three times higher chances of developing asthma by the time they reach 7, an age when an accurate diagnosis is possible.

It’s Like Somebody’s Smoking at Home

The Harvard University Six Cities Study, 4,600 children, were examined to find out if there is a relationship between respiratory health and indoor mold and dampness. The result pointed out that the harmful effects of indoor mold and dampness were comparable to parental smoking. Even if no one’s smoking at home, it would still be like a smoking area if there’s exposure to black mold!

The Long-Range Transport of Air Pollutants Program of Health Canada has similar findings after examining 15,000 children and another of 18,000 adults.
It Can Make Lungs Bleed

Stachybotrys atra, a toxic black mold species, is now regarded as the causative agent of pulmonary hemosiderosis in infants, which in some cases is fatal. The S. atra produces the most powerful mycotoxins of the group trichothecenes. It also produces cyclosporine and phenylspirodrimanes, that when combined with trichothecenes at high doses, can cause life-threatening toxic black mold symptoms.

It Can Get You Fired

Stachybotrys chartarum is one of the most commonly noted factors linked to “sick building” or “damp building-related” which is characterized by respiratory problems and headaches experienced by the building occupants. Exposure to black mold increases absences and decreases productivity.

It Can Hurt You in Many Ways

Black mold exposure has caused a lot of life-threatening health issues, so it should never be disregarded.

  • In June 2006, a report from Mold Prevention Strategies and Possible Health Effects in the Aftermath of Hurricanes and Major Floods, the CDC determined that excessive exposure to mold-contaminated materials can cause adverse health effects in susceptible persons regardless of the type of mold or the extent of the contamination.
  • In the 1990s, Cleveland, Ohio, several children experienced bleeding in the lungs. One of them died, and exposure to black mold was identified as the probable cause.
  • A 2010 study indicated that subjects who had been exposed to mold exhibited diminished abilities in verbal learning, memory, emotional functioning, psychomotor speed, and visual-spatial learning.
  • According to a 2013 study published in Safety Assessment, including Current and Emerging Issues in Toxicologic Pathology, humans who ingested or inhaled toxic black mold may develop dermal toxicity, epistaxis, and eye irritation. Immune disorders and neurocognitive dysfunction were some of the toxic black mold symptoms that were also reported.
  • In 2014 Finnish researched linked structural dampness with childhood asthma.
  • According to the Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents, The long-term effects of black mold exposure are similar to that of radiation exposure.
  • According to Fungal Contamination as a Major Contributor to Sick Building Syndrome, black toxic molds produce highly-potent mycotoxins that are associated with infant pulmonary hemorrhage and nasal and tracheal bleeding in adults.

Toxic Mold Illnesses

The effects of exposure to black mold are not always physically evident. Sometimes, they destroy from within. The research suggested that the primary site of trichothecene action is the brain. This is why one of the most common signs of mold sickness is behavioral toxicology.

Long-term effects of black mold exposure may cause neurologic and neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms. These may be partly similar or totally similar to classic neurologic conditions, including depression, anxiety, Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and insomnia.

How Black Toxic Mold Causes Mental Illnesses?

By Destroying the Myelin Sheath

Exposure to black mold can damage the myelin sheath through fatty acid oxidation and lipid peroxidation. The myelin sheath is a layer made of protein and fatty substances that wraps around nerves to allow quick and efficient transmission of electrical impulses.

The mycotoxins of black toxic mold are also lipophilic, which allows them to cross the blood-brain barrier and accumulate in the neurological system, resulting in “Neurotoxicity“. When these relatively nonpolar mycotoxins flood the myelin sheath, they dislodge healthy fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. This results in an inflammation that disturbs electric signals.

By Lowering Your Dopamine Levels

Long-term effects of black mold exposure include the destruction of dopamine factories in the Prefrontal Cortex and the so-called “Parkinson’s Region”, the Caudate Nucleus, and the Substantia Nigra.

By Causing Electrical Shock

Exposure to black mold is also proven to cause excessive electrical activity in the brain by raising Glumatate and PEA, which are powerful excitatory neurotransmitters.

Can Mold Cause Depression?

This question has been the subject of numerous researches in the past decade, and most of them found a strong correlation between mold and depression.

Neurotransmitter levels are self-regulated in a healthy brain, naturally preventing a chemical imbalance that can lead to depression. But if neurotoxic compounds are introduced in the system, certain neurotransmitters will be produced excessive, and some inadequately.

Is There Such Thing as “Black Mold Anxiety”?

Anxiety is defined as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” by the American Psychological Association. A strong link between mold and anxiety has been established by recent studies.

One of the major mediators of anxiety symptoms is dopamine, which is decreased by toxic black mold’s devastation on the dopamine factories.

Exposure to black mold increases excessive electrical activity, which is demonstrated by excessive blood flow to the brain.

Black Toxic Mold Doesn’t Stop There!


A study published in 2014 found indications of morphological alterations in the dendrites of glutamatergic neurons in the cerebral cortex of subjects diagnosed with Schizophrenia, leading to long-term effects of black mold exposure. This can be linked to Sponaugle Institute’s Brain Chemistry research discovery that brains exposed to mold toxins have elevated glutamate levels. Just like the case of Heather.

Bipolar Disorder

Sponaugle Institute has treated more than 2,000 patients who had been previously misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. They were prescribed with medications that did not address the organic cause of the problem, which is mold toxicity.

Similar to Schizophrenia, mold toxicity elevates glutamate levels dramatically, causing a number of toxic black mold symptoms such as uncharacteristic impulsive behavior, confusion, and sleep problems.


Insomnia can be correlated with anxiety because it is also rooted in excessive brain activity. Most neurological and neuropsychiatric problems are attached to insomnia, like the case of Amanda Murdoc.

Parkinson’s Disease

Trichothecene in toxic black mold destroys those regions that are responsible for integrating spatial information with motor behavior formulation, motor planning, and eye movement. This is what happened to Amy, one of Dr. Sponaugle’s patients.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that can cause disability. Symptom includes numbness of a limb, lack of coordination, and slurred speech.

Since 2008, Dr. Sponaugle has been advocating the theory exposure to black mold toxins is one of the primary causes of Multiple Sclerosis cases in America. His theory was met with scorn.

Dr. Sponaugle Was Right!

Dr. Sponaugle’s research was validated in 2011 by an article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences by Japanese neuroscientists from the Nippon Institute and the University of Tokyo.

Dr. Sponaugle’s research concluded that mycotoxins down-regulate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which stores short-term memories, cognitive flexibility, and abstract reasoning. This is why people who were exposed to black toxic mold mycotoxins experience “Brain Fog” or difficulty focusing and difficulty remembering.

Just watch the astonishing story of Kamea.


Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by widespread pain, sensitivity to pain, and extreme fatigue. Sponaugle Wellness Institute found out that there is a link between mold and fibromyalgia, and that is the leading cause of fibromyalgia in middle-aged women. They are usually given medications that reduce excess electrical current, but these do not resolve the real problem.

Black Mold Cause Cancer: Totally a Fact!

How does mold affect the human body has been studied for years, and it was discovered that exposure to black mold causes two types of cancer, Astrocytoma, and Glioblastoma, by destroying brain tissues through lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress.

The stress triggers an abnormal proliferation of tissues, which, together with the immunosuppressive effect of mycotoxins, causes tumor formation.

  • Astrocytoma originates in a specific kind of glial cells (star-shaped brain cells) in the cerebrum called astrocytes. Typically, this type of tumor is contained in the central nervous system and does not affect other organs.
  • Glioblastoma is the most belligerent type of cancer that starts in the brain. The signs and symptoms are initially non-specific and may include nausea, headaches, and personality changes.

Toxic Black Mold and Hormonal Imbalance

Black toxic mold damages the myelin sheath, affecting the transmission of electrical impulses and consequently delaying or obscuring the signals sent to the brain. As a result, the brain sends a message to the hormone factories that do not answer to the actual needs of the body. This condition is called “hormonal imbalance”.

Men and Women, Nobody Is Excused

Women experience reproductive difficulty, menstrual abnormalities, heightened stress levels, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Signs of mold sickness for men include changes in appetite and metabolism, sleep problems, and hair loss.

Mold Toxicity and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Mold toxicity obstructs the proper transmission of electrical signals for proper hormone regulation. This could trigger the excessive production of androgen (a male hormone). High levels of androgen disrupt the normal menstrual cycle, which can cause delayed periods and difficulty getting pregnant.

The uterine lining starts to thicken during the reproductive stage. Regular menstruation sheds off the thickened layered, and then another cycle begins if the menstrual cycle is not normal, abnormal buildup inside the womb.

Abnormally high androgen levels hinder the development of the egg from the ovarian follicles, causing infertility.

PCOS is also associated with hirsutism (excessive hair growth), acne, and weight problems.

Mold Toxicity and Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is an infection caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans by infected black-legged ticks. These ticks bite humans, accidentally inserting the bacteria into the bloodstream. Common symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue, and rashes. If the infection is left untreated, it can progress to severe neurological problems.

Why Lyme Disease Is Difficult to Treat

The Sponaugle Wellness Institute, after successfully treating chronic Lyme disease patients from different parts of the world, found that Lyme disease is widely misunderstood. This is due to the fact that it mimics the symptoms of other diseases.

Signs of mold sickness are similar to those of Lyme Disease, making it difficult to come up with a precise diagnosis. The Sponaugle Wellness Institute uses the Brain Imaging database and correlation of 6,000 mold mycotoxin levels with changes seen in neurotransmitter patterns and infectious biomarkers for Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections to formulate effective treatment plans.

Furthermore, Lyme disease cannot be treated effectively if there are mold toxins in the bloodstream because these toxins suppress the immune system.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Are Not Safe From Lyme Disease!

Yolanda Hadid, star of how The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and mother of three fashion models, was diagnosed with Lyme disease. She received antibiotics and did not fully recover until mold toxins were eradicated from her body.


There is data suggesting exposure to black mold toxins may affect pregnancy. In one study, it was found out that the ingestion of these toxins caused decrease pregnancy rate in animals and in litter size, and increase frequency of fetal death and stunted fetuses.

Black toxic mold elevates the stress hormone levels in the body, which can make it difficult for women to get pregnant. This can affect the developing fetus and may cause premature birth.

Black Mold Poisoning Treatment

Our Future in Toxic Mold

If we continue to ignore mold toxicity, this is what’s going to happen to our future.

You May Not Be Able to See Your Grandchildren

It was stated that black toxic mold causes pulmonary hemosiderosis in infants, myocardial hemorrhage, immune-suppression, and neurological problems.

We Will All Become Mentally Unstable

Mycotoxins downgrade the brain’s ability to regulate neurotransmitter levels. This gets rid of our natural ability to handle stress, sadness, grief, anger, and anxiety.

A Generation of Asthmatic Children

A study showed that the long-term effects of black mold exposure include increased chances of developing asthma. If your child already has asthma, expect frequent attacks if he/she is kept in a mold environment.

A Rise in Cancer Cases

Mold toxins stress out the central nervous system and lower the body’s immune response to carcinogenic compounds. Combine these two, and you are looking at the possibility of brain cancer.

An Overmedicated World

Signs of mold sickness are the same as other diseases. If mold toxicity is not considered during the diagnostics, the patient might receive tons of medication that do not treat the real problem.

Illnesses Caused by Toxic Black Mold

Black Mold Poisoning Treatment

Fortunately, mold toxicity can be detected through urine/blood testing.
Studies on how does mold affect the human body has been the subject of many types of research in the past decade, paving the way to the discovery of advanced treatments.
But Sponaugle Wellness Institute does more than that!

State of the Art Facility

Dr. Sponaugle spent years of research to find treatment for stealth conditions that attack the nervous system, such as mold toxicity and Lyme disease.
His clinical research correlated patient symptoms and intensity of mold sickness with over 9,000 Neurotransmitter patterns, 6000 Mold Mycotoxin levels, 2000 Industrial Toxin levels, and thousands of mathematical biomarkers for Gastrointestinal Dysbiosis (Candida and SIBO biomarkers), Immune Dysfunction, Stealth Infections, and Genetic Testing.
The Sponaugle Wellness Institute use highly-advanced technology for precise diagnosis, and to determine co-infections. The patient undergoes periodic brain scans to monitor progress.

Healing from Within

Dr. Sponaugle uses an approach that starts at the intracellular level, using biochemical and detoxification protocols to boost mitochondrial function.
Instead of bombarding the patient with medications, he focuses on eradicating the real problem; treating the signs and symptoms along the way. Treatment is also customized to address not only the signs and symptoms of the patient but also all other co-existing infections. This is a more time and cost-efficient approach.

A Personalized Mold Sickness Treatment

The Sponaugle Wellness Institute prides itself on the personalized treatment given to their patients. Each case is unique; that’s why they do not use one single treatment plan for every patient.

The Sponaugle Wellness Institute scrutinizes every case to develop the most fitting healing strategy. They fully understand how does mold sickness affects the human body and the complexities associated with black mold poisoning.
Dr. Sponaugle believes that the patient’s state of mind is crucial for his/her complete recovery. This is why he built a world-class treatment facility that is equipped with avant-garde technology and cozy rooms near the spectacular beaches of Florida.
The ambiance is remarkable homey, far from dull and cold hospitals.

How to Get Rid of Toxic Black Mold

Mold poisoning treatment will be in vain if black mold exposure continues to exist in your home. Even if you are unsure if it is toxic black mold or just another black-pigmented mold, get rid of it right away.

  • Wear a respirator or a facemask and rubber gloves to prevent the inhalation of spores. Cover your arms and legs to avoid any contact.
  • Determine the extent of mold growth.
  • Spray vinegar or baking soda in water (50/50) if the affected area is porous.
  • Rinse the area using clean water.

Prevent molds from coming back by doing these:

    • Regularly check your home for water leaks. Perform extra inspection before and winter, storms, earthquakes, and flooding. Repair the leaks right away.
    • Replace the filters and vacuum the ducts of your HVAC system to eliminate fungal spores.
    • Keep your home well-ventilated by opening doors and windows to stabilize the humidity level. If this is not possible at all times, invest in a high-quality dehumidifier.
    • Call a Professional Mold Exterminator once toxic black mold symptoms begin to emerge.

When to Hire a Professional Mold Exterminator?

If signs of mold sickness are evident among occupants, it means that the black toxic mold colony in your home is already expansive.

It could be dangerous for untrained individuals to handle severe infestations. A professional mold exterminator has the knowledge and tools for dealing with molds safely.

Final Word from the Experts

Toxic Black Mold may look like a simple stain on your wall or ceiling, but it can cause a lot of damage to your quality of life. Mold toxicity is a stealthy condition, so it is best to have you checked for this alongside other tests and understand how mold affects the human body with prolonged toxic black mold exposure.

If exposure to black mold is confirmed, go to an expert on this field to obtain the best treatment possible. Sponaugle Wellness Institute has changed the lives of thousands of people who had been suffering for years due to undetected mold toxicity.


About Sponaugle Wellness Institute

At Sponaugle Wellness Institute we practice integrative medicine, combining the best of conventional and alternative medicine to focus on outcome-based treatments for patient. Our mission is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of our patient’s illness rather than to treat their symptoms. Dr. Rick Sponaugle, Director of Sponaugle Wellness Institute, is an integrative physician with extraordinary brain expertise having treated over 8,000 patients who were suffering with various psychological and neurological disorders.a

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