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Stachybotrys Chartarum

Collaboration: Tricia Herman, Ermine Herman and Terry Atkins

Do you have suspected mould growth in your home? Learn more about types of mould and their effects with IDEQ Caribbean.

As homeowners and building owners, our busy schedules do not allow for us to routinely stay on top of the quality of the indoor air. While we see concerning growth appear on surfaces and occupants begin to get sick, it sometimes still goes unchecked because we do not understand the lasting adverse impacts of poor indoor air quality. This blog focuses mainly on the mould type, Stachybotrys, which falls under the five main categories for Toxic Mould, among which are:

· Penicillium

· Fusarium

· Stachybotrys

· Aspergillus

· Cladosporium

(Stachybotrys Chartarum spores. Source:

“Stachybotrys chartarum most commonly referred to as ‘toxic black mold’, is one of the more commonly known fungal species due to the extensive research and news related articles associated with its mycotoxin production and impact on human health.

“Stachybotrys mould spores require high water activity levels to grow and is considered to be s a slow spore (conidia) producer. It predominantly grows on wet cellulose-containing materials (including drywall, paper, ceiling tiles and wallpaper), which have been moist for an extended period of time. Its optimum temperature range for production of conidia lies between 36°-104°F (or 2°- 40°C).” (Black Mould)

Stachybotrys produces Mycotoxins, classified as a Biotoxin. According to Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2023), “A biotoxin is considered to be any toxic substance produced by microorganisms, plants or animals. They include metabolites of living organisms, products of the decomposition of dead organisms and materials that become toxic through their metabolic activity. They can cause both acute and chronic toxic diseases.” Mycotoxins are specifically associated with fungi.

(Black mould found growing on wall in basement)

Bitnun and Nosal (1999) stated that exposure to the mycotoxins of Stachybotrys can result in the following symptoms: nasal irritation, burning and congestion, cough, wheezing, chest tightness and dyspnea. Central nervous system manifestations include headache, irritability, lightheadedness, sleeping difficulty, concentration problems and mental fatigue.

Exposure to clinically significant fungal growth should not be taken lightly as the body’s immune system degrades considerably the longer one is exposed to mould growth. Take it seriously and call the experts for a complete mould assessment today.

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