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Stachybotrys is a greenish-black fungus found worldwide that colonizes particularly well in high-cellulose material, such as straw, hay, paper, dust, lint, and cellulose-containing building material such as fiber board, and gypsum board that becomes chronically moist or water damage due to excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation or flooding . Stachybotrys chartarum grows and produces spores in the temperature range of 2°-40°C (36°-104°F). It is also capable of producing several toxins, however, many researchers still know little about the temperature and moisture conditions under which these toxins are produced. It has been postulated that moist high-cellulose and low-nitrogen materials at a temperature range of 0-40°C can provide sufficient condition for production of Stachybotrys toxins. Surfaces exposed to air with a relative humidity above 55% and subjected to temperature fluctuations are ideal for toxin production. Individuals with chronic exposure to the toxin produced by this fungus reported cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, and dermatitis.

Clinical Information  about Stachybotrys Chartarum (atra) Produces mycotoxins that can result in serious health problems Produces a component that paralyzes sperm at low doses May cause bleeding in the lungs of infants and those with weak immune systems Many a parent has heard their budding Einstein come with the complaint "school makes me sick". Dilbert fans know that it doesn't take much in the land of office cubicles to make an employee headache and tired, or for desk jockeys to be so unfit they can barely get to the water fountain without being out of breath. Dr. Berlin Nelson says it may not be all in our heads. It could be your building that's making you sick. The culprit is a mold fungi named Stachybotrys. It is particularly likely to turn up in a house or building that has been flooded, or has sustained water damage. "It's become notorious as a toxic mold that can cause health problems in humans and animals", says Nelson, a professor at North Dakota State University. There are many microbes in the environment that produce toxic substances, but in their natural state, they are generally not a serious problem for humans. However, in the case of this particular mold, where it can become concentrated, it produces toxins that could make you sick. Nelson thinks that public awareness of the potential problem needs to be heightened. The Stachybotrys mold, shown in a magnified view, can cause sick-building syndrome. It doesn't take massive flooding either. The mold can get started from broken pipes, roof leaks, sewage backups, and moisture condensation. The Stachybotrys mold produces a powerful mycotoxin just touching it can give you a rash  and scientists don't know what might be considered a safe exposure level. Many other kinds of mold fungi, including Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium also produce mycotoxins, some of which are identical to compounds produced by Stachybotrys mold. The mold is most common on the paper covering of sheet rock but can also be found on wallpaper, ceiling tiles, paper products, carpets with natural fibers, paper covering on insulated pipes, insulation material, on wood and on general organic debris. "Because leaks can occur within walls, below flooring, and above covered ceiling areas, the mold may grow profusely, but not be readily visible", says Nelson. "Homeowners and building managers need to be alerted that if there has been water damage, this is something that you need to pay attention to". This mold is a serious enough health threat that Nelson recommends only trained professionals should be used to get rid of it.
    Stachybotrys Chartarum ( atra ) Can produce Toxins that are harmful to humans.

   If you see a substance you think might be mold or smell a musty odor call for testing.

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