Epicoccum nigrum can be found on a variety of household materials, including wood, drywall, fabric, carpet, mattresses and painted surfaces. According to The University of Adelaide website, it grows in suede-like or downy patches, ranging in color from yellow to orange-brown. It is one of the faster growing varieties of mold.
As you are most likely aware, all strains of old can cause health problems. Like other strains of mold, this variety can trigger allergic reactions and can also cause respiratory problems. It is most likely to cause health problems in immunocompromised patients if they inhale tiny particles.
Treatment for health problems caused by mold will depend on the specific symptoms you are experiencing. Antibiotics, antifungal drugs or other medications may be ordered, as well as an inhaler or breathing treatments. Be sure to let your doctor know if you've been exposed to mold and what kind of mold, if you know.
If you are experiencing mold-related health problems, they will probably not go away completely, even with treatment, as long as you continue to be exposed to mold in the home. In order to regain your health, you'll need to have the mold removed from your home as soon as possible.
Your health care provider may recommend you stay somewhere else temporarily until the mold can be removed from your home, especially if you are immunocompromised and having mold-related health problems. Ask your health care provider if it is safe for you to remain in your home prior to having the mold removed.
Inhaling mold is very easy to do when mold is present in your home because microscopic mold spores drift in the air. You can't see them, but you can inhale them, and that can make you sick. You can read more about mold in the lungs and how it affects the respiratory system.
Note that while immunocompromised patients, or those with weakened immune systems due to medical problems, are most susceptible to illness caused by epicoccum nigrum, even healthy people can be allergic to mold and can also develop respiratory problems if exposed to mold, especially over a lengthy period of time.
This type of mold is also known to cause illness is household pets. You can learn more about the effect of mold on pets. Of course, you should see your vet if you have concerns about the health of your pets.
If you have any type of mold in your home, you'll want to remove it as quickly as possible. You'll also want to make sure the job is done thoroughly, with no traces of mold left behind. When dealing with a strain of mold that grows on so many different materials and that grows so quickly, it's important to make sure you've located all areas of mold growth before beginning the mold removal process. Mold remediation professionals often offer free home inspections for mold and we recommend taking advantage of this service. Even if you plan to handle the mold removal yourself, the inspection is free and you're under no obligation, so you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.
Because inhalation of mold spores can cause serious illness, care must be taken during the mold removal process to prevent further exposure. The process of cleaning up mold stirs up mold spores, so it is a potentially hazardous job. An N-95 or N-99 face mask, available at hardware and home improvement stores, should be worn at all times when cleaning up mold or handling moldy materials. For more information on safely removing mold, take a look at our mold removal guide.
If you are immunocompromised or if you are experiencing mold-related health problems, you should consult with your physician before attempting to clean up household mold. Your physician may recommend arranging for someone else to do the work for you. In some instances, your doctor may even recommend you not return home until the mold has been removed, in order to prevent the exacerbation of health problems related to mold.
If you need assistance with mold removal, or if you just want some expert advice about the work that needs to be done, we recommend scheduling a free consultation with a mold remediation professional. An experienced professional will visit your home, inspect for mold, advise you about the work that needs to be done to rid your home of mold, and answer any questions you may have. Follow this link to find qualified professionals offering free consultations in your area.