Black Mold Exposure During Pregnancy: Is It Harmful?

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Pregnancy needs special care, special care of the pregnant woman is a must. Proper care of her hygiene, diet, and medications is important. It is often seen pregnant women might acquire infections easily. One such serious infection is Black mold, a fungal infection. Such infection has serious effects not only on pregnant women but can also affect the normal people.

In this article:

What is Black Mold?
Can Black Mold Cause Birth Defects in the Newborn?
Effects of Black Mold on Baby
Dangers of Black Mold
Long Term Effects of Black Mold

Must-Know Risks of Black Mold Exposure During Pregnancy

What is Black Mold?

Black mold is commonly known as “toxic mold” as it is responsible to cause severe health issues by its toxins, mycotoxins. Black mold is a fungus that can be found anywhere even in the air. Normally, the amount of mold present in our surroundings is not enough to cause any severe health problem in normal good immune functioning persons. People who are sensitive to these mold spores often develop respiratory symptoms soon after inhalation of the spores.

black mold exposure and pregnancy

Can Black Mold Cause Birth Defects in the Newborn?

Yes, black mold can cause birth defects, miscarriage and infertility. These could occur due to prolonged exposure to black mold. This prolonged exposure tends to affect the physical development of the fetus whereas several maternal allergies associated with black mold can lead to serious impairment to the growing fetus like brain damage and respiratory distress. The exchange of gases becomes difficult as sufficient oxygen is not provided to the baby from the mother via the placenta. Oxygen supply is a must for proper development of the vitals in the baby. This is limited to the affected people.

Effects of Black Mold on Baby

During the first week of pregnancy development of the fetus, cells are rapid. They keep dividing to form tissues that further divide to form vital organs. But due to exposure to black mold, the development is not similar. The baby delivered might be mentally retarded or physically challenged. Thus, it is important to take care of the surroundings of the mother during her pregnancy to avoid the exposure of black mold.

Dangers of Black Mold

Pregnancy in an environment having black mold can cause a multitude of problems in the mother as well as the baby. Usually, they are found to cause respiratory problems like asthma along with this skin rashes, smell defect and hypersensitivity reactions are common.

It is observed that pregnant women are allergic to a certain specific type of molds. One such type is black mold (Stachybotrys Chartarum), which is dangerous for pregnant women on exposure.

  • Mold Exposure Symptoms
  • Following symptoms can occur during pregnancy :
  • Fetal Paralysis
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Dehydration due to accidental consumption of mold

These mold release mycotoxin which is very harmful to the vitals of the baby causing neurological as well as pulmonary breakdown. Immune system degradation along with skin irritation and even death can also occur. The toxin is responsible to attack brain and harm neurons and thereby, reducing the mental ability. Tremors, mood swings, and other neurological disorders occur as a reaction to the black mold. If exposed for a long time, the black mold is efficient to bring down all the organs, destroying the immune system and brain resulting in death. Other symptoms developed due to exposure are :

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Sneezing with running nose
  • Bleeding of the lungs
  • Mental confusion

Long Term Effects of Black Mold

The long term exposure of black mold at home can be determined by :

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore Throat
  • Chest tightness
  • Dry Cough
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Asthma
  • Nose bleeding (Epistaxis)
  • Respiratory infection (mostly upper tract)
  • Skin rashes
  • Watering of eyes
  • Severe symptoms can also be seen on long-term exposure such as :
  • Immune system degradation
  • Cancer
  • Lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis or pneumonitis
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Hematologic disorders
  • Hepatic as well as renal toxicities
  • Bleeding of lungs

Conclusion

These molds often smell like mildew and must and thus they can be easily detected with smell even when not visible with eyes. Therefore, for prevention, it is better to keep the pregnant woman away from the site of smell to avoid any type of problem caused by black mold. Pregnancy is an important phase of a woman’s life which should be taken care of properly. Thus, it is also better to inspect the place proper with the of Air quality Assessors and if the black mold growth is found, it should be removed. It is advised for the pregnant woman to care for herself as well as her surroundings.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC145304/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1892134/

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