If you work in a museum, at a library or any other place where mold tends to exist, then beware. Exposure to black mold's harmful toxins can leave you with lasting respiratory problems and other serious medical conditions.
Black mold is a dangerous type of fungus that tends to multiply in dark, humid and damp spaces. If you see an item that has a black or dark green growth on it, then it's likely this type of mold. It generally has a mildewy or musty smell. It can often be found beneath carpets or floorboards, behind walls and other areas that are difficult to access.
The mold spores themselves are not generally hazardous to your health. The mycotoxins that they release into the air over time can cause you medical problems, however.
One early sign that a person has black mold poisoning is when they suffer from an upper respiratory infection. They may appear to have a cold or the flu. Individuals with compromised immune systems may experience more pronounced symptoms.
You should become concerned if your symptoms include a nosebleed, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or sore throat or coughing become worse while you're at work. If you start having problems with itchy eyes or skin or you start wheezing, then you may be suffering from black mold poisoning as well.
Individuals with severe allergies or asthma may have more frequent chest colds or be more prone to inflammation of their sinuses if they're suffering from black mold poisoning. These individuals may also have a harder time breathing, develop a chronic cough, experience worsening fatigue and suffer more headaches, as well.
In some rare cases, individuals exposed to black mold toxins in the long-term may develop severe physical symptoms such as unexpected weight loss, cramps and pain, a sensitivity to the light and nerve pain. They may also experience a decline in their mental health including trouble with concentration, anxiety and memory loss.
Individuals who suspect that they're suffering from black mold poisoning should first see their doctor to confirm their suspicions. Once you receive your diagnosis, you should reach out to an attorney in Dauphin with experience in workplace illnesses. They'll be able to provide you with sound advice on your right to receive benefits for it here in Pennsylvania.