So, you’re taking a shower and you see a bunch of black spots or dots in there. These could be on the tiles, but more often they appear on the grouting or caulking. Sometimes, they can also appear on wood and paint. Those black spots are likely to be black mold, and no, that’s not a good thing.
Is black mold dangerous to have in your shower? As you can probably guess, it’s definitely not ideal!
What is Black Mold?
Black mold is also known as toxic black mold and can be referred to by its scientific name Stachybotrys chartarum. This mold, along with all other types of mold, is actually a type of fungi, and in this case, it is specifically known as a micro fungus. This type of mold was first discovered in 1837 in Prague on the wall of a house by a now-famous mycologist, August Carl Joseph Corda.
Black mold can occasionally be found in soil and grain but is most commonly found in indoor environments. Very rarely is this mold found anywhere in nature and is usually always found in wet building materials or building materials that are exposed to moisture very often. Black mold is often found on drywall, painted wood, wallpaper, gypsum, and other such surfaces.
When it comes to your shower, black mold, although it may grow on tiles in rare cases, is generally found on the grout, the caulking, and on any wooden, painted, or drywall surfaces, such as the ceiling of the shower, for instance. Of course, showers are wet, which makes it ideal for this type of mold to grow.
Thankfully, black mold is not all that common, as it does need certain conditions to survive. For one, it really does not compete well with other types of mold, so if there are other molds present, chances are that the black mold will be overtaken. Moreover, black mold also enjoys low nitrogen levels, it doesn’t like sunlight, it does great when there is plenty of moisture. It also grows well in areas that have large amounts of cellulose.
Is Black Mold in Shower Dangerous?
What is very important to note is that up until a few years ago, it was widely believed that black mold was some of the most, if not the number one most dangerous kind of mold for human beings to be exposed to. There are various experiments that have been performed in the past, ones that did indicate that black mold is unhealthy for humans, but at the end of it all, no conclusive results were achieved.
There have also been instances, with one, in particular, coming to mind, where a number of infants in Cleveland, Ohio died due to extreme bleeding in the lungs. These infants had been living in a home with an unusually high amount of black mold present. There have also been recorded cases of pets dying after having been exposed to large amounts of black mold over a long period of time. Once again, although there is no conclusive evidence, it would be safe to assume that black mold definitely is not healthy.
However, in recent years, there have been a number of studies and medical professionals who have come to the conclusion that black mold is really no more dangerous than other types of mold. That said, this is also inconclusive. As it appears, normal and healthy individuals and animals with functioning immune systems generally will not feel the effects of black mold exposure. It does appear, though, that some people suffer from mold sensitivity. Oftentimes they include people who have breathing conditions such as COPD and asthma, people with allergies, seniors, infants, children, and people with compromised immune systems.
What is also interesting is that there are three types of mold known to cause asthma, but black mold is actually not one of them. There are claims that black mold can cause lung disease, among other serious conditions, although even the CDC itself was unable to back up any of these claims. The bottom line here is that mold is all around us at all times, and if you are a healthy adult, it should not be dangerous.
Can Black Mold in Shower be Prevented?
Even though recent evidence suggests that black mold is not nearly as dangerous as once thought, it is still best to try and prevent it. Let’s go over some great tips to help you prevent black mold from occurring in your shower and bathroom.
- If you have windows in your bathroom, don’t cover them with curtains, at least not when you are not using the bathroom. Black mold does not grow well in sunlight. The more sun your bathroom gets the better.
- Speaking of windows, black mold really hates dry air, which is why you should regularly air out your bathroom to allow that moisture to get out. Crack a window and leave the door open. You can also put that ceiling vent/fan to use.
- Something fast and easy that you can do is to use a dehumidifier to suck the moisture right out of the air.
- Since mold loves moisture, one of the best things that you can do to prevent it in your bathroom is to wipe your shower down with a towel every time you are done.
- Mold has a much harder time growing on tile, so if at all possible, 100% of your shower should be tile, even the ceiling.
- If you are very worried about mold, you can use any sort of black mold killer on a regular basis as a preventative measure.
The bottom line is that it just is not known whether or not black mold is dangerous to most humans, although it is safe to assume that it probably is not super healthy.
Therefore, anything you can do to prevent black mold in your shower should be done.