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What is Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra)?

black mold

Stachybotrys chartarum is also known as Stachybotrys atra; is a greenish-black colored type of mold. It commonly grows in places that have high cellulose and low nitrogen material, e.g. dust, paper, fiberboard, gypsum board and lint. Mold grows and thrives where there is excessive moisture in the air or dew resulting from water damage, humidity, water leakages, flooded zones, condensed surfaces and overflow areas. One may not have to determine the type of mold present in a place but constant moisture is needed for its growth. All molds should however be treated as same due to potential health risks.

All spores found in indoor air are also normally found in outdoor air because most originate or live in the soil and on dead or decaying plants. Therefore, it is not unusual to find mold spores in indoor air. This Mold Glossary is only intended to provide general information about the mold found in the samples that were tested by the lab we use.


Outdoor Habitat: Soil and decaying vegetation, especially straw
Indoor Habitat: Wetted wood, gypsum wallboard paper, cardboard boxes and ceiling tiles. This type
of mold needs significant water to grow and thrive
Allergy Potential: Type I (hay fever, asthma)
Disease Potential: None known
Toxin Potential: Several known (including macrocyclic trichothecenes, satratoxin F, G, H)
Comments: Spores can be dispersed into the air when old and dry, but are wet, slimy and heavy when
actively growing and thus are not easily dispersed into the air. Significantly higher numbers of spores, as compared to outside background levels, of this genus are not normal for indoor environments and indicate a current or former water problem. It is not that unusual to find the occasional Stachybotrys spore in the air indoors. Stachybotrys has several myctotoxins and has been implicated as a causative agent in disease.


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