Looking to Get in Shape or Lose Weight? Try our BMI and Weight Loss Calculator!

Can Black Mold Cause Pneumonia?

By Megan Allyce Snider ; Updated July 27, 2017

Pneumonia can be caused by repeatedly inhaling foreign particles. These particles find their way into the lungs, creating illness and a chronic cough as the lungs try to get rid of them. The existence of black mold pneumonia, however, is debated, even among doctors. That said, whether it creates an allergic reaction or pneumonia, black mold can kill and is highly toxic. Seek immediate treatment if you have inhaled spores for a long period of time and have left any symptoms untreated.

Black Mold

Black mold, known as Stachybotrys or toxic black mold, is extremely dangerous to humans and animals. It requires a considerable amount of moisture to actually grow. Basements with water leaks or abandoned buildings with damaged Sheetrock, drywall cement, wallpaper or ceilings are all good prospects for black mold. Black mold is a fungus, and it produces mycotoxins that are harmful to humans.

Linked Illnesses

Some illnesses related to black mold’s mycotoxins are asthma, cancer, lung disease, nosebleeds, skin rashes, cough, fatigue and learning disabilities. People with lowered immune systems, small children, the elderly or those with severe allergies can be affected by black mold extremely quickly. If the mold makes contact with skin, it leaves large warts or legions that have to be removed surgically. Sinus infections from black mold must be removed surgically, as well. They can also cause swelling and make the swollen regions leak and cause constant pain.

The Allergy Debate

A large portion of people discourage categorizing black mold illnesses as pneumonia. People with allergies suggest that inhaling black mold does not cause pneumonia but rather a severe allergic reaction, such as rashes, asthma, watering eyes, sneezing and coughs. Most people describe it as having a severe cold or allergic reaction.

The Pneumonia Debate

Patients with weaker immune systems, such as organ transplant patients or children, can develop a severe case of black mold pneumonia, according to a joint publication from the University of Florida on 2006 by M. Hong Nguyen, M.D., and Frederick Southwick, M.D. Since black mold is inhaled into the lungs and can become lodged in the sinus cavity or spread to the brain and bloodstream, it seems to be more serious than an allergy or serious cold. For these reasons, some citizens and professional researchers are comfortable labeling black mold as pneumonia. It seems to have horrible effects on people, such as pulmonary problems.

Serious Symptoms

Black mold has the potential for horribly hazardous side effects from exposure including death. Some of the symptoms are headaches, red eyes, coughing and difficulty breathing, urinary tract infections, asthma (with chronic exposure), bleeding in the lungs and bronchial tubes, nose and throat irritation, skin rashes or hives, changes in blood pressure, visceral pain due to liver or kidney damage, digestive problems, nausea, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, dizziness, memory loss and infertility (with chronic exposure to high levels of black mold).


If you experience any symptoms, please see your doctor. There are many ways to get rid of a black mold invasion, such as preventing the gathering of moisture in certain rooms or areas, using bleach to kill the mold, sealing off an infected room and using soap and disinfectants. After the mold is totally removed, your health should recover.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by LIVESTRONG
Brought to you by LIVESTRONG
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

More Related Articles

Related Articles