Health Dangers and Risks
of Stachybotrys Mold 

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What Is Stachybotrys?

Stachybotrys Description and Natural Habitats

Stachybotrys (also known by its nicknames of  “black mold”, “toxic black mold”, “toxic mold”, and “Stachy”, and sometimes misspelled as Stachybotris) is a filamentous fungus occasionally isolated as a mold contaminant from nature and indoor environments. The geographic distribution of Stachybotrys is widespread. Stachybotrys mold spores and mold growth has been discovered in contaminated grains, tobacco, insulator foams, indoor air, and water-damaged buildings.  (from

An extensive survey of indoor and outdoor S. chartarum air concentrations by geographical regions in the United States found S. chartarum in 6% of the 1,717 buildings sampled in the period 1996-1998  (46% offices,  18% schools, 13% hospitals, 4% homes, 0% industrial sites, and 18% other).

Stachybotrys is a greenish black mold that, when active and growing in a wet environment can look black, shiny, glistening and/or slimy.

Stachybotrys grows on material with a high cellulose content or such as hay, straw, wicker, and wood chips, as well as building materials such as ceiling tile, drywall, paper vapor barriers, wallpaper, insulation backing, cardboard boxes, paper files, fiberboard, the paper covering of gypsum wallboard, particleboard, jute, dust, and wood when these items become water damaged.

Stachybotrys mold requires very wet or high humid conditions for days or weeks in order to grow. Most mold spores can begin growing after just 24 hours of wetness, whereas Stachybotrys spores take at least 48 hours of sustained wetness to begin growth. 

Thus, Stachybotrys survives and grows best in a continually wet environment such as a slow water leak in a wall, or in a building suffering from ongoing high humidity levels. Excessive indoor humidity resulting in water vapor condensation on walls, plumbing leaks, spills from showering or bathing, water leaking through foundations or roofs may lead to growth of many types of mold, including Stachybotrys. 

Because Stachybotrys spores are rarely airborne (unless Stachy mold growth is dry and disturbed or the mold spores are attached to airborne dust or other airborne particulates), Stachy is usually identified by direct swabs, or lift tape samples of the mold itself with laboratory analysis of the collected physical samples.

People can be exposed to  S. chartarum via  dermal  contact, ingestion, and inhalation.  For the general population, the most common reports of exposure  involve water-damaged buildings,  including  homes,  office buildings, courthouses, hospitals, a hotel, and schools.  Exposures leading to stachybotrytoxicosis have been reported among farmers, workers at facilities processing malt grain  or  reprocessing  moldy grain, textile mill workers using plant fibers, and workers at binder twine factories.

Stachybotrys mold growth produces trichothecene mycotoxins known as satratoxins, and these toxins may lead to pathological changes in animal and human tissues, resulting in serious health and medical problems. Medical studies about the health effects of Stachybotrys mold include---

►Fung, F., R. Clark, and S. Williams. 1998. Stachybotrys, a mycotoxin-producing fungus of increasing toxicologic importance. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 36:629-631.
Is the Stachybotrys Health Threat Exaggerated?

Other Mold Species that Produce Potent Mycotoxins of the Type Produced by Stachybotrys
Many fungi (e.g., species of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Trichoderma, and Memnoniella) in addition to Stachybotrys chartarum can produce potent mycotoxins, some of which are identical to compounds produced by Stachybotrys chartarum. Mycotoxins are fungal metabolites that have been identified as toxic agents. For this reason, SC cannot be treated as uniquely toxic in indoor environments. (Courtesy of New York City Health Dept.)

Stachybotrys Species names

The genus Stachybotrys has a single well-known species, Stachybotrys chartarum. Additional species names include:

  • Stachybotrys alternans (obsolete) 
    This obsolete species is a synonym of
     S. chartarum 
  • Stachybotrys atra (obsolete) 
    This obsolete species is a synonym of
     S. chartarum 

Stachybotrys chartarum 
S. alternans
 is an obsolete synonym of this species.
S. atra
 is an obsolete synonym of this species. 

As seen in the pictures below, Stachybotrys mold is characterized by clusters of colourless to brown swollen phialides at the tips of colourless to brown, sometimes branched, conidiophores. The dark brown 1-celled spores (conidia) are produced successively from the tips of the phialides and collect in wet masses. Species with spores in chains are referred to Memnoniella. A strong decomposer of cellulose and thus usually associated with decaying plant materials. Pictures are courtesy of Botany Department, University of Toronto

Picture of Stachybotrys mold under the microscope.

Hire Mold Experts Phillip Fry, Divine Fry, and Lee Maglanoc for the Toxic Mold Inspection, Testing of Your Home, Office, or Workplace in Arizona, California, Nevada, Midwestern USA, Eastern USA, and Southern USA

►Midwestern, Eastern, & Southern USA

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    1-480-310-7970 or email

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Mold Victim Rights Association
Are you a MOLD VICTIM because you are:
1. Working in a moldy workplace?
2. Renting a moldy rental house, apartment, condo, office, or commercial building?
3. Sick from staying in a moldy hotel, motel, or resort room?
4. Living in a moldy home purchased from a seller or new home builder who failed to disclose known mold infestations?
5. Having a water intrusion or mold damage problem caused by an adjoining condominium, co-op apartment, or your home owners association?
6. Making mortgage payments to a lender for a moldy house, condo, or commercial building?
7. Being unable to pay for needed mold remediation because your insurance company has wrongfully denied your water or mold damage insurance claim?
8. Living or working in a moldy house or building that was improperly or incompletely mold remediated by a mold remediation company?
9. Sick from living or working in a building water and mold damaged by a negligent building contractor such as a roofing, plumbing, or air conditioning company?
10. Attending school or teaching or working in a school that is mold-infested?

Get mold justice by joining the Mold Victim Rights Association. For help, phone executive director Phillip Fry toll-free 1-866-300-1616, cell phone (480) 310-7970, or email

Find Stachybotrys mold growth that may be hidden inside your home or workplace anywhere in the world, hire mold consultants Phillip and Divine Fry. Phone Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970 or email

[Stachybotrys Exaggerated Danger?]