Indoor Environmental Air Quality


What is “black” mold?


Although there are thousands of different species of molds, when media and news sources refer to “black mold,” they are generally referring to a specific type of mold called Stachybotrys chartarum. This type of mold has shown to produce adverse health effects. It is extremely rare to find black mold in the residence halls.

Stachybotrys has a greenish-black color and often has a shiny sheen on its surface. Fortunately, it only occurs in areas where there is a constant water source. It typically grows on materials with a high cellulose content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board (drywall), and paper. It is not commonly found on hard, non-porous surfaces such as ceramic, aluminum, sheet metal (vents), etc.

Many types of common molds are dark brown or black in color. Some are capable of producing adverse health effects; others may cause no effects at all. No matter the type, visible mold inside a building is unacceptable and the area should be cleaned or the building construction product removed.


Additional resources:

CDC's Main Page on Mold:

CDC’s Mold Testing page:

CDC's Indoor Air Quality Page:

EPA’s Mold Testing and Sampling page:

EPA's Main Page on Mold: