When health issues exist it's important to consider the environment. Radon, asbestos, and lead are commonly considered. Mold and its contaminants are not. Pesticide use is also critical. The late toxicologist Dr. Jack Thrasher offered these six questions for anyone attempting to correlate an illness with the environment.
- Have you used a pesticide applicator to treat for any type of insects and/or spiders? Inside the home or outside the home?
- Are you on a septic tank system and do you have sewage-type odors?
For those who find themselves in a mold-infested environment and must leave it, it is adviseable to proceed with the utmost caution when it comes to belongings. It is often best to start fresh and make decisions about possessions later. Once you're settled and established in a fresh environment, the desire to bring things with you often lessens. If stachybotrys is not involved, items may be successfully cleaned. Often professional cleaning is optimal. Other times, white vinegar and/or hydrogen peroxide can be used. Remember, you can’t lose if you proceed with caution.
As we attempt to rid our bodies of unwanted pathogens, it's critical to choose healthy, fresh foods which are both easily digested and uncontaminated. The following peer-reviewed study, published in 2003 by Tulane University, looks at the implications of mycotoxins in foods.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals. Because of their pharmacological activity, some mycotoxins or mycotoxin derivatives have found use as antibiotics, growth promotants, and other kinds of drugs; still others have been implicated as chemical warfare agents. This review focuses on the most important ones associated with human and veterinary diseases, including aflatoxin, citrinin, ergot alkaloids, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, patulin, trichothecenes, and zearalenone.
Mycotoxins are common occurrences in our food supply. If there is any type of health liability, the ingestion of mycotoxins only adds to the toxic load. There can be great benefit, therefore, in mycotoxin avoidance.
The veterinary world is well aware of this truth. The Center for Veterinary Medicine, part of the Food and Drug Administration, gave a startling presentation in 2006 listing specific mycotoxins and some of the health effects for animals and humans.
Douglas Mader, a veterinary specialist in Marathon, Fla., was performing routine dental procedures on two cats when he noticed frothy blood within endotracheal tubes used to supply anesthesia to the animals. The veterinarian immediately stopped the procedures, but both animals died - one the following day, the other about two weeks later.