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Mycotoxins and Human Health

In the following video, Dr. Andrew Campbell provides a thorough explanation of the ways toxicogenic molds do harm to the human body. The full lecture is an hour and a half in length. Below is a summary of Dr. Campbell's main points and their respective locations in the video.

0:00:23 Dr. Campbell is an MD specializing in clinical immunotoxicology, which is the study of how toxins affect the immune system. His patients include those affected by chemicals, vaccines, and contaminated indoor environments.

0:01:57 Government figures show that in the 1950s, 75 percent of the air we breathed was outdoor air. Today, 94 percent of the air we breathe is indoor air.

0:05:37 We started making energy-efficient buildings in the 1970s. What happens when there is water intrusion in these buildings? Mold spores revive and multiply, releasing spores which carry mycotoxins, and these mycotoxins affect us. Bacteria also start growing (gram negative and gram positive) that release endotoxins. This mixture grows through drywall and hits paint or wallpaper glue, which results in a chemical reaction releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These organic compounds are, in and of themselves, toxic.

0:07:41 Mold is nothing new: Leviticus chapter 14.

0:12:40 There are 100,000 types of mold. Two dozen of them cause health problems in humans.

0:13:39 Mycotoxins have historically been used in biological warfare: yellow rain, Saddam Hussein, etc.

0:14:48 Mold spores will cause some trouble, but mycotoxins are like a bullet with molds as the gun. Mycotoxins are much worse.

0:15:47 Names of mycotoxins: trichothecenes, beta glucans, T-2 toxin, aflatoxins. One mold will produce a series of mycotoxins. The most toxic substance known to humankind—ahead of nerve gas—is aflatoxin B2.

0:17:54 An example of how severe mycotoxins are: A bank building is closed because of mold contamination. Three years later, when it's time to clean up the building, the building is opened. One would expect to see "critters": ants, spiders, flies, etc. Nothing is found. Except dead animals. This is the reality of mycotoxins.

0:18:55 What does this mean to humans? Humans have an immune system that protects us from "foreigners," which provides a barrier for us. What is the first thing mycotoxins do? Damage the immune system. If they can knock down the walls, they can get in and create havoc in the body. Mycotoxins are potent protein synthesis inhibitors.

0:20:50 What happens when our immune system is suppressed? We get sicker and take longer to heal. We catch viruses easily. Cuts take a long time to heal. We become overreactive to things like perfumes and fragrances. Our immune system starts fighting everything, including ourselves (autoimmune reactions).

0:23:06 What happens when we go to the doctor and autoimmune reactions show up? They put you on steroids—an immunosuppressant, so your suppressed immune system gets really suppressed. When you get off the steroids, the symptoms are still there. Steroids can cause a whole host of diseases. We must find out what caused the original problem.

0:30:16 What else happens to the human body after repeated exposure to mold/mycotoxins/VOCs? Fatigue. Not tiredness. Not laziness. Overwhelming fatigue.

0:32:42 The nervous system is also affected, which can result in depression. Doctors are telling you it's in your head. You're not able to enjoy pleasures in life. Demyelinating symptoms appear: muscle weakness, numbness, strange headaches, memory loss, confusion, getting lost in words, stopping in the middle of a sentence (aphasia).

0:39:48 Story of scientist Alexander Fleming, who left two petri dishes side by side one weekend—one containing penicillium mold, the other bacteria. When he returned, he found that the bacteria was dead. Thus the invention of penicillin, a derivative of mold. Immunosuppressants are derivatives of mycotoxins.

0:40:55 When you find moldy bread in your refrigerator, those are molds and bacteria feeding on that slice of bread. Molds release mycotoxins to kill off the bacteria, an example of the "survival of the fittest" principle.

0:41:46 A closer look at stachybotrys and trichothecenes. As shown by Dr. Strauss, mycotoxins are produced immediately. How bad are they? They're known to cause kidney cancer, esophageal cancer, leukemia, cancer of the liver, and testicular cancer.

0:43:27 Note that the medical literature from the 1980s shows a relationship between mycotoxins, molds, and health. Go to a doctor today and he doesn't know anything about it. Doctors today say mycotoxins can't cause these health issues.

0:47:40 The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website lists minimal health problems related to molds. However, for the mycotoxin trichothecene—a direct mycotoxin from mold only—they list the following: May be weaponized, dermal exposure leads to burning pain, oral exposure leads to vomiting and diahrrea, ocular exposure leads to blurred vision, inhalation leads to nasal irritation and cough, and systemic symptoms can develop with all routes of exposure. This can result in weakness, ataxia, low blood pressure, bleeding, and death.

0:52:10Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2006: Fusarium—A New Culprit in the Contact Lens Case. People were treated for eye infections with antibiotic drops. The cause turned out to be a mold, so the antibiotics didn't help.

0:53:50 Other medical and scientific facts about mold/mycotoxins. From Atmospheric Environment, 1992: Over 500 VOCs have been described from fungi. The dominant VOC of molds is ethanol, which itself is a potent synergizer of many toxins.

0:59:17 Numerous studies cited, including one titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. The study came out in 2000 by the United States Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA). The study gives the following safety guidelines for assessing mold: "Do not touch it with your bare hands. Do not get mold or mold spores in your eyes. Do not breathe these things. Consult Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Containment guidelines. Consider using PPE when disturbing mold. The minimum is an N-95 respirator, gloves and eye protection."

1:07:30 When you inhale these things for several months in a building or home and you move away, it makes you maybe 10-20 percent better, but you must repair what has been damaged. A latency period of 10-15 years is not unusual. Unless it is treated, it doesn't go away.

1:08:58 Comments about nutrition: All commercial chicken feed in the U.S. contains arsenic. Eggs that aren't natural are very different from those that are. Beef is injected five days before slaughter with DES, a female hormone. Jersey cows are injected with a female hormone to increase milk production. Children who have a cheeseburger Happy Meal and a milk shake are getting estrogenic disrupters, which may explain why we're now seeing girls age 8-10 developing prematurely. We have a prevalence of infertility. Men are eating estrogen in dairy products and beef, and we have an increasing rate of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Grains: In 1996 the Department of Agriculture announced to Congress that 98 percent of U.S. agricultural land was devoid of nutrients, due to overuse of fertilizers after World War II. We take all types of chemicals and spray them, then it rains, and they are sucked up by the roots and end up in fruits and vegetables—an average of 12 chemicals per produce item, of which 20 percent are known carcinogens.

1:16:20 A book written in 1986 by Bob Crook called The Yeast Connection. It was ahead of its time then, but is behind the times now. Yeast is mold. There are many species of candida, and candida can cause meningitis and pneumonia, and is potentially fatal.

1:17:52 In previous generations we ate fruits and vegetables only in season, and meat only on special occasions. Bread was a staple, as were dairy products and yogurt. In the last two generations we've begun taking antibiotics, which kill all bacteria, good and bad. The benefits of probiotics need to become better understood.

1:20:44 In 1999, the head of the Mayo Clinic's Ear, Nose and Throat department published an article reporting that the common cause of sinus infections—chronic runny, stuffy nose—was fungus. Of the 213 patients studied, 203 tested positive for fungus—a total of 96.8 percent. But if we go to a family doctor today, we're given an antibiotic, and the infection comes back. Why are doctors not aware of this study?

1:23:39 In 2006, the Canadian government made the recommendation to re-train every health care provider in Canada—doctors, nurses, dentists, physical therapists—to become aware of what a contaminated indoor environment can do. Why can't our government do the same thing? The Canadians are willing to re-train, and we bury our head in the sand.

Thanks to Lori Tondini, author of Are You Moldy?, for providing this video.

Quotes

"...at age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

Dedication