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Mold Illness Studies

Mold on Drywall Can exposure to toxic mold cause health issues? Is there a link between water-damaged buildings and neurological dysfunction, sinus and respiratory problems, and other chronic health conditions?

When seeking medical treatment, many mold-exposed individuals are met with skepticism by physicians. Family members or loved ones may dismiss the connection.

The document linked below offers a comprehensive list of studies that may be shared with those who question the connection between water-damaged buildings and adverse health conditions.

Examples of these studies include:

  • Mould exposure at home relates to inflammatory markers in blood.
  • Sarcoidosis, asthma and asthma-like symptoms among occupants of a historically water-damaged office building.
  • The validity of the environmental neurotoxic effects of toxigenic molds and mycotoxins.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum, trichothecene mycotoxins, and damp building-related illness: new insights into a public health enigma.

There are currently more than 300 studies linking exposure to toxigenic contaminants found in water-damaged buildings with adverse health outcomes.

This document is the work of the late toxicologist Dr. Jack Thrasher and Dr. Irene Grant, along with momsAWARE. We hope this serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to validate an illness or educate the medical community.

Click for PDF Download: momsAWARE List of References on Mold Illnesses

Environmental Health Survey for the Workplace

Office BuildingAre you experiencing health issues that seem to relate to your workplace? Are your coworkers reporting similar symptoms? Do you wonder if mold or other indoor air contaminants might be to blame?

A 1984 World Health Organization Committee report suggests that up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subject of excessive complaints related to indoor air quality (IAQ).

The following survey is designed to be a tool in the assessment of a building's safety by gathering feedback from its employees. (Please note: The survey is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice.)

Click for PDF download: Environmental Health Survey for the Workplace

Symptoms of Fungal Exposure

The following is excerpted from the Mold-Help website.

Fungi, which include yeasts, moulds, smuts and mushrooms, are responsible for causing four types of mycotic (fungal) disease:

1. Hypersensitivity - an allergic reaction to moulds and spores
2. Mycotoxicosis - poisoning by food products contaminated by fungi
3. Mycetismus - the ingestion of preformed toxin (toadstool poisoning)
4. Infection - systemic (Mycotoxicosis, the subject below)

These are the most common symptoms of fungal exposure (bear in mind, people never fit all of below criteria). Most people with some forms of Mycotoxicosis meet at least 8 (recent symptoms) of the following criteria:

Read more ...

Allergy vs. Toxic Exposure

People often assume that a reaction to toxic mold is an allergic one. This excerpt from an article on the MCS America website helps to alleviate this confusion.

Q: What is the difference between a chemical allergy and a chemical toxicity?

A: An allergy produces hay fever-like symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, nasal stuffiness, watering eyes, wheezing, and coughing. Allergy symptoms, while difficult, are generally regarded as different degrees of a nuisance. The symptoms are usually easily observable by a physician and therefore are easily accepted and diagnosed. Diagnosis can be confirmed with typical allergy tests for elevated immunoglobulin E (IgE).

The symptoms of chemical toxicity are typically neurological and include headache, extreme fatigue, dizziness, weakness, nausea, disorientation, memory problems, slowed reaction time, peripheral neuropathy, sensory neuropathy, and personality/mood changes. Other symptoms may include respiratory difficulty, rash, burning sensations in the nose and mouth, and gastrointestinal disorders. Serious toxicity may result in impaired speech, seizures, stroke, and paralysis.

Read more ...

WHO Guidelines on Indoor Air Quality

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a set of guidelines in 2009 targeting damp indoor environments. The guidelines state that "the most important means for avoiding adverse health effects is the prevention or minimization of persistent dampness and microbial growth on interior surfaces and in building structures." This is a significant conclusion and will prove pivotal in the days ahead.

The accompanying press release stated, "In many EU countries, 20–30% of households have problems with dampness. Strong evidence indicates that this is a risk to health. In damp conditions, hundreds of species of bacteria and fungi grow indoors and emit spores, cell fragments and chemicals into the air. Exposure to these contaminants is associated with the incidence or worsening of respiratory symptoms, allergies, asthma and immunological reactions."

The document is extensive and is the result of a rigorous two-year review of the research done by 36 leading experts worldwide.

The guidelines also conclude that occupants of damp or moldy buildings, both private and public, have up to a 75 percent greater risk of respiratory symptoms and asthma.

WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould

Quotes

"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

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

– Jennifer

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

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

– Anonymous

"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.

"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

"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

"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 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

"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

"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

"...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

"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

Dedication