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Mold and Mycotoxins

Fungus is all around us. It's a wonderful addition to our creation. It naturally recycles plant and animal life. It's a gift.

Until it's found indoors. In high concentrations. Or in foods. In high concentrations. It helps to learn the basics of fungus in order to understand the dangers. Fungi are not plants. They are not animals. They are their own kingdom. A rather daunting realization. There are more than 1.5 million fungal species. In other words, we have a lot to learn about this kingdom. The fungus kingdom includes yeasts, molds, smuts, and mushrooms.


There are two key characteristics of fungi worth mentioning. 1. Fungi lack chlorophyll. 2. Fungi cannot make their own food. (This makes diet critical to recovery after an exposure and worthy of a later discussion.)

But here is the key piece of information. Fungi secrete and make a poisonous substance called a mycotoxin. Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals. Now, if we are in a building with little to no ventilation with mold growing behind the walls, mycotoxins are emitted. The fact that mold is everywhere in the world, especially the South, is no longer comforting.

According to the World Safety Organization, "The human body once exposed to a mycotoxin runs a triple risk to its toxic effects. The triple risk factors are direct toxic effect of the mycotoxin, acquisition of mutated RNAi from the mycotoxin's parent fungus, and creation of an internal biofilm, which will harbor a toxic soup of disease."

Here are some of the mycotoxins known to cause harm to mankind. Again, this is from the World Safety Organization's 17th International Environmental Safety & Health Conference & Exposition (November 3–5, 2003).

DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH VARIOUS MYCOTOXINS

Aflatoxin

Aflatoxin is one of the most potent carcinogens known to man and has been linked to a wide variety of human health problems. Aspergillus species fungi produce aflatoxin.

Ochratoxin

Ochratoxin is primarily produced by species of Penicillim and Aspergillus. Ochratoxin is damaging to the kidneys and liver and is also a suspected carcinogen. There is also evidence that it impairs the immune system.

T-2 Toxin

T-2 toxin is trichothecene produced by species of Fusarium and is one of the more deadly toxins. If ingested in sufficient quantity, T-2 toxin can severely damage the entire digestive tract and cause rapid death due to internal hemorrhage. T-2 has been implicated in the human diseases alimentary toxic aleukia and pulmonary hemosiderosis. Damage caused by T-2 toxin is often permanent.

This is only a partial list. Other mycotoxins include: fumonisin, vomitoxin, zearalenone, gliotoxin. The mold stachybotrys emits trichothecenes.

"Mold is always guilty until proven innocent." When we understand the biological warfare that accompanies the fungal kingdom, guilt is far better to presume than innocence.

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

"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 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

"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 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'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

"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

"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

"...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

"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'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

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

– Jennifer

"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

"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

"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 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

"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

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

– Anonymous

Dedication