Streams

Toxic Mold

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An upstate New York librarian claims that her MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) was caused by exposure to mold at the library where she worked. She's now so ill she can barely leave her house. Today industrial hygienist Monona Rossol and Dr. David C. Straus explain why some mold can be so toxic, and whether you should be concerned about your workplace. Ms. Rossol is also founder and president of Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc., and Dr. Straus is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Texas Tech University.

Guests:

Monona Rossol
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Comments [18]

Iris from Ga.

I appreciate the show on this subject. Dr. Straus has been a help to many people. Tho' mold testing had shown aspergillus,trichoderma, stachybotrys, viable penicillium, chaetomium,cladosporium, culvaria, mucor, yeast, fusarium, rhizophus, and many more in our rental home...

We still had no testing that would detect the actual mycotoxin. I thank Dr. Straus from the bottom of my heart; they found highly toxic levels of trichothecene, a known toxin...

My husband and I were severely poisoned, for the home was so toxic..(yet with NO visible mold).
Dr.Vojdani did pcr testing which detected the dna of both aspergillus and stachy..had diffused from lung seceretions into our bloodstreams, a systemic infection. The general public has no idea how serious mold-related illnesses are..People lose health, home and find it hard to find medical treatment.

I thank God for people like Vojdani, Straus and all physicians, etc. who warn people of the adverse health effects of mold.

Jul. 15 2007 11:51 PM
Dana Toliver from Pasadena, California

I am so glad this subject is being talked about. My daughter and I are currently suffering the effects of "toxic" mold exposure from our apartment and it's been a hellish experience trying to first get the doctors to believe that there is anything wrong with you and then trying to get a correct diagnosis and then treatment, especially if you have insurance or an HMO. I eventually had to seek help from a private doctor which I've had to pay out of pocket for but now trying to get the rest of society to aknowledge, except and understand mycotoxicosis, mycoses or biotoxin illness is very difficult.

Jul. 08 2007 03:37 PM
Bill Vanderbilt from Sligo Pa.

Greetings All
Toxic mold has all but destroyed my life. Loss of hearing, balance and memory. Constant pain. IBS. Excessive sweating. The list goes on and on.
I have resources now that can prove that my health problems are the result of living in a rental house full of mold from a leaky roof.
Anyhow, I cannot find a local Dr who truly understands the mycotoxin thing. I cannot find a lawyer who will take my case because the insurance companies are willing to juswt about ANYTHNG TO PREVENT THE TRUTH FROM GETTING OUT ABOUT TOXIC MOLD.
i AM PREPARING A case for court on my own without a lawyer. I have about 30 days to get this filed before my time runs out. What I thought would be a good idea is to collect as many personal history stories about the damages resulting from toxic mold exposure. I will present all of these person experience stories as evidene. I will kepp all ofr these stories in a data base and make it accessable to others who have the same problems.
I would appreciate it5 you could send me your story about toxic mold. I have begun an advocacy forum on Adlandpro for the purpose of collecting this information and for sharing what knowledge we have already aquired. Please send your story to my email address at
billyv5@yahoo.com or post d9irectly to my discussion forum on Adlandpro. Hdere is my link there.
http://community.adlandpro.com/forums/thread/668647.aspx

I wish all of you the very best of luck with your health problems. I believe that if we all work together we can get some justice here. thank you.

Sincerely, Bill Vanderbilt

Jul. 04 2007 12:48 AM
PHILIP from YONKERS, NY

I WORK FOR A WESTCHESTER SCHOOL WHERE I GOT OCCUPATIONAL ASTHMA FROM BEING ON A LONE JOB OF REPLACING ACOUSTICAL CEILNG TILES FOR 4 YEARS. ALSO TO THIS INJURY WAS THE PROBLEM OF HANDLING THE MOLD ON THE TILES FROM THEM GETTING WET DUE TO OUR ROOF LEAKAGES. IN THE YEARS IN MAINTANANCE I NEVER WAS TOLD ABOUT THE HAZARD OF HANDLING THIS TYPE OF TILE AND THE PROTECTIVE GEAR I WAS NEVER GIVEN NOR WAS I GIVEN THE PROPER TRAINING. IT IS A SHAME THAT SUPERVISORS I WENT TO A YEAR PRIOR TO MY BEING DIAGNOSED WAS TOLD I WAS HAVING BREATHING PROBLEMS AND THEY DID NOTHING ABOUT IT. SCHOOL OFFICIALS MUST BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ILLNESS THAT IS CONTACTED BY ANY MEANS. DUE TO THERE LACK OF INVESTIGATING PRODUCT USEAGE THERE ARE TO MANY PEOPLE GETTING SICK.

Jul. 01 2007 12:06 PM
Ali from East Coast

Thank you for having a program of this toxic mold topic. It can only be helpful to many since weather has caused significant flooding with more mold in homes/workplaces/schools as a result. I hope you have more shows on this topic and include other specialists in this area who can give specifics as to what symptoms to look for and how to treat the resulting physical/cognitive decline. It is scarey to think that many people may have molds hidden in walls, ducts, homes, etc that can effect their cognition as well as their overall health. THere is not enough awareness about what to do and how to do mold removal correctly and safely. Please do another show on this topic soon. Thank you again.

Jun. 30 2007 09:17 PM
angela page from Sullivan County

It is Angela Pages doctors and the workers compensation board you should quote as saying she suffers from MCS due to occupational presences of fungi.

Jun. 27 2007 09:10 AM
Donna Kristek from Missouri

I have talked with Dr. Straus who told me to
call Stephen Vesper, EPA mold study head which
in-turn told me to call Ritchie Shoemaker in
MD. Dr. Shoemaker is one person you should have on your program along with Dr. William Rea
of the Enviornmental Health Center Dallas as they both are the leading experts on mycotoxin
and chemical injury and sensitivity. I have
gone to Dr. Rea and my doctor has flown to MD.
to meet Shoemaker and has been helping other
mycotoxin injured people in our area. I also
go to Dr. Vincent Marinkovich of Redwood City,
Ca. allergist and immunologist and he has a chapter in David Straus's book - Sick Building
Syndrome. Dr. James Peska of Michigan State
University has done many studies on the effects
of Stachybotrys mycotoxin Satatoxin H. One
in 2005 proved it does cause lesions in the
murine nose and brain and also possible cognitive dysfuntion. I had bloody sinus which
weeks of antibiotics didn't help. Have been
diganosed with executive dysfunction (cognitive), hypersensitivity, allergic contact
dermatitis delayed, chemical sensitivity, food
allergies from leaky gut, fungal hypersensitiy, autonomic nervous system dysfuntion, chronic fatigue, etc.
I am writing a book on all I know about this
illness as I was poisoned by these mycotoxins
in my home five years ago. My doctor is also
writing a book on the subject with another
doctor from the University of Missouri and they
are going to be interviewing me for the book
and said I could have a chapter in it also.
Dr. Kaye Killburn at the Un. of So. Ca. would
be another one for his expertise in neurotoxic problems from mycotoxin exposure.
I appreciate you having this program as many
people have lost their homes, health, and
marriages from these toxigenic molds.
I am dedicated to help others with any knowledge I might have as I believe, as Dr.
Shoemaker does, that "This is America's Hidden
Health Threat".
Donna

Jun. 27 2007 01:35 AM
Apartment dweller

For the people asking about testing. There is a new test out called ERMI that is based on qualitative PCR of dust sampled from an apartment or home that I have been seeing advertised. It doesn't test for toxins but it does look like it would pick up the dominant aspect of situations unlike the cheap and common spore trap "air testing" that many people consider so flawed.

Here is an example of one reputable company's ERMI product offering. They use dust collected via a vacumn cleaner, which tends to get a better picture of a space's mold situation over time.

http://www.aerotechpk.com/AnalyticalServices/ERMI.aspx

But what is also needed is an ability to do real mycotoxin testing of air in an environment over a period of time. Maybe 24 hours ? - because it was my experience that air patterns inside of a building's walls, vents, etc. change throughout the day because of the stack effect. (there is a pressure that sends particles upward and even downward at times inside of walls)

I hope this info is helpful

Jun. 26 2007 03:47 PM
Darlene Berube from Worcester, Massachusetts

I have molds in my central air/heating system supply and return ducts. What is the method of remediation that would need to be done, and would the regular maintenance men from the complex be able to do such a task? To my knowledge, the system has not been maintained in the apartments for years: no duct cleaning in individual apartments. With the mycologist reports stating there is Aspergillus, Pencillum, phoma type, cladosporiu, and yeasts in high levels would the complex need to get a professional company in, and would they have to do all apartments supply and return ducts since it is in mine and I am on the sixth floor of a nine floor building. I am very sick from the molds and have been for 16 months.
Thank you,
Darlene Berube
Worcester, Mass

Jun. 26 2007 02:47 PM
Darlene Berube from Worcester, Massachusetts

Thank you very much Dr. Straus and Monona Rossol for speaking on Mold Exposure and illness. This is another avenue for all of us getting the truths out about toxic molds and the adverse health effects. We need more episodes through the media on these very important issues not only for awareness but knowledge to the public, political, and medical sector's.

Respectfully,
Darlene Berube
Worcester, Mass
Mold Victim
Owner/Moderator of the new website:
The Nation's Indoor Environment -- Toxic Mold
www.moldenvironment.com

Jun. 26 2007 02:02 PM
Barbara from ny, ny

Is mildew a form of mold? Is it toxic? Does one get rid of it the same way as one tries to get rid of toxic molds in general?

Jun. 26 2007 01:48 PM
Ann Roberti from Long Island

I live near the water on long island and so the humidity is very high. i have seen mold growing on my clothing, i think just from the humidity level. is there anything i can do besides install central air conditioning?

Jun. 26 2007 12:38 PM
Maria from ny

I used to have a very bad mold problem in my bathroom and I used all sorts of anit-mold agents in paint. I decided to have venetian plaster done in my bathroom and since then (about two years now) I have not had any mold, I think that what is on the walls makes a big difference. Hope this helps!

Jun. 26 2007 12:35 PM
Apartment dweller

I wanted to add an important piece of information. Dr. Richie Shoemaker in Maryland has been using the old cholesterol drug cholestyramine to help people with mold illness. The toxins accumulate in the bile, in enterohepatic recirculation.

Geting out was the most important. Cholestyramine, who my family doctor was nice enough to prescribe for me when I asked, also helped me a LOT.

But I still have the memory and fatigue issues, because I was there for years getting the runaround and it was really bad, and I didn't realize it. So now I am trying to figure out what to do next.

I need to get better.

Jun. 26 2007 12:32 PM
Allison from midtown manhattan

can mold be removed from canvas? i am involved in a youth program where children are made to walk on a canvas maze. this maze is so penetrated with mold it makes me morally uncomfortable that my employer refuses to have it professionally treated. are these children at risk? does the canvas need to be discarded? thank you.
a

Jun. 26 2007 12:27 PM
Russell

There's a good chance that I have either a dead mouse or squirrel inside a wall in my basement (the horrible smell was so categorized by several people) and the summer before the smell began I heard a small animal crawling back there. Anyway, I'm curious whether the animal's dead body may eventually develop dangerous mold? Are there other dangers/negatives besides the bad smell (which has decreased since its peak last January)?

Jun. 26 2007 12:23 PM
Matt from Brooklyn

Dear Mr. Lopate,

Regarding toxic mold, can you please ask your guests the following questions:

1) what's the best way to detect whether or not there is a significant amount of mold in one's house? Can one buy a "detection kit" or hire a professional mold detector?

2) if you suspect that you have a significant amount of mold in your house, how can you protect yourself until you're able to sanitize your abode? (e.g., wear a paper mask over your mouth?)

3) what's the best way to purge your basement of mold?

4) if your basement has been flooded, how quickly can a significant (hazardous to your health) amount of toxic mold form?

Thank you Leonard. I love your show!

- Matt

Jun. 26 2007 12:20 PM
Apartment dweller

My wife and I went through a hellish experience due to massive amounts of hidden mold inside of the walls of our building and after a total hell we were lucky enough to discover Dr. Straus and his group and their work at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. A lab did testing and they discovered we had a serious stachybotrys problem, but they were not able to test for toxins. Dr. Straus's group were. They tested samples from our building for trichothecene mycotoxins and the samples turned out to be very toxic. This explained the many symptoms which I have. Trichothecene mycotoxins are extremely toxic substances. I don't know how I can express how I feel about that situation in words, it was literally killing me. Laws don't address this danger, a situation which is criminal.

Dr. Straus's group has authored a number of papers which are very important to read for anybody in this situation. His AEM papers on mycotoxins "on particles smaller than conidia" and "in the indoor environment" are both important because they show how these mycotoxins can be on particles smaller than spores which are not detectable by the seriously flawed low volume spore trap 'air testing' that only tests for spores. The indoor environment paper shows how high volume air testing using impingement testing is necessary to collect enough of the toxins to register.

BTW, others recent research has showed that mycotoxins can damage the hippocampus causing a situation much like chemo brain in cancer chemotherapy survivors. This may permanently damage working memory and executive function.

It has been devastaing for me and I am trying to recover.

Jun. 26 2007 12:19 PM

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