Guide to Mold Related Illness & Other Indoor Air Quality Sickness Complaints
MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE - CONTENTS: Index to detailed articles aid in identifying illnesses that may be related to toxic or allergenic mold exposure. An atlas of mold related illness symptoms and complaints. A clinical atlas of mold toxicity. Finding and curing odors and gases in buildings. How to identify pollen and other allergens in buildings. Catalog of products to reduce mold and allergy problems. Bacterial hazards in buildings, sewer backups. Dog, cat, and other animal allergens, sources, testing, cleanup, prevention.
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Mold related illness research & references:
Here we provide key articles on mold-related illness, including lists of mold related symptoms and complaints,
a clinical atlas of mold toxicity, fiberglass hazards, odors and gases, pollen and other allergens, how to recognize allergens
in buildings, and suggestions about possible bacterial hazards such as due to sewage backups.
List of Articles Providing a Detailed Guide to Mold-Related Illnesses: Asthma, Allergies, Lung, Neurological, Other Complaints
This website provides information and procedures for finding, testing, cleaning and preventing indoor mold, toxic black mold, green mold,
testing building indoor air quality, and other sick house / sick building investigations. We also offer detailed advice on mold prevention and mold-resistant construction resistant
to indoor problem molds such as the Aspergillus sp., Penicillium sp. and Stachybotrys chartarum groups.
Allergen Tests in Buildings advice about how to test, what to look for, in evaluating the level of dog, cat, or other animal allergens in a building
Animal Allergens: Dog, Cat, and Other Animal Dander - Cleanup & Prevention Information for Asthmatics and regarding Indoor Air Quality.
Atlas of Mold Related Illness Symptoms & Complaints - list of documented health complaints associated with indoor exposure to mold, dampness, allergens, cockroaches, insects, VOCs, MVOCs, etc. We include illustrations of a number of skin rashes and other more serious complaints reported by clients exposed to indoor mold contamination.
Cat Dander: how to inspect and test a building for past or current presence of cats, cat hair, cat dander, and cat allergens
Recognizing Allergens: What various indoor allergens look like - identification photos to help identify pollen, dust mites, animal dander, toxic or allergenic mold - Common Mold and other Allergens, Irritants, Remedies & Advice
Rodent control issues, including dander, fecal, and urine contamination of Buildings and Building insulation are discussed at our Mold Action Plan page.
Keywords for topics addressed in these articles include: Sick House Investigations, Indoor Air Quality, Mold, Mildew, Dampness, Leaky Basements, Indoor
Air Quality, Stachybotrys, Fleas, Dust Mites, Pets, Animal Hair, Dander, Allergens, Bioaerosols, Asthma, ASHI Home
Inspections, ASHI Home Inspection, ASHI Home Inspector, ASHI Home Inspectors ASHI Soot Stains Fungus Fungi American
Society of Home Inspectors mold testing services by an expert mold testing lab, mold sample testing, including
bulk samples, air samples, vacuum samples for mold spores, spore identification, and mold health concerns, mold report of
mold test results by the mold lab include written advice, photographs, mold species identification to help spot dangerous
mold species and to guide mold remediation advice. Sick House Investigations, allergy, allergies, allergens,
asthma, asthmatics, dust mites, mold, mildew, fungi, indoor air quality, heating system ventilation, soot, stains,
combustion air, chimney defects, moisture, water entry, wet basements, surface and roof drainage, flooding, water damage,
air quality measurements
For background on how and why molds can be toxic, see this World Health Organization Mold Bulletin. Our page top photo shows severe mold contamination on the ceiling of a building basement exposed to flooding.
Question: Salem Oregon Environmental Contamination Concerns, EPA studies, Recommendations
12/12/2014 - Email from K.M. in Salem OR:
[our dogs ] ... just jumped off the couchand couldn't get up.
We have been trying to figure out what is going on since the beginning of summer in 2014. It started out we were planting new grass in the backyard. Suddenly it all died and would not grow. Then we noticed that our dogs were all \4/ were getting black "hair" on them and very dry or course. They started showing signs of a neurological disorder and or little one was even paralyzed for four days for unknown reasons.
Just jumped off couch as always, and couldn't get up, test show nothing after day 3 he started to walk but "drunk like" now back to normal. When thee dogs go outside, whatever is on them changes temp and the have a very strong "chemical" smell when they come in,giving us a headache and feeling anxious and short of breath. We are having a lot of medical problems that cannot be pin pointed to anything wrong. Can you help us figure out what the heck is going on. No one we call can help us and we are out of money due to testing and medical bills,but I feel that our lives are very much at risk here as I personally can't take much more of this. Please contact me at 503-856-8462 in Salem Oregon if you have any ideas for help.
Quoting from News & US EPA studies conducted in Salem Oregon,
In late 2012, residents of the West Salem, Oregon area submitted two petitions to the EPA citing their concerns about multiple cases of osteosarcoma in their community. The petitions asked EPA to look for environmental contaminants that could be causing people in their community to fall ill. - retrieved 12/12/2014, original source: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/cleanup.nsf/7780249be8f251538825650f0070bd8b/
This was followed-up by
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigation into possible environmental causes for a string of childhood cancer cases in West Salem has turned up no contamination or other issues.
“It’s really odd for us to come in and see low or no levels of contamination,” Tony Barber, of EPA’s Portland office, told parents of the children in an emotional, two-hour private meeting Tuesday night.
EPA plans to publicly release its report on Wednesday.
The agency agreed to the study in December 2012, in response to a public petition, after 17-year-old West Salem High School student Lisa Harder died of osteosarcoma. - retrieved 12/12/2014, original source: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20140211/UPDATE/140211033/
I also found other articles describing environmental worries in the area including complaints about soot and cinders dating to 1919 - "Salem's Pollution Problem (1929)", reporting that Spaulding and Oregon Pulp were the principal sources of the cinders. - retrieved 12/12/2014, original source: http://www.salemhistory.net/brief_history/pollution.htm
We cannot pretend to diagnose environmental complaints nor possibly-environmentally-related health worries by e-text nor phonecall. But some general advice would include:
1. consult with your doctor as well as your veternarian, or if appropriate ask for a referral to an expert in environmental medicine
See MOLD DOCTORS - ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE for some resources
2. if there is compelling evidence of building or site environmental complaints some research about possible contaminant sources - industries, spills, etc. - can sometimes point the way to just what toxins or contaminants for which to look. Without that intelligence it is in my OPINION a bit too easy and glib to perform some more arbitrary tests and find no indications of anything worth attention.
At MOLD STANDARDS - and also MOLD RELATED ILLNESS SYMPTOMS [this article] we discuss circling disease in sheep - a mold-related illness that I have observed in dogs who live in a moldy environment (depending of course on animal sensitivity, exposure level, and particular mold genera/species present).
Keep me posted
References: Environmental Contamination / Health Studies re: Salem OR
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, "Air Pollution Advisories", retrievedf 12/12/2014, original source: http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/advisories/
Avery, Whitney. "Oregon’s Pesticide Right to Know Law: Re-enactment Necessary for Future Health." (2004).
Bardana, Emil J. "Office epidemics." The Sciences 26, no. 6 (1986): 38-44.
Caldwell, Richard S., and Donald R. Buhler. "Heavy metals in estuarine shellfish from Oregon." Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology 12, no. 1 (1983): 15-23.
Curtis, Lawrence R., and Brian W. Smith. "Heavy Metal in Fertilizers: Considerations for Setting Regulations In Oregon." (2002).
Cude, Curtis G. "Oregon Water Quality Index A Tool For Evaluating Water Quality Management Effectiveness1." (2001): 125-137.
Dahlberg, Jeff A., and Gary L. Peterson. "Quarantine issues arising from contamination of seed with ergot: an update." Sorghum and Millets Diseases (2008): 123.
Deinzer, M. L., P. A. Thomson, D. M. Burgett, and D. L. Isaacson. "Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: their occurrence in honey from tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea L.)." Science 195, no. 4277 (1977): 497-499.
Dietz, David H. "Keynote Address - Politics of Pesticides." (1984). digitalcommons.unl.edu
Glass, Andrew. "The Oregon health plan." Cancer 82, no. S10 (1998): 1995-1999.
Gleeson, George Walter. "The return of a river: the Willamette River, Oregon." (1972).
Keely, Joseph F., and Kwasi Boateng. "Monitoring well installation, purging, and sampling techniques—part 2: case histories." Groundwater 25, no. 4 (1987): 427-439.
Keene, William E., Katrina Hedberg, Donald E. Herriott, Dale D. Hancock, Ronald W. McKay, Timothy J. Barrett, and David W. Fleming. "A prolonged outbreak of Escherichia coli O157: H7 infections caused by commercially distributed raw milk." Journal of Infectious Diseases 176, no. 3 (1997): 815-818.
Lowe, Ernest A. "Creating by-product resource exchanges: strategies for eco-industrial parks." Journal of Cleaner Production 5, no. 1 (1997): 57-65.
Morton, William. "Further investigation of housewife cancer mortality risk." Women & health 7, no. 2 (1982): 43-52.
Parsons, Elizabeth. "The waters of death: pesticides in the Willamette River." (2004).
Skeels, Michael R., Robert Sokolow, C. Vance Hubbard, Jon K. Andrus, and Joanne Baisch. "Cryptosporidium infection in Oregon public health clinic patients 1985-88: the value of statewide laboratory surveillance." American journal of public health 80, no. 3 (1990): 305-308.
Sweet, H. R., and R. H. Fetrow. "Ground‐Water Pollution by Wood Waste Disposal." Groundwater 13, no. 2 (1975): 227-231.
Weiss‐Penzias, Peter, Daniel A. Jaffe, Philip Swartzendruber, James B. Dennison, Duli Chand, William Hafner, and Eric Prestbo. "Observations of Asian air pollution in the free troposphere at Mount Bachelor Observatory during the spring of 2004." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012) 111, no. D10 (2006).
Continue reading at MOLD RELATED ILLNESS SYMPTOMS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.
Questions & answers or comments about Actual or Suspected Mold Related Illness.
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 "Spectrum of Noninfectious Health Effects from Mold", Lynnette J. Mazur, MD, MPH, Janice Kim, MD, PhD, MPH, the Committee on Environmental Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, technical report appearing in PEDIATRICS Volume 118, Number 6, December 2006, see aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;118/6/e1909.pdf OR
for this excellent article, or contact the American Academy of Pediatrics, 141 Northwest Point Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL, 847-434-4000
 Guidance for Clinicians on the Recognition and Management of Health Effects Related to Mold Exposure and Moisture Indoors, [on file as /mold/Mold_Guide_UConn.pdf] - Eileen Storey, MD MPH, Kenneth H. Dangman, MD PhD MPH, Paula Schenck MPH, Robert L DeBernardo MD MPH, Chin S Yang PhD, Anne Bracker CIH MPH, Michael J Hodgson MD MPH, University of Connecticut Health Center, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Center for Indoor Environments and Health, 266 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 06030-6210, 30 September 2004. [We have edited this file to remove blank pages in order to speed its load-time and to add a link back to this website.] This document was designed to help the healthcare provider address patients with illnesses related to mold in the indoor environment by providing background understanding of how mold may be affecting patients. The guidance was published in 2004, with support from a grant by the U.S. EPA, by the Center for Indoor Environments and Health, or CIEH at the University of Connecticut Health Center. " -- original source: oehc.uchc.edu/images/PDFs/MOLD%20GUIDE.pdf (1.13MB PDF file, slow loading)
 History of major mold outbreaks: see the WHO bulletin above, also see a nice summary of the history of major mold related illness outbreaks is at moldbacteria.com/newsletters/2005/sep2005.html provided by Dr. Jackson Kung'U, a microbiologist, mycologist, writing for that website.
 Dr. Harret Burge, Harvard School of Public Health (ret). The four tests (proposed by Burge, Harvard School of Public Health) are stringent beyond your means as an inspector. Mold at high levels may cause and almost certainly aggravates or contributes to a wide variety of complaints.
 Clinical mold references: here are some of our lab's references for descriptions of illness-related molds, some of which are found in buildings:
Atlas of Clinical Fungi, 2nd Ed., GS deHoog, J Guarro, J Gene, & MJ Figueras, Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, 2000, ISBN 90-70351-43-9 (you can buy this book at Amazon) - The Atlas of Clinical Fungi is also available on CD ROM
MOLD RELATED ILLNESS List lists complaints that people have suggested or believed may have been related to indoor mold contamination in buildings (note that not all of these complaints are substantiated by experts)
Kansas State University, department of plant pathology, extension plant pathology web page on wheat rust fungus: see http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/path-ext/factSheets/Wheat/Wheat%20Leaf%20Rust.asp
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home",
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
US EPA - Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Building [Copy on file at /sickhouse/EPA_Mold_Remediation_in_Schools.pdf ] - US EPA
US EPA - Una Breva Guia a Moho - Hongo [Copy on file as /sickhouse/EPA_Moho_Guia_sp.pdf - en Espanol
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