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Mold skin rash found on exposure to high levels of Stachybotrys chartarum (C) D FriedmanMold Related Illness Questions & Answers
Mold-related illness FAQs

  • MOLD RELATED ILLNESS FAQs - CONTENTS: questions & answers about mold related illnesses, symptoms & complaints associated with exposure to mold in buildings. Photos of several Different-Appearing Mold-related Skin Rashes on People Not Suffering from Tinea
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about possible symptoms of mold related illness & health complaints
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Mold Related Illness Questions & Answers / FAQs:

These mold related illness or mold contamination questions and answers discuss complaints or symptoms, of Illnesses that are either caused, or aggravated by indoor mold exposure or alternatively, that were believed or suspected by individuals to have a role in their physical or mental health complaints.



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Questions & Answers about reactions to allergenic, pathogenic, or toxic mold, allergens, and other indoor gases or particles

These mold-related illness Q&As were posted originally at MOLD RELATED ILLNESS SYMPTOMS

On 2017-04-15 17:03:29.551794 by (mod) re: do mold related health problems go away when the mold has been removed?

L.

That's a question to ask your doctor, L. M. since the specific molds or MVOCS to which a person was exposed, the duration and level of exposure, and the specific health problem as well as individual personal overall health, genetics, and other environmental exposures are surely factors in whether or not mold-related-illness symptoms disappear completely.

Certainly I've seen some mold related health complaints disappear, while I've had other clients who had lingering symptoms.

In addition, acute exposure to some molds or MVOCs can cause a person to have increased sensitivity to those same materials in the environment in the future - at least for a time.

Daniel

On 2017-04-15 14:37:09.024753 by L. Miles

Are health problems resolved when mold is permanently removed?

On 2017-03-10 21:57:51.002780 by (mod)

Shane, in the bottom of this article at the INDEX TO ARTICLES found at More Reading, see this live link

MOLD DOCTORS - ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE - or use the search box at the top or bottom of any inspectApedia page to find that article quickly.

On 2017-03-10 19:35:01.302298 by Shane

Are there any doctors in Alabama for mold exposure treatments

On 2017-01-30 12:03:07.466915 by Connie

In the article below ....."love" just doesn't seem to have the same emphasis....but I understand!

I have systemic candida infection which damn near killed me when I contracted septic pneumonia a few months ago.
The worst part of my illness is I could not get ANYONE to believe me....not even my primary care dr. I don't go there anymore! Candida overgrowth leads to albicans. Of course I had the pleasure of Levaquin right into my veins to save my life and the yeast took over my entire body from head to my toes. My hair fell out everywhere this nasty fungus traveled...all over my face, arms, legs, feet.....not one part of my body is spared from this MONSTER SH*#!!!!

I am so angry with my family that would rather believe I am a meth head seeing bugs and my daughter is an RN sent me an article on "parasitosis".. I'll tell you what!!...I wish it were just me seeing things!! I have to date knocked on death's door 4 times. I really think this is the most disgusting, icky, make me feel unclean, love I have ever been through!. My own family had me questioning my sanity to the point I started documenting every day in pictures on my phone to the point of obsession BECAUSE if I damn die from this love, they better do an autopsy and maybe someone will finally believe me! If this sounds like you, get a holistic Dr. Antifungals damage your liver and it is only a bandaid anyway.

I am treating it with every essential oil the candida hates. It thrives on sugar and so guess what....YOU CRAVE BUT WHAT ELSE? SUUUUGGGGGAAAAARRRR! Shame on me....my husband is so much sicker than I and lost his eyesight from this f---ing mold. We are very angry people that don't know what to do because it is too late for my husbands eyes....it is incurable Non-Arteritic-Ischemic-Optic-Neuropathy...low blood pressure moment in his sleep and he went to bed with his vision and woke up legally blind. It has changed our lives forever....thanks for letting me vent

On 2017-01-22 10:43:26.560175 by Keith

Can the mold - Stachybotrus charturum - cause severe itchy scalp?

On 2016-12-19 07:50:54.435249 by Marie

What type of fungus appears algae like or similar to a thin layer of some sort of membrane?

On 2016-12-13 09:54:26.594816 by Aaron311312@gmail.com

I am very sick what's going on , everything I touch turns white ?

On 2016-08-28 17:31:06.999393 by (mod)

Molly,

Ringworm is a common fungal infection that takes various forms ranging from circular skin leisons to athlete's foot. (It does not actually involve "worms" of any sort.)

Ringworm is most-often contracted from contact with diseased animals or with the soil where such animals have been present. It is highly contaigous. I don't know how long the organism might survive in human skin scales shed by someone with a ringworm infection and who then handled photographs later stored in an attic. But research does show that " Dermatophytes can survive up to seven years in clinical specimens when stored at room temperature"

Note that that's a discussion of clinical specimens, not photographs touched by someone suffering from ringworm.

See

Sinski, James T., Thomas M. Moore, and Lee M. Kelly. "Effect of moderately elevated temperatures on dermatophyte survival in clinical and laboratory-infected specimens." Mycopathologia 71, no. 1 (1980): 31-35.

for a discussion of Survival of Dermatophytes in Human Skin Scales.

On 2016-08-24 23:59:24.700280 by Molly

Can I get ringworm from working on old photo's that were stored in the attic?

On 2015-07-31 13:54:50.612390 by (mod)

George

If you are asking about mold-related illnesses that need diagnosis and treatment, start with a referral from your own personal physician. She will typically refer you to a doctor specializing in environmental medicine. You can contact such a doctor directly through information we give at Inspectapedia - search for FIND A MOLD DOCTOR>.

On 2015-07-30 19:27:18.201953 by george

Who can treat mold infestations?

Question: My house is killing me and I have many of the symptoms listed in the article above - how do we prove that we need to move out?

I don't know if anyone will read this or be able to help me, but this is a cry for help!
I am dying from many of these symptoms listed above, most of which are caused by the moldy state of our house. My young kids are very sick constantly, and one has asthma and was born very sick. I kNOW there is mold in this house- we see it all over. Our basement floods every time it rains.

Why don't we just move you may ask? Well, I have tried...
We rent this house from my husband's parents. Not only does he feel "obligated" to stay here despite the conditions, but I feel that he does not understand how serious this is. Plus, he is very financially driven, and we pay very little to stay here :(

PLEASE please please, could someone help me convince my husband that we need to move out of this moldy hell? He won't listen to me or my mom (who is a real estate person). He sees us sick every day, but he doesn't understand that we could all be better if we were out of this toxic mold.
I'm only 26 and already I have lost my health completely due to this mold.... My kids and I (and even my husband, though his immune system is a lot better and he has much milder symptoms) have so many classic symptoms of toxic mold poisoning. And, whenever we spend time (weeks) in another place, we all "magically" get better!

Thank you for ANY help you can give.
You can email my husband at ash3ra (at) yahoo (dot) com
His name is Mike.... Thank you!! - Emily 5/3/11

Reply:

If your home is causing or contributing to illness among family members, you should consult your doctor, asking if s/he agrees that your complaints could be caused or aggravated by something in your environment. If the answer is yes, then see the MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ?.

A combination of a medical expert's advice and a building environment expert's findings will make clear whether or not a problem in the home needs to be addressed. In my OPINION, even if you decided to move, it would be a travesty to leave a problem that could hurt the next occupants and could catch them by surprise.

Additional reader comments about Mold Related Illness Complaints from the U.S., Norway, & other locations

You need to tell him, that you will take your kids and move, even if to your mom...i have suffered and still do because i stayed 6 months in a moldy place! its insanely dangerous to your health!!! pack your bags and move out, and leave your stupid husband to leave alone in the house.

I felt sick myself the last 3months...i feel soooo weak,so sleepy and tired..got head ache and has fatigue syntoms..i just felt my health is failing...then yesterday i desided to move the bed i was sleeping for 4months and discover black molds around the corner of our bed....Now its cleaned up.I wonder if its is the reason for us feeling heavy in our body and sick most of the time.

We are breathing in toxic air....we used to close our windows becouse its very cold here in Norway where we live...Now its summer..i must air the room..hoping we will feel much better. - Pridelin 6/7/11

i feel like my house is slowly killing me and my family. In the four years weve lived here, I have seen a greater frequency in illnesses in everyone. the intensity of preexisting conditions in each of us( dust allergies, ear, nose throat stuff, etc..)has risen to the point that its grossing us all out, because we know why were sicker than before.

An inspector will have no problem determining the severity of it all ..this splendid old scandinavian home we love is just one hellish discovery after another.. we rennovate.. we try. it makes me so sad. sometimes the kids will just walk outside and say.."mom i feel so much better when im breathing outside air.." and i feel the same way. SO, we play outside... a lot. (its a good idea anyway.) :) - greenpeas 7/18/11

Reply:

Take a look at the article MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ? for help in deciding when it's apparently cost-justified to bring in an expert to help inspect and test a building for mold or other indoor environmental illness contributors or causes. Also be sure to get advice from your doctor on what sorts of environmental contaminants might be most likely to cause or aggravate the complaints you cite, so that focus starts with looking for those items.

I agree that even without hard science, if you feel better out of a building, something therein is suspect - environmental or on occasion stress.

Question: Does Mold Cause Cancer?

What type of cancer will you get from mold? - Karen 8/10/11

Reply:

You should take this question first to your personal physician if you have a personal cancer concern.

Aflatoxins produced by some molds can be highly toxic and carcinogenic and may manifest in a variety of cancers. See these references on the carcinogenicity of some mold related compounds:

Question: Could Mold Cause Bronchial Infections? How do I get My Landlord to Respond?

I have repeated broncial infections and they do come and go...twice i the last three months..lasting about three weeks.. wheezing...mucus and cough..xray do not show any lung congestion but feel lousey..could mold cause this to occu? tired of the rerun..landlord said he would check it but has no homeowners insurance...can he fix it or should I get my renter insurance company involved? - Kathy U. 9/6/11

Reply:

Kathy, if you search InspectAPedia for "What to Do About a Moldy Rental Apartment " or go directly to RENTERS & TENANTS GUIDE TO MOLD & INDOOR HAZARDS you'll find a series of articles in which we give advice to tenants faced with a mold problem.

I can't say if your landlord "can" fix the problem or not. If there is a large problem (more than 30 sqft. discovered perhaps during a professional inspection) then a professional mold cleanup company should be used.

Separately, our article MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE discusses how to decide if the expense of a professional inspection and testing for mold are appropriate and cost justified.

Question: Complaint Against ServPro mold remediation company

For anyone who may call ServPro to clean up mold or do any kind of work involving mold, think again....they are the reason I am dealing with a problem that should have been taken care of 4 yrs ago.

They sent out a guy, first day on the job, to clean up some water damage that had mold, at the time, I had no idea this would make me as sick as it has done...they gave me no advice to not be in the house at the time of clean up, the guy was wiping the mold all over the bathroom, smearing it, got on carpet fibers, etc....the mold basically grew back because they did not do a thorough or professional job and I was none the wiser till a storm made more damage and mold rose to the surface of the floor...the bathroom is still at question and hasn't been checked yet, but I smell it there and suspect that it is also going to need to be dealt with..

this has been no small event, as I have been dealing with strange nasal problems that was also linked with body aches and fatigue....many doctors later, I realize that it was likely the mold, as I have been tested and am allergic to 4 types...

Just remember these companies are not as qualified as they would have us believe....never leave them to do a job unless there is a test to determine how well they cleaned it up...never allow a "new guy" to learn on your house.

And in general, do your homework, just because something is insurance covered, it does not mean you have no say in who and who does not come into your home....mold is something you cannot play around with, and if you do, plan for some medical bills....

To the woman whose husband is renting from his parents and don't want to move, to this: Look in the yellow pages for a good female attorney who handles divorce or separations, call, make an appt...go in there and just talk about your options for support....tell them simply, "if I stay with my husband, I am not sure how long my family will be here and healthy" ...your conditions may heed a fast court hearing to start family support...Do it for your children..neva look back - ICyourPoint 9/25/12

Reply: the expertise of individual franchisees may vary widely

Thanks for reporting your Serv - pro result and dissatisfaction. Having inspected and tested many mold remediation jobs I add that Serv Pro is a large franchise with considerable variation in skill level among franchisees. In my experience, having inspected and tested over three thousand building mold cleanup jobs, some mold remediation companies or franchisees are quite competent. Others ... Well ... A lot depends on having an expert job manager on site all during the work.

When you are dissatisfied with a contractor of any work you should first take yoru complaint to that company, personally, and in writing, to give them an opportunity to respond. If you remain dissatisfied and the company is a franchisee, you may also make your views known to the parent franchisor.

Question: Landlord won't install a sump pump, we purchased an air purifier to kill mold spores

Emily [see Q&A earlier in this series]: we are having the same issue. my son is renting the first floor of a duplex that is above a basement that floods on occasion. He's asked his landlord to install a sump pump and he has refused. Personally, I would move in with anyone who will have you until you get the environment tested.

You can go to either a Home Depot or a Lowes and pick up a mold test kit for $10 or under.

Follow the instructions and if there is visible mold growing after 48 hrs, you can send it to a lab (which can cost $40.00) to have it analyzed. Results can take up to 3 weeks. In the meantime, purchase an air purifier that has a HEPA filter and one that kills mold spores....some are quite expensive and some are more responsible. We purchased the Honeywell brand - they come recommended by doctors.

Be sure to order one or more to cover the square footage of your house - or you can carry them from room to room. See if your family feels better with them running - recommended to run 24 hrs per day. If your mold test results came back dangerously high - then report the findings to the EPA and your landlord will be forced to remediate the mold. But again, personally if I had a place to go - then GO.

Your husband most likely isn't getting as sick as you because he's out to work everyday and away from the poisons you are living in. Best of luck. - Lorettas 9/27/11

I meant to say some are quite expensive and some are more reasonable in price.

Reply: Sump pumps & "mold killing" air purifiers are incomplete band-aid approaches that are completely ineffective if there is a real mold problem in a building

Loretta, unfortunately your advice is not the best. Since 90 % of molds do not grow in any culture media whatsoever, your recommend mold test kit is 90 % wrong when you open the box. More, what might grow on a culture may not be the actual problem in the building.

Wheee here is indoor mold contamination the source reservoir needs to be found and rmoved (not "killed" ) and the cause of mold growth must be fixed too.

Also there is no portable air purifier on the market that will cure a mold problem, though indeed air filtering with a HEPA filter may reduce the airborne particle level in an enclosed space that's not too large.

Question: I think my apartment is dulling my mind

I think my apartment is dulling my mind! Several weeks ago, around the time when my 1960's buildingswitched from ac to heat, I felt acute respiratory symptoms. That subsided after a week or two, but I didn't want to spend too much time in my dry 14th floor condo. I think I'm only allergic to cats somehow, maybe dust or dust mites, and since my building is supposed to be pet free, I thought I was either imagining things or had a serious dust problem.

So I cleaned the hell out of the place, still no good. I'm tired when I get home and these days, instead of recharging at home, I grow more tired. Daily, after some time at home, my blood feels hot, face feels flushed, lungs feel scorched, and I generally feel apathetic, lethargic, numb. But each of these things to such a minor degree as to make me question whether I'm imagining it; In aggregate, I have to think no. But I don't know where to begin to diagnose the problem.

A friend asked about allergens here on a visit, and I just spoke with a neighbor who thought he was imagining it too!

I'll post what I find if I don't die first. I'm thinking I'd rather not get a hepa filter first, so as not to hide the symptoms. I'd really like to find the root, so if you've got suggestions I'd love to hear how best to investigate this!

- Psychosomatic 10/24/11

Reply:

Psychosomatic:

While cleaning and even HEPA filtering (if you have a central air handler such as for warm air heat) can improve indoor air quality, given your description and complaint, I recommend that you first consult with your physician about your symptoms and concerns. Ask the doctor what role s/he thinks your environment could play in the complaints and that combined with further medical tests, if she/he agrees, can help direct your thinking about what to look for and what to fix in your home. Otherwise you risk spending time and money working on the wrong problem.

Question: My son gets sores that start as scabs, spread into circles, could mold cause these?

Mold skin rash found on exposure to high levels of Stachybotrys chartarum (C) D FriedmanMy son has been getting thes soars that start out like a litte scabs the spread into circles about the size of dimes over the years they go away

Ifound out that it coulsd be the mold that is around in the shower of my sisters house whom we stay with another times thes sores showed up was when we had to stay at friends for some months and they had mold also and these sores apperd also

But it does not effect no one else in the house but him do you think somthing could be going on with his body when he comes incontact with mold have you came across this problem before. - Latoya Clarke 11/17/11

Reply: See your doctor. Photos of Three Different-Appearing Mold-related Skin Rashes on People Not Suffering from Tinea

Latoya,

There are indeed some skin sores and skin rashes that can be caused by exposure to some molds, as we illustrate here, at the top of this article, and at Dermatitis and Skin Rashes in the index above. And it is common for mold sensitivity (as well as other allergies or medical conditions) to vary widely among individuals, from no reaction by some people to severe reaction experienced by others.

Our round mold rash on skin photo (above) illustrates a client who reported the onset of skin rashes that look like the one above following a do-it-yourself cleanup of a moldy home that included extensive exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum.

Some individuals who are particularly sensitive to certain airborne or direct-skin-contact molds have responded to mold exposure with this rash.

Neck rash from mold exposure (C) D FriedmanIt first appears as a small solid red spot, expands, and develops the pattern shown here and resembling (but most likely is not) a ringworm (Tinea) infection. Tinea is also a fungal infection by the way, caused by a fungus that lives on dead skin tissue, often the scalp, face, beard, body, hands, groin, nails, or feet.

Our next more widespread mold-related skin rash photo (left) shows the condition of one of our clients who, with her husband, insisted in doing their own "mold-cleanup and sorting" of very moldy contents of their home following a flood.

The client rapidly developed the rash on her head and neck (shown at left) after two days of cleanup work in an environment high in Aspergillus sp. and Stachybotrys chartarum that were disturbed during the cleaning operations.

Her husband, who had about the same exposure, suffered none of these symptoms.

Our round raised sigular rash shown in the photo at left appeared on the under-arm of a woman exposed to very high airborne molds, including Aspergillus sp. and Stachybotry chartarum while occuping the upper floor of a home whose moldy basement was being demolished with no dust control measures whatsoever.

Raised round skin rash following mold exposure (C) D FriedmanTwo dogs in the home became sick and a third died, apparently from the same mold exposure conditions. [Actually the "rash" shown at left looked to us like a mole that had been scratched - but it's your doctor who should evaluate this complaint.]

But any skin ailment is difficult to diagnose and it would be a mistake to assume we understand the cause, severity or cure of a rash without consulting an expert.

I'd start by asking the doctor for a diagnosis, advice, and also whether or not the conditions in a building could cause or contribute to your son's complaint.

More mold skin rash examples are in the article above at the article introduction and at Dermatitis and Skin Rashes in the index above.

Also see the illnessess and complaints discussed in detail at MOLD ATLAS & PARTICLES INDEX.

Question: I have been chronically ill for 5 years, others in my shop have left - chronic fatigue - is it a coincidence?

Hi. I have been cronicly Ill for 5 years 3 people that have worked in the same old shop as me have left because of the same symptoms ie cronic fatigue , sore joints and muscle problems , tiredness , pulsating under skin, cronic thirst, sleep problems leg movements, diguestion problems, constant burning under skin, constant burnig of the joints, night fevers, increased sence of smell, sensitive to smells and food alergys.

Burning and swelling of hands and more. Would you say that this is coincidental or should we contact the owners of the store and get them to check the building out. Yours sincerely , maddy. 12/4/11

Reply: how to decide if further investigation of a building is appropriate

Maddy, even an experienced expert should be reluctant to guess at a building diagnosis by just a note or comment and without studying the building, interviewing the occupants and possibly performing some tests.

That said, in my OPINION, if one or more people suspect that conditions in a building may be contributing to or even causing health complaints, it is reasonable to open the question of whether or not a building investigation is in order.

Take a look at the article titled MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE )
for help in deciding how to decide that it is appropriate to bring in a professional.

Question: After living in a moldy apartment I stopped having periods & started having ongoing infections, colds, & low-grade fever - I tested "positive" for mycotoxins

I lived in a basement apartment for a year which had obvious, visible mold growth in the bedroom. Right after I moved out I stopped having periods, have ongoing infections and colds, and have had a constant low-grade fever. Can this be related to my mold exposure? - Sarah H. 12/7/11

I was recently tested for mycrotoxins in my body. I tested positive for Tricothcene at 0.35 pph and positive for Ochratoxin 5 ppb. How serious is this and what medical treatment do I need to get rid of these mycrotoxins. I feel extremely sick internally..also I am having a hard time finding a doctor with enough knowledge of mycrotoxins such as
these to treat me. I am concerned these are all over my body since I have numerous symptoms..Thank you for your help.. SH 12/20/11

Reply:

Sarah these are questions you need to discuss first with your physician. I would be expect a doctor to do more than just offer tests for exposure to mycotoxins. Rather she or he would be more likely to conduct an examination, interview to discuss your symptoms and concerns, and discuss possible appropriate coursed of investigation and treatment.

Also see the illnessess and complaints associated with specific molds and exposure to them discussed in detail at MOLD ATLAS & PARTICLES INDEX.

Question: My home of 25 years has a serious case of black mold - I moved out - could all my medical problems be due to the black mold? I was accused of substance abuse.

It was brought to my attention that the home I had lived in for 25 years has a serious case of black mold. I just recently moved out of it two months ago. What could be the possibility that all my medical problems stem from having been exposed to the black mold & can u suggest a way to throw it in the face of all the people who thought I had a substance abuse problem? - Rachelle 12/22/11

Reply:

Rachelle, the answer to the question of the chances that health problems (all or some) are exacerbated by or even possibly caused by exposure to indoor mold, MVOCs, or mycotoxins is one that you need to bring first to your physician. After all, "all my medical problems" is a very broad and non-specific charge. Individual sensitivity to mold and its products in buildings varies widely.

And more confusing is the error of focusing on "black mold" - there are plenty of black or dark molds that are the least of the mold problem in a building, and plenty of light colored, often hard to see molds that are far more harmful in some cases. "Black mold" in a building should be taken as an indicator of mold contamination and an expert inspection and testing should identify the location and genera/species of molds present if/when there is a large reservoir.

However it is worth discussing with your doctor that exposure to some mycotoxins can have neurological effects that influence behaviour, mood, etc. - we have had clients report mental symptoms whose onset appeared to correlate with exposure to mycotoxins in buildings, including:

So one could SPECULATE that such exposure and effects could be mistaken for a drug use problem.

Question: dust-like particles are coming out of our AC vent & I get a salty taste - what can this be?

I sometimes feel Dust like Particles blowing into my eyes from the AC vent. After this happens I would get a salty taste in my mouth. What can this be?

Reply:

Jenny no one who is responsible would try to diagnose your complaints with so little information, but I can suggest that you

I'm not sure it's worth it but you also have the option of collecting the dust you suspect and having it analyzed by sending it to an appropriate forensic lab. (Don't send us a sample - we must avoid any conflict of interest).

Reader follow-up:

Thanks Dan. This situation is happening at my workplace and they have called in a local testing company and they could not find what is causing the problem. They found other problems with the system and made recommendations for those to be corrected. I believe those issues have since been attended to. The dust like particles is not visible. Other random employees on different floors of this 5 story building have similar complaints. Some experience rashes and burning sensation on the skin. - Jenny 3/5/12

Question: Can you get acute lingual tonsillitis from exposure and breathing mold toxins.

Can you get acute lingual tonsillitis from exposure and breathing mold toxins. This was a result from a leaking ice maker/refrigerator and a leaking pipe from a pantry sink. This caused 3 floods in a work area and the adjacent wall had visible mold and the carpet had stains of mildew and smelled like sewage. Do you have any facts and/or articles/literature to send me as soon as you can. Thank you in advance. - D.T. 5/14/12

Reply: tonsillitis is a bacterial or viral infection

D.T.

Your tonsillitis complaint and causation questions should be discussed with your personal physician, someone who knows the details of your personal health, health history, and also details of your actual exposure to potentially problematic indoor environment.

I agree that it is possible for flooding and mold conditions in a building can cause problematic mold growth, ranging from trivial to extensive, and I add that improper cleanup procedures can make matters worse by stirring up high levels of dust and debris that enter buidling air and later building settled dust, as well as by incomplete work or other mistakes.

That said, and emphasizing that I am not an M.D. nor do we offer medical advice, we can give some general information about your question that may be helpful.

Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils that is caused by a virus or bacteria. Apparently viral causes are more commen than bacterial causes. Your doctor will usually take a throat culture to rule out other illnesses or causes (such as diptheria or strep). Mold, nor mycotoxins, and mvoc's are not listed as causing tonsillitis. Ask your doctor for her opininon.

But we suspect that respiratory system irritation (including the throat) may contribute to the vulnerability to or development of a throat or tonsil infection, as might a challenge to the immune system.

The individual response to a given level of exposure to anything potentially irritating or harmful varies widely, from no response at all to severe allergy or asthma or other complaints.

Even you were exposed to airborne mold or mvocs one can not assume that all mold exposure involves exposure to mycotoxins - the term you used in your question. Not all indoor mold growths produce mycotoxins, some that do are rarely airborne, and even among molds that can potentially produce mycotoxins, those substances are not always actually produced, depending on the growth substrate and indoor environment conditions, even the species and strain within genera of mold.

Also see MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE and see the illnessess and complaints associated with specific molds and exposure to them discussed in detail at MOLD ATLAS & PARTICLES INDEX.

Question: I think my daughter's Barrets' Disease & Celiac disease may be due to mould in our cottage; how can I proceed?

Is it safe to remove the contents with this condition of chaetomium and ulicladium mould spore debris? We need to demolish the cottage.

I have a daughter who has now been diagnosed with barrets disease and celiac disease and I believe this could be due to the mould in the cottage. Could this be true?

How do I know from the Lab test if I can safely proceed with removal of contents and demolition?

The cottage is surrounded by old growth trees and is very close to the neighbouring cottage on either side. The cottage is all constructed in wood with no insulation and was build in 1916.

Reply: Pathogenicity of Chaetomium & Ulocladium; other building moulds present; how to proceed

With the reclama that I am a forensic investigator not a mycologist, and that more accurate answers should come from a physician who knows your daughter's medical history and who has expertise in environmental medicine, still I can provide abasic reply to your question.

You refer to two fungal genera: Chaetomium and Ulocladium.

There are multiple species within each genera, so first, we don't know quite what fungal species are in the home. The potential medical effects of individual fungal species can also vary depending on local growth conditions such as what material the fungus is growing on.

Pathogenicity of Chaetomium sp.

My most extensive clinical reference (deHoog et als) cites

Pathogenicity of Uloclasium sp.

Ulocladium sp. also involves multiple species, too many to enumerate here.

An example: U. chartarum (common in buildings) has been associated with skin infections.

Mold exposure relationship to Barrets disease or Celiac disease?

Generally people who are already at medical risk from factors such as a compromised immune system or being elderly, infant, asthmatic or allergic to mold are at higher risk than others when exposed to mold that may be allergenic, toxic, or pathogenic.
I am not familiar with Barrets Disease but WebMD says

"Barrett's esophagus is a serious complication of GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease."

NIH describes Celiac disease as

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. - NDDIC, division of NIH, retrieved 4/23/14, original source: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/

As a layman one might infer that these two complaints sound related. The references did not focus on fungal exposure in discussing those medical complaints

From the clinical literature I see no obvious connection between Barret's disease or Celiac disease and the molds you cite but that OPINION is of course just that.

You are at Risk of Missing the Mold Forest for the Mold Trees: water-indicator moulds

What your question is missing is a more general understanding of how mold growth occurs in buildings. In my experience, both Chaetomium sp. and Ulocladium sp. are more importantly considered as water-indicator molds. That means that where these molds occur the building has been wet and mold-friendly materials such as drywall have been wet.

In that kind of building environment, the chance that these are the only two molds that were the only fungal genera/species present is close to zero.

Furthermore, it is often the case that other molds, possibly ones that were less visually obvious, may be present and may be far more harmful, such as light-colored species of Aspergillus or Penicillium that an inexpert investigator might miss. (See LIGHT COLORED MOLD).

Too often on-site investigators collect mold samples of just the dark colored molds

  1. first because those are easy to see,
  2. second because of the misleading media accounts of "toxic black mold" as if that were the only mold of concern in buildings (dead wrong), and
  3. third because other more important mold reservoirs may be less obvious even if larger, such as mold in building cavities or in a hard-to-access crawl area.

What all of this means is that

Mouldy Building Contents Salvage Advice

Watch out: Beware of bringing moldy contents out of a building into a new residence as you may import high-enough levels of mold to irritate building occupants even if the new location does not encourage mold growth.

Take a look at SALVAGE BUILDING CONTENTS for advice on moving things out of the moldy home you describe.

Please keep me posted on how things progress, and send along photos or additional details if you can. Such added details can help us understand what's happening and often permit some useful further comment. What we both learn may help me help someone else.

Question: can Ascomycetes cause sleep apathy?

May 17 2014
hello i have the mold ascomycete in my room can it cause sleep apathy i had stroke in 2010 i am on a lot of medicine can it interact with the medicine and cause pain on the forhead and other places on the head before my stroke my brother use the romm to grow his tomato plants their is a lot of old books and some toys in the room it is also used to store blankets the room is over 80 years old my stroke was the fault of heart center of the rockies in loveland co. thank you - E.J. C. 5/23/2014

Reply:

Ascomycete is a huge group of fungi, a stage in development that occurs in other forms, and most likely indicates that other molds are present too.

We'd need to get more specific

Reader follow-up: you told me that the mold ascomycete could cause my sleepapathy what you have told me is could it interact with the medcine I take

hello you told me that the mold ascomycete could cause my sleepapathy what you have told me is could it interact with the medcine i take could it cause pain in my forehead and other parts of the could it cause sinus problems it would be easier for me to mail you a list of the medcine i take their is over 20 to 30 i had a stroke in 2010 - E.J.C. 5/28/2014

Reply:

No I did not tell you any of those things, Edward, there seems to be a misunderstanding.

What I said is that Ascomycetes is a huge range of classes of fungi and even more complex is that Ascomycetes are in general a class of fungi that exist under different species/genera names when the fungi, in their natural state of evolution, pass through other states of development (often called "sexual phase" in the literature).

At MOLD ATLAS & PARTICLES INDEX we describe Ascomycetes

Ascospores: or Ascomycetes are ubiquitous spore with more than 3000 genera. Allergic reaction varies depending on genus and species; they have been poorly studied. Common indoor ascomycetes include Chaetomium and Ascotricha. -- EMLAB www.emlab.com

We (DF) find these spores individually in air samples indoors and outside, and we find them in dense profusion on occasion on decaying building surfaces.

Therefore no one who is even slightly familiar with the meaning of the term "ascomycete" would or should venture to claim that there is a specific association with a specific illness or medical complaint for that group.

Medical illnesses or even more broadly, health complaints, that some people associate with or suspect are related to exposure to fungal spores, mycotoxins, or MVOCs excreted by some fungal genera/species, are studied with respect to individual fungal genra/species.

Just taking the genera Aspergillus sp. for an example, (not an ascomycete) there are more than 100 species within that genera, with widely varying health effects, and even within individual species, the toxicity depends often on growth conditions.

The exact same mold genera/species may produce toxic substances ranging from none to severe depending on the material on which it is growing as well as depending on variations in growth conditions such as temperature and humidity.

What I intended to suggest to you is that when someone reported to you that there are "Ascomycetes" in your environment you cannot make a darn thing about that statement.
You don't know

The ONLY thing you can infer from "there are ascomycetes in your environment" is that if that class of fungi was detected at what appears to be a high or abnormal level for indoors, that it can be take as an indicator that "mold-friendly" conditions exist in the building. In turn that means that there are very likely to be other mold genera/species present, some of which may be far more harmful than the genera that your rather not-helpful test indicated.

It is a fundamental error to latch on to "black mold" or "ascomycetes" detected in a building and from that to conclude that that detected mold is the most-harmful mold or that it can itself be specifically assumed to be the cause of an illness or IAQ complaint.

What does make sense is to decide if further, more expert inspection and testing are in order.

See MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ?

And if you are discussing your health concerns with your doctor you can at this point say that you MIGHT be spending time in an environment with abnormal levels of mold but you don't yet know the level, the exposure, nor anyhing about what mold is actually present.

Question:

(Mar 22, 2014) Anonymous said:
Does anyone know of a good doctor in the Montreal,QC area who can diagnose and treat severe exposure to mold. thx

my email is reisca@gmail.com

Reply:

See MOLD DOCTORS - ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE

Question:

(Apr 17, 2014) Kimberly Ketiku or email me @ kimberlyjoyketiku@gmail.com said:
I just discovered that our apartment unit at Brittania Heights Apartments in Denver, Colorado had asperguillos and toxic black mold in it and in our storage unit that we leased along with the apartment. You will not believe the pictures of the toxic black mold growing out of the wall and the asperguillos mold right above our food and dishes for almost 4 years. I am still in shock over what has happened to me and my two sons.

We nearly died from the exposure. I met a woman named Jennifer who told me how her infant, 21 month old son Javon, a healthy beautiful baby boy who died from mold exposure. She said when they did her sons autopsy the child was in good condition but said that she later found out that the home they lived in was infested with black mold. I have now become a spokesperson on the matter of how apartment and homeowners are literally getting by with "Murder".

Me and my two sons are constantly sick in and out of doctor's appointments all the time. I will tell you, like I told these disgusting individuals who think money is more important than a human life; the only way they can remotely understand how serious this exposure is and what it can do to a person's life is when they or one of their precious loved ones life is challenged or when they closed the coffin down for the last time on someone they dearly love. This is real talk. Don't think money is everything like most of these people do.

It brings to mind the sudden death of Steve Job and so many wealthy individuals who have money that can afford the very best medical treatment which many of us cannot afford, but unfortunately he is no longer with us, and he received the best medical treatment, and best doctors from across this country; but he is "Dead".

Another good example, beautiful actress Brittany Murphy and her husband are both now deceased,"Guess What" it was not drugs as they first announced, it was later discovered that both Brittany and her husband who died 5 months apart died from "mold exposure" in their big beautiful mansion. Love U

Reply:

Kimberly,

While of course any reader will be sorry for those suffering from any illness or worse, a fatality, one wants to be clear in understanding mold hazards and how to deal with them. "Black mold" or "toxic black mold" is a useful "scare" label that can make unethical companies rich offering bogus mold tests and incompetent mold cleanup services. There are about 1.5 million mold genera/species, some of which are harmful. Some but absolutely not all harmful mold species produce dark mold growth that some might call "black mold". SO it would be foolish, even dangerous to focus specifically on "black mold" as a hazard.

A large area (more than 30 sq.ft.) of harmful mold growth indoors needs to be found, removed (not "killed, removed), and its cause corrected. Where people suspect that they suffer from a mold related illness it is important to seek expert medical help. That begins with their own physician who can, where useful, refer the patient to a physician who has expertise in environmental medicine and mold-related illnesses.

Question:

(June 18, 2014) Moved into the apartment 9/14 by 12/14 noticed black spot on wall in living when checked leathered sofa saw said:
green mold growing on it also walls. Now I am no longer able to walk, suppressed immune system, coughing, and not able to get a diagnosis. As soon as you clean up the mold it returns. Was never sick in my life until I moved in this apartment and I am 60 plus. Is the green or white mold dangerous?

Reply:

Moved. Possibly, yes, but as there are about 1.5 million mold species so we can't know from just your note.

Question: i have culture molds in culture dish

(Sept 21, 2014) willy said:
i have culture molds in culture dish, i need identification photographs on how to identify those molds

Reply:

See MOLD CULTURE TEST KIT VALIDITY and you'll see why the use of a culture to screen a building for mold is not useful.

Question: raw count of 58 (580 CFR/M3) of Stachybotrys

(Dec 10, 2014) Ava said:
Is a raw count of 58 (580 CFR/M3) of Stachybotrys species something I should be concerned about? The same was taken at floor level of a small office. The walls were open from pieces of drywall and insulation removed from a moisture issue discovered. The moisture issue has been addressed. The viable air samples after shutting off a fan to dry area and a dehumidifier was running. Also, once area has been cleaned up and floor tiles put back is it possible to get lower levels of Stachybotrys or I should not get any counts?

Reply:

Ava you should either get a clear answer to your question from the expert you hired to inspect and test your building and thus who has seen it, or you should ask for your money back.

I can't interpret a raw mold spore count without knowing more about the building, its leak history, physical condition, extent of visible mold. I could get a very high count from a single square inch of mold that may be all of the mold contamination - such a count would mean nothing. Conversely if there is a large area of contamination it deserves professional remediation.

Question:

(Mar 29, 2015) Jim Coiner said:
We have been in our home for 3 years. I have some mold in the crawl space due to insulation being installed upside down and it can't breath properly. My wife does not work and is at home most of the time. She also seems to have constant diarrhea. I have recently noticed that I have this same problem on the weekends, when most of my time is spent around the house. Another thing that I have noticed is that my lower legs and feet itch in the evening, when I am relaxing in the living room. I don't seem to have this problem when we are away on trips. Is it likely that these conditions are caused by the mold?

Reply:

We can't say from just your brief note; Start by checking with your doctor including the question of possible environmental cause of the health complaints you describe.

See MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ?

 

Question: Chronic Cough and Post Nasal Drip - PND - What's a Reliable Mold Test Kit?

I have been bothered by chronic cough and post nasal drip for several years, and I am suspicious that the building in which I work is the cause. I know that I am allergic mainly to molds – eight different kinds. So, I tried a test kit that I ordered online. It was not conclusive. Not sure if it was any good either. Can you recommend reliable test kits? - K.H., Wilmington DE

Reply: Mold test kits have a useful role to play, but you may need a competent building inspection first

A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem, such as a source of irritating dust that you didn't recognize, a leak or moisture problem, or a hidden mold reservoir. That said, here are some things to consider:

While there is a use for testing as part of an expert building inspection, using any test kit to screen a building for mold is not reliable. See MOLD TESTING METHOD VALIDITY if you want a detailed exposition.

In particular, a "negative" result (a test that does not detect significant indoor mold contamination) used without an expert inspection is unreliable in that there is a significant risk of missing an existing mold problem.

Even a "positive" mold test kit result (the test says problem mold is present at a significant level) does not necessarily identify the actual mold problem in the building as opposed to the mold the kit happened to catch. For example, most molds won't grow in culture, so using a culture to screen for mold is a unreliable.

The use, accuracy, and reliability of mold culture test kits for screening buildings for mold contamination are discussed at MOLD CULTURE TEST KIT VALIDITY and MOLD CULTURE SAMPLING METHOD and see Mold Culture Plate Test Errors.

We recommend starting with a detailed case history of the home and your complaints, combined with a thorough visual inspection for conditions likely to cause an indoor mold problem - if mold's the focus. Don't forget there can be other irritants. I'd also ask the doctor for advice on the sorts of things that s/he thinks would be a particular problem in your environment.

Take a look also at MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ? for help in deciding if it's worth hiring an expert -

Question: where can I find similar advice about a water-damaged automobile?

Are there any good articles on DIY mold remediation for a water damaged automobile? Both my boyfriend and I have cars with long-term leaks in the trunks AND many symptoms of mold sickness. Once we fix the leaks, I would like to know how we can clean the carpets/ flooring/ surfaces and ventillation/ heating and A/C system. - Kate (8/17/2011)

Reply:

Sure Kate, we've written quite a bit about mold and mold smells in cars. Start at CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION. Or take a look at CAR SMELL - Mold DEODORIZING where we discuss tracking down and curing mold in cars, boats, RVs, etc.

Question: We moved out of a moldy home but may have brought along mold or moved into a new one also moldy; my children appear to have serious mold-related illnesses. How can we find a suitable doctor? What else can we do?

We are a family of 8 who previously lived in a modular home built against code without vapor barriers or flashing around wooden windows frames. It was many years before we realized there was mold in between the walls and after many medical diagnosis of my family.

We have since moved from that house, but my eldest will still react when she visits, and had vomiting and diarrhea along w/ her other usual allergy symptoms. So I'm guessing we have dragged some of our microtoxins with us and she is now more sensitive to them. Her allergist in Az had her tested for molds we found present in our home, and she did test (+) for some of them.

These were basic tests w/ basic molds identified. I do not believe they tested for microtoxins.

My quandry is that the new home we live in not only has the mold we apparently dragged with us, but with such high ground saturation in the NE area in the past 3 years, much of our possessions in the downstairs part of our split level ranch is now newly contaminated with mold.

We are considering moving to Az where we know through my eldest's experience, there's a resolution. However, I've yet to find a doctor beyond who my eldest has seen, to link (toxic?) mold to what the rest of us suffer from.

Could you please advise me of any doctors in the mid-Hudson NY State region that specialize in toxicology of mold? I am an RN and have done much research and realize from credible sources such as the US EPA or the Mayo Clinic that my children seem to suffer from toxic reactions of mold and not just allergy reactions, but I've yet to find a doctor to confirm this. Could you please help me?

Thank you so much - N.N. (2/29/12)

Reply:

Thank you for mold/health question - it helps us realize where we need to work on making our text more clear or more complete. A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem with building leaks, high moisture, and both visible mold and potentially problematic hidden mold reservoirs. That said, here are some things to consider:

Did mold make someone in your home sick?

It is very difficult to prove absolutely that a potentially harmful building mold has actually caused or aggravated a medical complaint. Burge[6] lists criteria that are burdensome enough in cost and trouble that all of the steps she outlines are rarely followed. Instead most professionals agree on the position that if there is a large reservoir of problem mold in a building, professional cleaning, correction of the cause, and in cases such as you describe, consulting with a medical professional are all appropriate.

See our clinical mold references [7] below for authoritative citations of specific molds that are associated with specific illnesses.

Watch out: individual sensitivty to mold and other indoor contaminants varies widely and, as your own description suggests, individual sensitivty to mold, allergens, other indoor contaminants can be increased by exposure. Also, don't rule out other possible indoor contaminants (such as mis-applied chemicals, pesticides, paints, cleaners).

Do you need to look for harmful mold or other contaminants more carefully at your present environment?

From your description of your case, it is certainly plausible to suspect that

Watch out: Beware of a "mold consultant" who simply stops by to conduct a few "tests" - that alone is an unreliable approach and even if such a superficial test suggests that action is needed, it was not suffiiciently diagnostic - you would not know how to proceed without still another costly inspection.

How to find a mold doctor:

The right place to start in looking for a physican who has the expertise in mold and enviornmental hazards that you seek is with your own primary care doctor, one whom you trust. Ask his/her help in recommending a physician who specializes in environmental medicine and who has expertise in the mold, complaints, and conditions that you can describe.

Aso see MOLD DOCTORS - ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE and when you find a local physican who you find helpful, encourage him/her to submit a listing to us for that directory - there is no cost or fee to anyone for such listings.

Question: brain infection, meningitis; suspected moldy home, is mold on a nasal spray bottle diagnostic?

My husband, a Baptist evangelist, has been debilitated since last June with an illness that we believe is mold-related (our travel trailer, which was our only home, was severely infested, and we had to abandon it). He was hospitalized then for a brain infection, although the pathogen causing the infection was never uncovered.

Traditional doctors in our area refused to consider mold exposure, and he was released, being told he would recover from the meningitis within weeks. He has yet to recover to a point where he can preach (a few attempts have gone poorly), so we have been without income and home for quite a while. We have since been seeing a naturopath,who also cannot pinpoint the illness or the reason Ron is not healing.

Recently Ron believed that he felt the illness migrating to his sinuses. A day later, his nasal spray bottle grew spores. We believe that these came from his body, and we would like testing to determine what exactly they are, and if they could be the root of his ongoing problem. Perhaps if we have a clear-cut cause for his illness it will aid us in its treatment. I would like to request that you consider either pro-bono or reduced fees, but if not, then please advise me on what costs would be and on how to send you the sample on the nasal spray bottle. - A.A.

Reply:

If someone in your home is seriously ill, in my opinion you and that person should consult a medical doctor, starting with your general practitioner who can refer you to a physician who specializes in envrionmental medicine if that is what's needed. If you are not comfortable with your local MD, ask him/her for a referral to another doctor - as one point in starting your own search for a physician in whom you have confidence.

While I respect your wish to consult with a naturopathic physician, there may be important differences between a naturopath (unregulated in some jurisdictions) and a naturopathic physician - an M.D. who also uses principles of naturopathy in his/her practice. In any event, you may be consulting someone who lacks the specific expertise and experience that you and your husband need.

Regarding conditions in your home, a competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem well beyond what a homeowner may observe.

That said, here are some things to consider:

Therefore, although you could collect a tape sample of what's on the nasal spray bottle, it's not, in my opinion, a reliable direction of investigation.

Take a look at MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE and if you find significant mold contamination in your home, you'll want to see MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD

If you want to collect one to four samples of suspect mold and perhaps some settled dust from a room where your husband spends a lot of time, we'll examine them in our lab - pro bono (no fee) and report to you. But keep in mind that your collected samples, as you're not an expert, are not by any means a thorough investigation. Follow the sampling procedure at MOLD TEST KITS for DIY MOLD TESTS and Include a copy of this email with your samples so I won't be looking for a check.

Take a look also at MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ? for help in deciding if your home conditions justify bringing in a professional.

Question: convinced of mold related illness but getting odd advice

(Nov 23, 2014) Trish said:
Hello, I'm convinced it starts with some type of mold exposure in our homes that gets into the air and heat/air cond. ducts and reproduces rapidly and I now see visible specs in the air. I was told by a mold remediation duct cleaning company that it also can visibly be seen in different forms floating and does land on furniture appliances and carpet etc.. When I dust or wipe down surfaces, within a half hr. new particles or a film shows up on everything.

My ears nose and mouth produce accumulated clumps of attached segmented clumps in many forms and some are blood tinged from feeding off of me. The mold company explained we humans are the hosts and we breathe in these spores that multiply. Getting rid of is nearly impossible but I was advised to get an ionizer that weighs down the particles so you can vacuum and dust constantly daily. They also seal off ducts and ionize the air inside, then used special vacuum brush hoses for walls of vents to be scraped and cleaned and suck up as much as they can into bags to prove what is growing in the ducts and also being spread with furnaces and air conditioners. It's all to overwhelming to me.

But I can say I had carpet that didn't dry for days after a steam cleaning, and I was told a year later my carpet and pad had mold! I replaced it, yet out management company dragged the old carpet out without containing it, and more spores I'm sure were flying everywhere airborne.

So this is hard to accept and deal with since it's in my body and in my environment! I have a film on my scalp daily and even a yeast infection that's not yeast but light grayish slimy mold coming out of my vagina. So my body must be invaded systemically. IF people visit, I notice they also start to itch as i do, so I KNOW this mold is real. I've been tested for everything (all negative) BUT not mold tested since my insurance doesn't cover the high cost of testing. If ANYONE has some other remedy please share with us.
DESPERATE AND ALONE!!! nationaltrish@aol.

Reply:

Trish you are being given highly questionable and unscientific "advice" by someone who perhaps plans to sell you something.

Start by taking your health concerns to your medical doctor, not to a mold remediation company.

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