Toxic Mold Syndrome

September 18, 2013

> Subject: Toxic Mold Syndrome?
>
> Message: I am concerned that I may have Toxic-Black Mold Syndrome.
>
> For the past 2 years I have experienced the following symptoms:
>
>

Question: Black discharges/grey spores in my phlegm—normal CT Scans

Answer: Spores of toxic and other household molds are usually around  2 to
10 microns more or less, thus you cannot see them in your phlegm.

Question: Sinus infections but tests have ruled out that possibility and not
a  chronic sinus issues

Answer: Over 90% of all sinus infections are caused by mold according to a
mayo clinic study a few years ago, it is thus very likely that your
infections start out as mold, typically a common mold called Alternaria
altanata. As the infection progresses it is taken over by bacteria in the
sinuses and the mold does not show up in culture because it is crowded out,
or because the lab only looked for and singled out bacteria during
culturing. You do not have to believe this mold inspector, A year ago at a
seminar I learned this from one of the doctors who discovered this mold &
sinus
infection link years ago.  This has been common knowledge among most doctors
for a few years but some have not caught on yet.

Question:> Illness prone with increased susceptibility to colds and flu bugs

Answer: This is a somewhat common and a possible clue that you may have
possible mold or other allergens, If you have allergy to mold, or if you
have
asthma, then you may develop allergy and asthma symptoms in moldy homes,
this
damages the protective mucous linings and some doctors and scientists
believe that this increases the chances of catching
cold. I have seen it to many times on mold inspections.

Question:> Chronic fatigue

Answer: I here about chronic fatigue from clients sometimes. I know of no
truly scientific
studies that support this, but if you do not sleep well because of allergy
or asthma, or if you are depressed on anxious over your overall condition
then depression, anxiety, or lack of sleep, might cause fatigue, I am
not a doctor this is not a medical statement it is just a common sense
theory and it is not my own but once again I read it from some scientific
studies.

Question:> Increased asthma symptoms–such as wheezing and breathing issues
> Allergy symptoms, tested but none positive

Answer: This is a very common and likely clue that you may have possible
mold or
other allergens, in fact mold triggers asthma symptoms in persons suffering
from asthma, and it increases a childes chances of developing asthma by
double
this fact is from a reputable study as well.

> Excessive Post-Nasal Drip
This is a very common and likely clue that you may have possible mold or
other allergens, in fact mold triggers allergic reactions in persons
suffering from allergy this is well known by al doctors.
>
Question: > All symptoms began when I moved into a new apartment, 2 years
ago.

Answer: Both happened at the same time, wow this is the best clue that you
may have
possible mold or other allergens in your condo.

Question:> The air system revealed that acrimonium was found.
What ? did your air system talk to you and tell you you have acromonium?
I can almost guarantee you have rodents or  roaches, releasing allergens and
making you sick, or you have dust and humidity that
causes dust mites, or mold releasing allergens and causing these problems.
Most likely you have mold.

Question: I also had a lung chest X-ray and it was normal.

Answer: Chest X ray will not show exposure to allergens or asthma triggers,
some x
rays show fungal infection.
>
Question:  > Do you think I could have Black Mold Syndrome?
>
Answer: No you do not likely have any Black Mold Syndrome. But at the same
time I
would bet you just about anything you have something releasing allergens,
most likely mold hidden
in your condo walls or AC.
You have been reading bias non scientific fear monger stuff online.
Stop worrying about toxic mold you are not likely being poisoned you are
more likely having allergic reactions to mold.
I do not care if you tested neg for some allergens, you may be allergic to
some
specific mold or allergen in your condo that you were not tested for.
Regardless of toxin vs allergen you still need help.

> Any additional information, help, or referrals would be greatly
> appreciated. Thank you for your help and time!

I have to say once again I am not a doctor you need to see a general doctor
for a
referral to a allergy doctor. This is not medical advice just guidance
telling you to see a good allergy doctor or mold inspector.
A knowledgeable doctors best advise may be to tell you to hire a good mold
inspector to find the problem.

Have an inspection done by a certified indoor environmental consultant or
certified indoor environmentalist who can find the problem if any, and who
can advise you or your landlord on how to have it professionally remediated.
for certified inspectors go to iaqa.org

Think about moving to another apartment if any mold problems are found and
not resolved.

Read only non bias mold info  written by epa,  centers of disease control, your
state health dept, doctorfungus.org, institute of medicine, etc. I know all the symptoms you described are blamed on toxic black mold, but people who want to make money off you after scaring you will blame everthing under the sun on toxic mold. In reality most everything you described sounds like allergy related reactions, in the real world toxic reactions are typically from eating toxic mold not breathing it in, but most people do not know this.
I will pos

> Subject: Toxic Mold Syndrome?
>
> Message: I am concerned that I may have Toxic-Black Mold Syndrome.
>
> For the past 2 years I have experienced the following symptoms:
>
>

Question: Black discharges/grey spores in my phlegm—normal CT Scans

Answer: Spores of toxic and other household molds are usually around  2 to
10 microns more or less, thus you cannot see them in your phlegm.

Question: Sinus infections but tests have ruled out that possibility and not
a  chronic sinus issues

Answer: Over 90% of all sinus infections are caused by mold according to a
mayo clinic study a few years ago, it is thus very likely that your
infections start out as mold, typically a common mold called Alternaria
altanata. As the infection progresses it is taken over by bacteria in the
sinuses and the mold does not show up in culture because it is crowded out,
or because the lab only looked for and singled out bacteria during
culturing. You do not have to believe this mold inspector, A year ago at a
seminar I learned this from one of the doctors who discovered this mold &
sinus
infection link years ago.  This has been common knowledge among most doctors
for a few years but some have not caught on yet.

Question:> Illness prone with increased susceptibility to colds and flu bugs

Answer: This is a somewhat common and a possible clue that you may have
possible mold or other allergens, If you have allergy to mold, or if you
have
asthma, then you may develop allergy and asthma symptoms in moldy homes,
this
damages the protective mucous linings and some doctors and scientists
believe that this increases the chances of catching
cold. I have seen it to many times on mold inspections.

Question:> Chronic fatigue

Answer: I here about chronic fatigue from clients sometimes. I know of no
truly scientific
studies that support this, but if you do not sleep well because of allergy
or asthma, or if you are depressed on anxious over your overall condition
then depression, anxiety, or lack of sleep, might cause fatigue, I am
not a doctor this is not a medical statement it is just a common sense
theory and it is not my own but once again I read it from some scientific
studies.

Question:> Increased asthma symptoms–such as wheezing and breathing issues
> Allergy symptoms, tested but none positive

Answer: This is a very common and likely clue that you may have possible
mold or
other allergens, in fact mold triggers asthma symptoms in persons suffering
from asthma, and it increases a childes chances of developing asthma by
double
this fact is from a reputable study as well.

> Excessive Post-Nasal Drip
This is a very common and likely clue that you may have possible mold or
other allergens, in fact mold triggers allergic reactions in persons
suffering from allergy this is well known by al doctors.
>
Question: > All symptoms began when I moved into a new apartment, 2 years
ago.

Answer: Both happened at the same time, wow this is the best clue that you
may have
possible mold or other allergens in your condo.

Question:> The air system revealed that acrimonium was found.
What ? did your air system talk to you and tell you you have acromonium?
I can almost guarantee you have rodents or  roaches, releasing allergens and
making you sick, or you have dust and humidity that
causes dust mites, or mold releasing allergens and causing these problems.
Most likely you have mold.

Question: I also had a lung chest X-ray and it was normal.

Answer: Chest X ray will not show exposure to allergens or asthma triggers,
some x
rays show fungal infection.
>
Question:  > Do you think I could have Black Mold Syndrome?
>
Answer: No you do not likely have any Black Mold Syndrome. But at the same
time I
would bet you just about anything you have something releasing allergens,
most likely mold hidden
in your condo walls or AC.
You have been reading bias non scientific fear monger stuff online.
Stop worrying about toxic mold you are not likely being poisoned you are
more likely having allergic reactions to mold.
I do not care if you tested neg for some allergens, you may be allergic to
some
specific mold or allergen in your condo that you were not tested for.
Regardless of toxin vs allergen you still need help.

> Any additional information, help, or referrals would be greatly
> appreciated. Thank you for your help and time!

I have to say once again I am not a doctor you need to see a general doctor
for a
referral to a allergy doctor. This is not medical advice just guidance
telling you to see a good allergy doctor or mold inspector.
A knowledgeable doctors best advise may be to tell you to hire a good mold
inspector to find the problem.

Have an inspection done by a certified indoor environmental consultant or
certified indoor environmentalist who can find the problem if any, and who
can advise you or your landlord on how to have it professionally remediated.
for certified inspectors go to iaqa.org

Think about moving to another apartment if any mold problems are found and
not resolved.

We are in West Palm Beach Florida and provide mold testing and inspections is South Florida. Visit my webpage:
Read only non bias mold info  written by epa,  centers of disease control, you
state health dept, doctorfungus.org, institute of medicine, etc. I know all the symptoms you described are blamed on toxic black mold, but people who want to make money off you after scaring you will blame everything under the sun on toxic mold. In reality most everything you described sounds like allergy related reactions, in the real world toxic reactions are typically from eating toxic mold not breathing it in, but most people do not know this.
I will post this to my blog without your personal info.

Good luck.

t this to my blog without your personal info.

Good luck.

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Why does air become more humid as it cools down and more dry as it heats up? Think of it this way, evaporate one cubic meter of water into the warm humid outdoor air inside a space the size of your back, side, and front yard and you will not detect much humidity in that vast amount of warm expanded air, cool that volume of air and it shrinks, let’s say you shrink it to the size of the interior of you home, obviously your home is smaller than the yard it sits on. Now you have less air volume but the volume of humidity ( evaporated water in the air ) remains the same and that humidity is squeezed closer together now, the result is more humidity in the air per given area and the relative humidity goes up. Cool that same air down even more, cool it down to such a degree that it occupies a space the size of one cubic meter.

Now that air that was the size of your front back and side yard and contained one cubic meter of water vapor now is one cubic meter of air and contains one cubic meter of water. Now the air is saturated with water, it is at 100% RH, we call this dew point and the water vapor molecules join together to form droplets of water we call condensation and mold now has water to grow.

There is a gradual progression of wetness in that ever changing volume of air and that gradual progression of wetness is measured in Relative Humidity percentage when testing your air. Around 60% to 65% Relative Humidity is all that is needed for mold to grow; we do not need 100% or condensation for it to grow.
Open doors and windows are often not a problem in northern or western regions but in hot humid Florida outdoor air often causes mold problems if the AC is on or off, but with the cold AC turned on condensation problems becomes even more of a problem in and around AC units and ducts.

www.floridamoldtesting.net

To open or close my windows

January 30, 2013

SHOULD I OPEN MY WINDOWS IF I HAVE MOLD ?

Often our clients with mold problems are told that opening doors and windows improves indoor air quality because it dilutes pollutants. Well that is true if you want to dilute indoor air pollutants.

If it is humid outdoors, for example around 60%RH or higher, then opening doors and windows can very easily cause mold problems that far out ways the benefits of the influx of fresh outdoor air. Hot humid air is even more of a threat than cool humid air.

Humidity problems comes from outdoor humid air when doors and windows are open and it becomes a serious problem when the AC unit is not used on a regular basis to help dry the humidity from the air.
If doors and windows are open when the AC is in use, then some of that hot humid outdoor air that enters the property be dried by the AC but an AC unit cannot typically dry all the air entering the property and entering the AC unit. The humidity that is not dried will become condensed under these new cooler conditions especially inside the AC unit, this is because most fluid media including air condenses or becomes smaller when it is cooled. Because the hot humid air is now condensed inside the cold AC the humidity in that air squeezes closer together and this causes the humidity in that air to rise to an even higher level than it was when it was outside.

Simple quick answers that are always correct are few and far apart in regard to mold problem advice, but in most cases it is not advisable to open doors or windows for extended periods of time if it is above 60%RH outside. If the outdoor air is rain free, dry, and clean and you are safe from intruders climbing in your window then opening your window may be beneficial as it may let in fresh outdoor air and dilute your moldy indoor air.

www.floridamoldinspectors.us

www.floridamoldtesting.net

Question:
> Message: Kitchen air tested; 3000 Penicillium, Aspergillus, mold spores per cubic meter of air.
> Is this a dangerous level that we could erradicate ourselves with
> cabinet removal and drywall replacement plus chemcial treatment?
Answer 
Airborne spore level information from the center of a room alone tells you very little about likely conditions on your walls, behind cabinets, or in your walls, you cannot use air born spore info to tell you about the difficulty of a mold removal job because such data is only a very small part of the big picture.
  • You also have to consider very roughly how much wall area is covered with mold, is very large amounts of mold possibly hidden in the walls?
  • Is an AC return near your work area that could pull contamination in during removal?
  • Are the workers wearing proper protection to prevent something called organic dust  toxic syndrome or other problems?
  • Are you sure the workers do not have asthma, or immune system problems?
  • Do you have dehumidifiers to dry the interior wall voids?
  • And of course has the initial moisture intrusion problem been discovered and repaired?
If the contamination is believed to be more than say 10 square foot then it is best to first have a mold inspection done and then have a professional mold remediator removed the problem. To be safe I am recommending you have it inspected regardless of size because it may be more than you thought. Certified mold inspectors have proper training to diagnose such conditions and we can provide a written remediation protocol addressing the types of  concerns brought up in this e mail. Remediators have special equipment and training to help correct such problems.
Please do not reply to this e mail, this could go back and forth forever, if you need help visit us at or at our other site and give me a call or schedule a mold  inspection appointment.
P.S.
By the way it sounds like you had a swab Jockey test your air.
In the industry we call inspectors who provide a lab report and a meaningless inspection report, or no mold inspection report at all swab jockeys, two day wonders, and pump jockeys, because most states have no license for mold inspectors and most of us just take an inexpensive two day course teaching how to sample your air, they buy a pump and a few sample swabs from the lab, then go out and give you a false feeling of security because you feel that a certified mold inspection was done, when all that was done was the air was sampled and this revealed spores in your air. Wow your air has spores, and you know the scientific names of those spores and the numbers or spores. Only problem is you probably knew you had mold and spore level problems before the inspector came out or you would not have called him and paid him for consultation. Often homeowners do not understand that a disservice was done until months or years later when an unresolved problem gets out of control. It seems that many such inspectors have legal problems and leave the industry after a year or so. Sample analysis has it’s place but what some inspectors do not know is that it is only 5% to 50% of the picture depending on the specific investigation.

Mold Inspection Fees

February 26, 2008

Curious as to what a mold inspector should charge and why? well that is a common question it depends on a lot of factors such as the size of the property, the complexity of the problem, and how many mold samples are taken.
Below is more info on how much a typical mold inspection fee should be.
QUESTION
Message: I would like the approximate cost of a Mold Inspection on a
home built 2004..approx. 1858 sq ft.
And is it possible to get it done this week.
ANSWER
About $500.00 more or less.
You must call us and give details for a firm testing and inspection fee.
QUESTION
That seems quite a bit on the HIGH side…I would think that about Two hundred would be more in the ballpark.
ANSWER
You are right $500.00 is a lot of money to spend.
But even worse is the fact that the mold inspection industry is completely unregulated in Florida and will be till 2010 when licensing kicks in in our state.
The mold inspection industry is full of people trying to get a few hundred bucks for just taking 2 or 3 samples of your air.
1) Turn a pump on
2) Look impressive and pretend to know something about microbial ecology, HVAC systems, and building forensics while making up pretend facts about mold for one hour or two hours.
3) Collect $200.00 and run to the bank.
1% of the time you get lucky, 99% of the time you wasted your money because all your get is a report saying you have spores in your air. If you need answers as to why you have spores? where they came from? or what to do now? they cannot help you with that in any meaningful way most of the time.
I run into people all the time who have hired budget mold inspectors, budget home inspectors, and budget mold remediators, with two day certifications.
This is not a rare exception but it is a common and sad part of my life to see people suffer needlessly for years because they get a false sense of security after hiring certified yet discount nonprofessionals to safeguard their home and family’s health.
The people who hire cheap “two day wonder” mold inspectors today cough and sneeze for three years and then they later hire professional certified mold inspectors to sue the cheap guys because of poor service.
$200.00 mold inspectors have no idea of how expensive it is to run a mold inspection or mold remediation business and do not realize they cannot do it for $200.00,and they have no Idea of how important it is to make a serious attempt to look out for your health and your families health. 
But when we try to find the cheap guys they are already out of business and are back to doing carpet cleaning, or back to home inspections, or termite inspections, or whatever they were doing a week before they were in your house. 
 Good luck with whoever you choose and do a bit more research before you tell people in other industries what their fees should be. Many inspectors who take this business seriously have bachelors or masters degrees in science or engineering and spend their lives working hard in contaminated buildings and homes so their clients children do not have to spend their formative years going to the emergency room because of constant sinus infections and breath stealing asthma attacks. 
P.S. Watch out, they may tell you $200.00 over the phone then charge you $200.00 to $400.00 extra for samples after getting a foot in the door. 

Many people are concerned about the effects of toxic molds on humans. According to the exhaustive 2004 Institute of Medicine study on damp indoor environments, toxic mold exposure in the home and office as well as allergenic mold exposure in the home and office and even exposure to mold odors in such environments often cause many of the same upper respiratory tract problems such as allergy and asthma like reactions.

According to current scientific and medical consensus toxic molds do not appear to be poisoning people in their homes because inhalation of spores does not appear likely to expose a person to high enough doses of toxins to cause a toxic reaction. Of course their may be exceptions and this is the current scientific opinion, this information may change in the future.

In animals and in persons living in third world countries toxic mold exposure often has much worse effects than the allergy and asthma type reactions so common in our world. The reasons is that farm animals, like poor starving people in third world countries often have little choice but to eat foods contaminated with toxic mold.

Some important lesson that can be learned from the information contained in the blog is:

1) Be careful to store pet food, farm livestock feed, and other animal foods in appropriate clean places away from mold, moisture, and excessive humidity. I am not a vet or a farmer so I will not telly you how to store animal feed, but keeping foods below 60% RH would likely be a good idea.

2) Take the same precausions you own families food, and never eat foods contaminated with mold or bacteria, unless of course they are suppose to be contaminated with good bacteria or good molds such products are often quite healthy, (Meso soup, soy sauce, blue cheese, cottage cheese, Sauerkraut, Prosciutto ham, beer etc.) This is making me hungry so I will stop with the list of fermented foods.

3) If you are living in a moldy home, you should not panic over toxic mold, it can likely be remediated and you will likely not have to burn you house down. Contact a properly trained and certified mold testing specialist. Certified indoor environmentalist, and certified industrial hygienist often make the best mold inspectors.

Below is information taken from two trusted web resources, both discuss the effects of the consumption of a specific type of mold toxin (aflotoxin) from a specific toxic mold species (Aspergillius flavus).

In the 1960’s 100,000 turkeys died on farms in England.  The condition was called Turkey X disease .

Later it was found that Turkey X disease was caused by turkey feed made from Brazilian peanuts.

Evidence of acute aflatoxicosis in humans has been reported from many parts of the world , namely the Third World Countries, like Taiwan, Ouganda, India, and many others . The syndrome is characterized by vomiting, abdominal pain, pulmonary edema, convulsions, coma, and death with cerebral edema and fatty involvement of the liver , kidneys , and heart.
Conditions increasing the likelihood of acute aflatoxicosis in humans include limited availability of food, environmental conditions that favor fungal development in crops and commodities, and lack of regulatory systems for aflatoxin monitoring and control.
Because aflatoxins, especially aflatoxin B1, are potent carcinogens in some animals, there is interest in the effects of long-term exposure to low levels of these important mycotoxins on humans .In 1988, the IARC placed aflatoxin B1 on the list of human carcinogens. This is supported by a number of epidemiological studies done in Asia and Africa that have demonstrated a positive association between dietary aflatoxins and Liver Cell Cancer (LCC) .Additionally , the expression of aflatoxin-related diseases in humans may be influenced by factors such as age, sex, nutritional status, and/or concurrent exposure to other causative agents such as viral hepatitis (HBV) or parasite infestation.

http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/aflatoxin/aflatoxin.html

Aflatoxicosis and Aflatoxins

Aflatoxicosis is a disease that can affect many species of fish, and results when feed contaminated with aflatoxins is eaten by the fish (Ashley, 1970). Aflatoxins are chemicals produced by some species of naturally occurring fungi (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) commonly known as molds. Aflatoxins are common contaminants of oilseed crops such as cottonseed, peanut meal, and corn. Wheat, sunflower, soybean, fish meal, and nutritionally complete feeds can also be contaminated with aflatoxins.

Four major aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2) are direct contaminants of grains and finished feeds. Factors that increase the production of aflatoxins in feeds include environmental temperatures above 27°C (80°F), humidity levels greater than 62%, and moisture levels in the feed above 14%. The extent of contamination will vary with geographic location, feed storage practices and processing methods. Improper storage is one of the most important factors favoring the growth of aflatoxin-producing molds, and it is a major element that can be controlled by the fish producer.

Implications of Aflatoxins in Fish Feeds

Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is one of the most potent, naturally occurring, cancer-causing agents in animals. The first documented incidences of aflatoxicosis affecting fish health occurred in the 1960s in trout hatcheries. Domesticated rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) that were fed a pelleted feed prepared with cottonseed meal contaminated with aflatoxins, developed liver tumors (Ashley, 1970). As many as 85% of the fish died in these hatcheries. Although cottonseed meal is no longer used as a major ingredient in feed formulations, poor storage of other feed ingredients and nutritionally complete feeds can lead to contamination with aflatoxins.

Aflatoxicosis is now rare in the rainbow trout industry due to strict regulations enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for aflatoxin screening in oilseeds, corn and other feed ingredients. However, interest in the toxic effects on cultured warm-water fishes, such as tilapia (Oreochromissp.) and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), has increased as diets for these species are now being formulated to contain more plant and less animal ingredients. This increases the potential for development of aflatoxicosis in these species because, as noted earlier, plant ingredients have a higher potential than animal ingredients for contamination with aflatoxins.

In tropical and subtropical conditions, this potential is further increased due to storage under humid and hot conditions. International trade in affected commodities and exposure to aflatoxins are worldwide concerns and the economic impact due to animal losses can be enormous.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FA095

Daryl Watters is a certified mold inspector, certified home inspector, and certified indoor environmentalist

COMMENT FROM:

Gary Burtle

Good comments on molds and toxins.  Our animals are a barrier between us and these plant-associated toxins.  The subject of fish and aflatoxin is interesting since there is a wide range across fish species for aflatoxin tolerance.  Catfish seem to be 1,000 times more tolerant to aflatoxin B1 than are trout.  Tilapia are also relatively tolerant to aflatoxin.  One study has shown that aflatoxin is eliminated from catfish tissue a day after the catfish quits consuming it.  I would like to see more reserch on peanut, cottoseed, and corn sources of mold toxins related to fish.  The future of aquaculture seems to depend on the development of safe fish feeds.

REPLY FROM BLOG

Thanks for the interesting info on fish feed and micotoxins on the following blog:
https://moldinspector.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/toxic-mold-and-animals/
It is a helpful scientific addition to the pool of knowledge reguarding mold issues.
Please feel free to add a little info on who you are, and link back to your website / your schools website etc from the blog.
Linking back will ad creadibility to your in depth comment, also it will ad a link pointing from the blog to your site, this link from our blog will in turn boost your sites popularity.