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Mold Illness Resources and Information

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by slayadragon, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Here is a list of resources related to toxic mold illness. If I've missed any, please let me know!


    Dr. Ritchie Shoemakers websites.




    Mold Help. Information website.



    Truth About Mold. Information website.



    Global Indoor Health Network. Not-for-profit concerned about unhealthy indoor air quality.




    Center for School Mold Help. Not-for-profit concerned about the problem of mold in schools.




    CFS Untied. Exploring environmental impact in chronic illness.



    Dragonflymcs Mold and Chemical Injury Survivors. Emergency housing and public education.



    MomsAware. Andrea Fabrys website, devoted to creating non-toxic home environments.




    CDC Website. Basic information. (Note that they do not believe in toxic mold, but recognize health problems not stemming from toxicity.)



    EPA Website. Basic information.



    The Locations Effect. Information and discussion on the effects of outdoor environments on mold-sensitive people.



    Mold: The Severe Reactor. Discussion group for people demonstrating hypersensitivity to toxic mold.



    Sick Buildings. Discussion group about issues related to unhealthy indoor environments.



    IEQ. Discussion group for indoor air quality professionals.



    Planet Thrive. Online health community for people suffering from environmental illness.




    MCS - Toxic Injuries. Discussion group for those suffering environmental injury.



    Surviving Mold. Discussion of Ritchie Shoemakers work.



    Mold 911. Helping individual mold sufferers with avoidance and other coping issues.



    Toxic Mold Supertramps. More discussion of individual mold sufferers/avoiders.



    Advocacy. Toxic Mold Victims. Societal issues facing mold sufferers.



    Black Mold Exposure. Page for the documentary film.



    Justice for Sharon Noonan Kramer. Support page for mold advocate involved in court battle.



    A Million Faces of Environmental Injury. Environmental illness group, associated with Planet Thrive.



    The Environmental Illness Resource. Information on issues related to environmental illness.



    List of Mold Avoidance & Treatment Resources and Background Info

  2. topaz

    topaz Senior Member

    If I am at level 0 in my understanding of mold and whether this may be a factor or not, where do I start?

    I have no obvious signs of damp or mold in my home. How does one check to begin to investigate this as an issue?

  3. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    This is a really excellent question.

    Actually, it's two questions. These are:

    1) Does my house have a toxic mold problem?

    2) Do I personally have a problem with toxic mold?

    The answer to the first question is comparatively straightforward. While it's a rare home that doesn't have a bit of mold growing in it, some homes are much worse than others in terms of this problem.

    In general, the ERMI is a test that seems to be relatively effective in gauging how generally "bad" a home is with regard to toxic mold. The test involves collecting some dust from the home and sending it to a company that does genetic testing on it. They supply a report in the form of an index, that states that the home is (for instance) worse than 95% of all homes. That way, people can make a judgment about whether the home is generally dangerous or comparably safe.


    I wouldn't advise any other testing to try to see whether a home is safe, by the way. Air tests (often used by "mold inspection" companies) are particularly worthless, in part because the worst molds make a heavy sticky spore that sinks immediately to the floor and thus does not appear in the pictures. (I have heard good things about mold dogs, but there aren't very many of them out there.)

    What the ERMI will tell people is whether a particular home is problematic enough to make people sick, in conjunction with other specific factors. Not everyone will get sick even in a very moldy home, for instance. Certain genetics appear to make some people susceptible. It may be that certain pathogens or certain other toxic exposures may make some people more susceptible as well.

    What needs to be understood here, though, is that this is not an allergy. When people are exposed to toxic mold, they are poisoned by it. If people get poisoned by pesticides, they don't get all better just because the exposure has stopped. The same thing is true with living in a moldy building: just because people move out does not mean that they're going to automatically and fully recover from it.

    Thus, knowing whether CFS patients are living in a particularly moldy home isn't in any way conclusive when it comes to determining whether they have mold/biotoxin illness. It may be that their systems are poisoned from previous exposures to it. If their bodies do not have the ability to effectively excrete the toxins, then they will continue to be sick even after they move to a better place.

    While toxicity reactions can take a variety of forms, one of the main ones is a hyperreactivity to additional exposures to the same toxins. People who have been made sick by mold may find that even a tiny exposure (such as the amount that would stick to the hair and clothing after a 30-second visit to a moldy building) is enough to keep them wholly sick. This is similar to the response that some people have to gluten -- unless people can get wholly away from it, to a ridiculous extent, they're not going to get much better.

    In some cases, this hyperreactivity to toxic mold is found in people who aren't sure that they've lived in a moldy home. It may be that they just didn't know it, but it also may be that similar toxins made by other microorganisms may build up in the body and trigger the hyperreactivity to toxic mold. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker suggests that the toxins made by Lyme, cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates all have similar structures and can cause cross-reactivities, for instance.

    So while it's good for CFS sufferers to know if their homes are moldy (because no one, especially someone with this disease, should be living in a moldy home), perhaps the real questions here are not so much "Is my house moldy?" but "Do I have biotoxin illness?" and "Am I hyperreacting to small amounts of toxic mold?"

    The answer to "Do I have biotoxin illness?" can be found on a panel of tests recommended by Shoemaker.


    From the cases that I've seen so far, all classic CFS sufferers have susceptible genotypes, and all of them have biomarkers consistent with mold illness. This is what Shoemaker reports as well.

    The answer to "Am I hyperreacting to toxic mold?" is found the same way that hyperreactivity to gluten is found -- by withdrawing the suspicious substance for a set period of time and then coming back into contact from it.

    Unfortunately, toxic mold in the environment is more difficult to avoid than gluten, but there are systematic protocols available to do it for those who choose.

    People who able to use that approach to decrease their mold exposures to very low levels always -- from what I have seen so far -- experience impressive gains in functionality. It thus seems to be that all people with CFS are hyperreactive to these toxins and can benefit from avoidance, even though most are unaware that this is the case for them.

    Please feel free to ask more questions and I will provide more details. :)

    Best, Lisa

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