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NEWSWEEK and mold!


Mike Lamb
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There's one thing I find telling. The article states: The consultants NEWSWEEK spoke with said they consider mold a harmful substance worth removing from your home, even though science hasn't yet linked spore inhalation, of even the toxic kind, to much more than varying levels of allergic irritation.

If there's no scientific link to serious problems, even for so-called "toxic mold," then why continue printing stories such as this? It just freaks out uneducated folks and lines the pockets of unethical lawyers.

It's not a mold problem, per se, it's a moisture problem.

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Then there's the tidbit that there's no such thing as toxic mold in the first place.

Any mold may or may not be toxic to an individual depending on their genetic predispositions.

But, why let science get in the way of another "news" story? The media gets slimier and slimier. Another monster looking for National Enquireer-like infomation.

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"If there's no scientific link to serious problems, even for so-called "toxic mold," then why continue printing stories such as this? It just freaks out uneducated folks and lines the pockets of unethical lawyers."id="blue">

Asked and answered. [;)]

Cheers!

Caoimhín P. Connell

Forensic Industrial Hygienist

www.forensic-applications.com

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

AMDG

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Originally posted by kurt

Then there's the tidbit that there's no such thing as toxic mold in the first place.

Any mold may or may not be toxic to an individual depending on their genetic predispositions. . .

In the interest of precision, I'm going to debate that point.

As I see it, there are three objections to having mold in your house:

1. Cosmetic

The mold looks bad and smells bad. People don't like having ugly, stinky mold in their houses.

2. Allergic Reactions

This is the one that varies with the individual. People can be allergic to all sorts of things. Lots of people are allergic to mold and mold by-products. The symptoms can be mild or severe but they vary with the individual.

3. Toxic Reactions

This is the one that has yet to be proved. A toxic reaction, by definition, doesn't vary much from one person to the next. If you expose one hundred home inspectors of similar size to the same dose of xx grams of a toxic substance, they will all suffer roughly the same symptoms. The toxicity is determined by the dose. Clearly, there are molds that are toxic when ingested by humans but there are very few molds or mold by-products that are toxic when inhaled -- and these in very large doses.

I think that much of the confusion on this subject comes from the term "toxic mold." When people hear that term, they think that the mold must be "toxic." These molds are toxic, but not necessarily to humans. When a mold is ready to produce spores, it first produces a small cloud of toxic compounds that function to kill nearby organisms that might compete with the spores. It's similar to the tactic that a farmer uses when he sprays a field with Roundup prior to planting his crop. The organic compounds that the mold produces and releases are adapted to be deadly to the small organisms that might compete with the mold spores for food and territory. These compounds did not evolve to be harmful to mammals such as humans. The term "toxic" in toxic mold, refers to the toxicity to other nearby small organisms, not to humans. We have the press to thank for popularizing a scientific term and distorting its meaning.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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