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Mold Contradiction?


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From; EPA http://www.epa.gov/mold/i-e-r.html#Mold Remediation - Key Steps

Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic.

From CDC http://www.cdc.gov/MOLD/stachy.htm

The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous.

This kind of stuff gives me a headache.

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Toxic peanuts! Beware! News at 10.

The key is "potentially" toxic to people that have allergic sensitivity.

Did you hear about the person that killed their self drinking "toxic" water?

The water was not poisonous but became toxic because of the dose which overwhelmed their system and they died from drinking too much water too fast.

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Toxic peanuts! Beware! News at 10.

The key is "potentially" toxic to people that have allergic sensitivity.

Did you hear about the person that killed their self drinking "toxic" water?

The water was not poisonous but became toxic because of the dose which overwhelmed their system and they died from drinking too much water too fast.

Yes, I understand but the sources I have quoted are not the 10 o'clock news.

The problem I have is two Federal agencies saying two apparently different things.

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Toxic peanuts! Beware! News at 10.

The key is "potentially" toxic to people that have allergic sensitivity.

Not entirely. Mold allergies are distinct from mold toxicity.

Here's my take on the health effects of mold. This is stuff that I've gleaned from several educational presentations, from reading on the internet, and from conversations with a local mycologist. I'd like to list this information as a series of statements that I believe to be true and invite people to point out errors and add important information as necessary.

There are several objections to mold in houses:

1. Cosmetic issues.

Mold looks bad and smells bad. This alone is sufficient reason to keep it out of our houses.

2. Allergic issues.

Some people are allergic to mold.

This includes live mold, dead mold, and mold spores.

As with all allergies, people have to develop the condition after exposure to the allergen.

People who develop such an allergy suffer when their immune system response causes symptoms that range from unpleasant to deadly.

There is no question that mold allergies are real, that people can suffer greatly from them, and that they can be triggered by very small amounts of mold. But the suffering is caused by an immune reaction, not a direct toxic effect.

There is increasing evidence that a population-wide increase in asthma might be caused by exposure to indoor contaminants such as molds, bacteria, and dust mites, as well as exposure to inorganic pollutants in homes.

3. Airborne contaminant.

There is ample evidence that mold in homes can cause coughing, wheezing, and other upper respriatory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people. This seems to be an effect that is not allergic and not toxic, but rather a natural reaction to the airborne contaminants produced by molds. When the mold is removed, the symptoms go away.

3. Toxic issues.

Some molds produce mycotoxins.

Some scientists are beginning to believe that all molds produce mycotoxins.

The purpose of mycotoxins is to kill or discourage competing organisms including other molds and yeasts.

There is no question that if people ingest or inhale sufficient quantities of certain of these toxins then those people will get sick.

The toxic effects that people suffer from mold are different and distinct from the allergic reactions that they suffer.

The effect of mycotoxins on people is dependent on the dose.

There is a great amount of debate about whether or not people can experience toxic effects from inhaling mycotoxins produced by mold within the environment of house because the dose is so small.

Some people and some scientists (a minority) believe that exposure to very small amounts of mycotoxins in a household setting can cause permanent and debilitating effects including bleeding lungs, brain damage, and permanent damage to DNA.

Other people and most scientists (including the CDC and the National Acadamy of Sciences) believe that the effects of small doses of mycotoxins are unknown and that further research is necessary to prove their effects.

4. Parasitic Issues

Some molds grow on and in our bodies.

There's a pretty good collection of research out there that shows molds growing inside the sinus cavities of a large chunk of the population - even in people who seem to have no symptoms. There's some question about whether this is a parasitic or symbiotic condition.

Some people with damaged immune systems can develop mold "infections."

Please add, subtract, or debunk as necessary.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I personally know an inspector who, according to the doctors, got mold in his lungs (lack of protective gear?) and, due to health issues resulting from that, is no longer working doing anything. Likely never will.

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Sounds like aspergilloma. Douglas H. knows someone with a similar condition, who literally had something akin to a mushroom growing in their lung. Aspergilloma can also grow in the brain and kidneys.

It's a very common fungus that can grow on dead leaves, compost piles, or even decaying vegetables on your kitchen counter. IOW, it's everywhere. It collects in cavities in the lung, and in extreme cases, can cause an abscess.

What's surprising, is some folks can have it and there's no particular problem and no treatment is necessary, and others can get sicker than a stray dog. What's most curious is the cavities in the lungs; it's not entirely sure whey some folks have them and others don't. So, it's not just the mold; there has to be a subset of other physical conditions that allows the mold to do damage. I read up on this when Douglas was talking about his friend; it scared me. Now, not so much. Too many folks with exposure and no problems.

Which is why I think I'm a dolt for even discussing mold, because I have no special medical or biological training to understand much of anything other than describing what's widely available on the 'net.

That's a pretty good list of things to say about mold. The summary of all those things, it seems, is that more is not known about mold than is known.

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My wife had an aspergillus "ball" growth removed from her left lung in 1999. We thought she had a form of lung cancer until they went inside and took a look. They removed the 2.5cm fungal ball, put her on 6 months of anti-fungal meds and she has never had a problem since then. FYI, thoracic surgery is not much fun!

We think she got it from working next to an old warehouse that had many water leaks, the warehouse shared air between the office area where she worked.

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  • 1 month later...

I contacted the CDC and EPA re: this contradiction and received a reply. They will "discuss." I'll see if they respond further.

Dear Mr. Lamb:

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We will discuss the matter with appropriate staff at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects

National Center for Environmental Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

________________________

Service Record: SR No. 1-100424953 Actual Inquiry:

-----Original Message-----

From: mikelamb2930@comcast.net

Sent: 1/20/2010 09:19:10 AM

To: cdcinfo@cdc.gov; ErrorTracker@epa.gov

Subject: EPA and CDC conflict on Toxic Mold

To whom it may concern,

There is an apparent conflict between these 2 statements by the CDC and EPA. They both can't be correct. Which is true? Can this conflict be corrected on your websites?

From; EPA http://www.epa.gov/mold/i-e-r.html#Mold Remediation - Key Steps "Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic ."

From CDC http://www.cdc.gov/MOLD/stachy.htm "The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic , or poisonous."

Please respond. Thank you.

Mike Lamb

INSPECTION CONNECTION, INC.

Contact Info:

mikelamb2930@comcast.net

708-346-0708

773-429-1230

[THREAD ID:1-1NSDCL] [sR No. 1-100424953]

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