42-24975365Mold Sickness & Illness

Research on the health effects of mold sickness over the last two decades has been diverse. Despite pseudo-science detractors, the scientific community has made great progress in establishing a link between mycotoxins and the serious health problems displayed by mold-exposed people. Seeking to discredit the extensive, ongoing research, many mold detractors simply deny mold sickness without providing a reasonable or scientific alternative to explain the illness.
Clearly, hard science and facts trump conjecture.

General Symptoms of Mold Sickness

Fatigue
Sinus Issues
Cough
Mental confusion
Chronic headaches
Mood swings
Depression
Joint pain
Muscle aches
Light sensitivity
Asthmatic symptoms
Pneumonitis
Irritability
Shortness of breath
Vision problems

Respiratory Issuesshutterstock_2257130

The Institute of Medicine documented respiratory tract illness, coughing, asthmatic symptoms and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in mold-exposed people.
The CDC also notes emerging research into a link between mold exposure and asthma development in children; also noting that removing mold from a home reduces the asthmatic symptoms in these children.

A 2004 study documented upper and lower respiratory tract health effects in 80% of the mold-exposed people observed. The World Health Organization echoes these findings. After surveying 115 research studies, the World Health Org. feels there is sufficient evidence of an association between mold and a number of respiratory complications.

Behavioral Issues

Research shows that most behavioral disorders are a result of chemical imbalances in the brain; modern day prescription drugs attempt to adjust these imbalances so that the brain functions more consistently. Mycotoxins from mold attack the neurotransmitters of the brain much the same way; test subjects show defects that are consistent with brain inhibition, such as lack of control over mood, metabolism and mental focus.depressed-young-man-on-white-background

A 2007 study of patients that were exposed to indoor mold showed high levels of cognitive and emotional symptoms. A majority of the patients suffered from acute stress, depression and moodiness.[1] This scientific research gives credence to individual cases of severe irritability and depression among people with mold sickness.

Neurological Issues

Scientific studies are proving something that the medical community has long denied: exposure to mycotoxins inhibits proper function of the brain and nervous system.

Numerous studies clearly show that a battery of brain and nervous system tests (BAER, EEG, BAEP) on mold-exposed patients returned abnormal results; results not present before the controlled exposure to mycotoxins. Patients in these studies show a variety of neurological defects after mold exposure (in addition to respiratory issues). ADHD[2], immunological effects[3], inability to control motor function[4], headaches, short-term memory loss and lack of executive function.[5]

In a 2010 study, 15 individuals were documented to develop ADHD and slowed reaction time after exposure to mycotoxins. A neurological test called Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) was used to spot ADHD, many of the test subjects exhibited brain dysfunction that mirrored established ADHD indicators.[6] If mold can cause ADHD in adults, just image what it can do to the developing mind of a child.

In a remarkably conclusive 2003 study, 100 participants were exposed to mold toxins. Tests showed that every single one of the subjects experienced some form of health issue after exposure. Respiratory signs (e.g., rhinorrhea, sinus tenderness, wheezing), neurological dysfunction (e.g., inability to stand on the toes or to walk a straight line with eyes closed, as well as short-term memory loss) and neurological impairment (abnormalities in short-term memory, executive function/judgment, concentration, and hand/eye coordination) were all documented. [7]

Health Effects of Mold on Children

Children’s immune systems are not fully developed, making them more susceptible to mold sickness and illnesses. Mold toxins increase brain inflammation on the temporal lobe of the brain – the area responsible for understanding human speech. Clearly, mold exposure is detrimental to children’s learning ability.

Take into account the ADHD study above: if mold exposure can cause ADHD in adults, just image what it can do to the developing mind of a child. There has been a 53% increase in ADHD cases in the last ten years. While it’s likely some of this is media hype, there are clear indicators and scientific evidence that exposure to mold is partly responsible for ADHD diagnoses in children.

Scientific studies of mold-contaminated schools have documented such health effects in children as respiratory infections, eye irritation, chronic fatigue, irritability and loss of focus.

Given the scientific evidence, long-term mold exposure poses too many serious health risks to continue living or working in a mold-contaminated building.

 

References:

[1] Shenassa ED, Daskalakis C, Liebhaber A, Braubach M, Brown M. Dampness and mold in the home and depression: an examination of mold-related illness and perceived control of one’s home as possible depression pathways. Am J Public Health. 2007 Oct;97(10):1893-9. Epub 2007 Aug 29

[2] Wender PH, Wolf LE, Wasserstein J. Adults with ADHD. An overview. Ann N Y Acad Sci.2001;931:1–16. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb05770.x.

[3] Gray MR, Thrasher JD, Crago R, Maidson RA, Arnold L, Campbell AW, et al. Mixed mold mycotoxicosis: immunological changes in humans following exposure in water-damaged buildings. Arch Environ Health. 2003;58:410-420

[4] Khalili B, Montanaro MT, Bardana EJ., Jr Inhalational mold toxicity: fact or fiction? A clinical review of 50 cases. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005;95:239–246. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)61220-3.

[5] Anyanwu E, Campbell AW, High W. Brainstem auditory evoked response in adolescents with acoustic mycotic neuroma due to environmental exposure to toxic molds. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2002;14:67–76.

[6] N. Ezra, K. Dang, and G. Heuser. Improvement of attention span and reaction time with hyperbaric oxygen treatment in patients with toxic injury due to mold exposure. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 Jan; 30(1): 1–6.

[7] Rea WJ, Didriksen N, Simon TR, Pan Y, Fenyves EJ, Griffiths B. Effects of toxic exposure to molds and mycotoxins in building-related illnesses. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):399-405.