Mold and Mycotoxins
- Activism/Governmental Policy
Most of the population is aware that mold is bad for you in your home. From Extreme Home Makeovers show in 2007 to the discussion of mold in the Katrina vistims and others homes in New Orleans. The Government and medical establishment have been slow to listen to those of us who have become sick and those the doctors that treat mold affected patients. This year things are changing for the better.
- As Bioterrorism Agents
- The Army has extensively written on the most dangerous group of mycotoxins, the Trichothecenes, as they were used in biological warfare.
- Yellow Rain as it is called has recently been in the news again. Jokingly, I say that if they screened for this agent at airports I fear that many people would set off alarms as they walked through. This is because the clothing of people who live in moldy homes is often filled with one of these potentially lethal toxins in the Trichothecene family!
- Perhaps this is why the CDC bioterrorism unit is not spending any time or money to research the mycotoxins - it may be a can of worms they don't want to open. More likely they just don't realize what we know as environmental physicians about the ubiquity of these toxins in society.
- Medical Research
- Mold Testing
- Mycotoxin and Mold Testing
- One has to be careful about hiring mold testers because of the amount they charge and the lack of medical understanding they have about the health effects of indoor mold.
- Indoor Air Quality professionals are becoming more interested in what doctors are interested in which is at least one cultured sample from the part of the house that is supscious for the most toxic mold.
- Without cultures and speciation we cannot determine what toxins may have been produced and what to look for in terms of health effects and biomarkers.
- Mycotoxin assessment can be done in serum and urine theoretically as published by Strauss. Right now only one place in the country tests urine fro three types of toxins. Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin and Trichothecenes at roughly 400.00 a sample, each, by Dennis Hooper in Dallas. PCR of tissue is also available there.
- The Trichothecene mycotoxins can be measured inexpensively, however, in dust vaccuumed from the clothing of your patients at Pure Air controls 800 422 7873. call and request dust socks (2.50 each). 5 samples are 300, and one sample is 150. I suggest doing your clothes and your cars and the carpeting or furniture from the room thought to house the mold.
- Published Research/Articles
Many books and articles have been written on the health effects of indoor mold as well as on the effect of mycotoxins on humans and animals. This is not within the knowledge base of your family doctor. This information is also ignored by the allergists, neurologists and psychiatrists in the country -- because the patients 'look crazy'. A recent article out of Brown University strongly links depression to living in a moldy home. Many articles document the neurologic and immunologic manifestations of mycotoxin and mold exposure. Cancer is a well known result of some mycotoxin exposure as well (especially liver cancer due to aflatoxin found in peanuts). More research into the possible links to breast, endometrial and prostate cancer are seriously warranted.
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