HEALTH RELATED RISKS:
Exposure to "toxic mold" can cause and create a multitude of symptoms and in
some cases disease. These symptoms can vary greatly depending on the individual
and their overall health during the time of exposure and the amount of exposure.
WHO MAY BE AT GREATER RISK FROM EXPOSURE TO TOXINS?
Individuals with existing or underlying medical conditions may be at greater risk from
exposure to "toxic molds" and/or the "mycotoxins" they have been known to produce.
Exposure may have a significant impact and even amplify their existing condition.
In some cases if the mold is a particular pathogenic (causing or capable of causing
disease), or carcinogenic (cancer causing), it can actually create the illness. The
following lists out some of the individuals at greater risk from "toxic mold" exposures
(again keeping in mind the amount and duration of exposre can be varied).
Pregnant woman, infants, the elderly, autoimmune compromised individuals, individuals
with Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer, Lupus, Asthma/Lung disease, Liver,
Kidney or Gallbladder Disease, Diabetes, Fibromyaliga, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression, Central Nervous System disorders, Fibromyaliga,
Arthritis, Muscle Disease, Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat conditions, just to mention a
few. Many of these diseases are now being linked to environmental causes.
In 2001, the University of Ottawa commenced a research project that encompassed
Kidney Disease, Diabetes and Environmental Toxins.
In the United States, Cornel University has publications and ongoing research
in the field of toxins and human disease. They state that about 40% of their
population die because of pollution and environmental toxins.
Recent studies have shown, that Canadians spend approximately 90% of their time
indoors. For those with illnessess restricting their outdoor time, this may present
greater risks to their health, espeically if they are being exposured to "toxic mold".
The CNTMC would like to add the following link to our web-site:
www.coalitionagainsttoxins.com. We found the information contained within
this site to be very informatiive in the area of environmental toxins and related
issues and would highly recommend that you visit this site.
There is a vast amount of research taking place and information available in
the area of environmental toxins. Essentially our environments have become
toxic to the point where we are being adversely affected by these toxins.
For those individuals affected, the "environmentally challenged", there may be
some relief methods, however for a seemingly vast growing number of others,
there may be no relief.
The CNTMC cannot express enough the importance of maintaining a healthy
The Fungal Research Group, Inc.(FRG), International Archive of Occupational
and Environmental Health U.S. (1986) 68L-207-218 (Springer Verlag 1996)
with the assistance of Dr. Eckardt Johanning M.D., M. Sc., Ray Biagini PhD,
Prof. and Paul Landsbergis PhD completed a Heatlh and Immunology study on
individuals subjected to "Stachyboytrs Chartarum".
Their objective laboratory study concluded that prolonged and intense exposure
to the toxigenic "Stachyboytrs Chartarum" could infact produce disorders.
They noted the following:
* Respiratory Disorders * Central Nervous System Disorders
* Mucus Membrane Disorders * Some Disorder of the Immune System at
Cold/Flu-like symptoms Fever/Chills/Coughing
Burning/Hoarse Sore Throat Swollen Lymph Nodes
Difficulty swallowing Choking / Feeling Choked
Spitting up mucus/blood Burning in Throat, Nose, Eyes
Nausea/Vomitting Nose Bleeds
Abdominal Pain Colic Gallbladder Symptoms/Jaundice
Headaches Confusion/Lack of Concentration
Migraines Memory Loss
Fatigue/Chronic Fatigue Ringing in ears, equalibrium problems
Bruising easily / Night Terrors Dizziness
Muscle/Joint Pains Debilitating Fibromyalgia
Heart Palpitaions / Tremors Elevated blood pressure
Nervousness Anxiety - Panic Attacks
Depression/Slurred Speech Fowl taste in mouth - Coated tongue
Chest Tightening/Wheezing Shortness of Breath
Exhaustion during normal activities Uncontrolled facial movements
Weight Gain Feet Sore/Painful
Edema (swelling of trunk. legs, ankles) Sudden weight change (loss then gain)
Dry, Itchy, Blotchy/Bleeding Skin Body Sores - Boils
Digestive Disturbances - inability to digest - slowed digestive process
Constipation/Diarrhea Watery, Itchy, Red, Eyes
Blurred Vision/Failing Eyesight Mucos in eyes upon waking
Irrational/ Irratic Behavior Mood Changes
Heart Attacks Seizures
Hair Loss Reproductive - infertile
Changes in Menstrual cycles Cancer
Environmental/Food/Animal Allergies amplified
Suppressed/Altered Immune System
Leaky Gut Syndrome Sugar (carbohydrate) cravings
In extreme cases even death can occur.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, and suspect or have
confirmed mold, please contact your local Health Department, see your
family physician and/or an allergist/immunologist. In addition, the CNTMC
requests that you contact us to obtain one of our Information Questionnaires
for data collection. If you have had exposure to confirmed "toxic mold" and
your symptoms are not on this list, please advise us by e-mail.
There are "three" types of reactions that people experience when exposed to molds:
* Allergic Reaction * Infectious Disease * Toxic Reaction
Allergic Reactions are the most common and typically create an allergen-type
response, such as runny nose, watery/irritated eyes, throat and nose irritation
Infectious Disease can be created by exposure to pathogenic molds and
can lead to infectious lung diseases, such as "farmers lung" and "legionaires
disease". Pathogenic meaning that it can cause or is capable of causing disease.
Toxic Reactions can create a multitude of symptoms, such as the ones listed
above. These reactions can range from mild to severe, depending on the amount
and duration of exposure and the overall health of the individual. Autoimmune
compromised individuals would be highy susceptable to both infectious and toxic.
"Stachyboytrs Chartarum" is one particular type of mold that is considered to
produce Toxic Reactions.
Two other highly noteworthy molds, are Aspergillus and Penicillium.
Health Canada has infact issued a Material Safety Data Sheet/Infectious
Substances bulletin for Aspergillus spp. They note in their MSDS report, that
it is considered pathogenic (can cause or is capable of causing disease). Several
species of fungi are considered pathogenic. A specific test utilizing potassium
hydroxide and noteable symptoms will confirm or deny infection from this volatile
fungi. Although there is a method of treatment, there is no form of immunization
to ward off the possible contraction of infection.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND MOLD:
Indoor air quality is gaining more and more attention, as people begin to realize
that they spend more time indoors than out. We live for the most part, in
essentially air-tight homes, always on the look out for any signs that might bring
the outdoors inside. We go to work in our air-tight vehicles, which confine us to
higher levels of toxins because because of their limited space, and then we sit in
our air-tight offices surrounded by computer emmissions, office supplies,cleaning
solutions, etc. Then we go home and repeat the process day after day.
On a daily basis, our bodies are subjected to countless miscroscopic particals.
They come in our foods, air and water, some harmful - some not and others
potentially fatal. Any combination of substances can have the potential of
creating a "Toxic Environment". The outcome of exposure and affects on the
individual of course is dependent upon many factors. Factors such as the
individuals health in general, the amount of exposure, the type of exposure;
- direct or indirect contact. Whether it was inhaled, ingested or directly
contacted. Along side the growing concerns for healthy indoor air quality, is
also a growing awareness of some of the causes for poor indoor air quality -
one that now includes "toxic mold".
Recently, David Suzuki of "The Nature of Things" repeated a broadcast on some
of these causes.
Among his findings were allergens, such as mold. www.cbc.ca/natureofthings
Mold is a microscopic organisim that can affect people's health on various levels.
It can attach itself to our food, we can inhale it's spores and we can come in
physical contact with it. However, unless you are or plan to become a fungi
expert, mold is not something you would want to share your home or body with.
In addition, you wouldn't want to compromise your indoor air quality by allowing
any leaks or flooding to promote such as situation. Be informed, know your
indoor environment and make it a healthier place to be by riding yourself of all
Please visit our Forms and Publications page to obtain copies of our Information
The VOC's (Volitile Organic Chemicals), cause moldy/musty odors and are
associated with fungi contamination. High levels of VOC's can often irritate
the Mucus Membranes and the Central Nervious System. Prolonged exposure
can lead to a multiple of symptoms, such as the ones listed above. Certain toxic
molds such as Stachybotyrs are considered to be part of the VOC's.
Stachybotyrs Health Affects:
Health related illnesses are caused by inhalation or ingestion of the spores.
Stachyboytrs is known to cause respiratory infections, headaches, poor
concentration, memory loss, brain tumors, chronic fatigue, dry, itchy skin,
exhaustion after normal activities, dizziness, nausea, tremors and heart
palpitations. This toxic mold has been documented as being responsible
for the deaths of several infants in Cleveland, Ohio.
Penicillium Health Affects:
Health related illnesses are caused by inhalation or ingestion of the spores.
Species of Penicillium cause Keratomycosis (eye - infection of the cornea),
Penicilliosis (chronic sneezing and runny nose), Otomycosis (infection of
external ear canal - scaling, itching and pain), Onychomycosis (infection of
the nail), and deep tissue infections which can affect major organs such as
the heart, liver, kidneys, etc.
Aspergillus Health Affects:
Aspergillus species cause health-related illnesses by inhalation of it's spores.
It can begin as a pulmonary disease producing tumorous lesions in the lungs
and bronchi. It can spread through the blood vessels to the rest of the body.
It can cause Osteomycosis (external ear infections, fungi balls - abcesses).
It can bring on and create Asthma attacks when inhaled. Other infections
are myocarditis (inflamation of the heart muscle), Meningitis, Osteomyelitis
(inflamation of the bone & bone marrow), Mycetoma (fungal infection that
grows in pre-existing lung cavities, also can appear in brain, kidneys and
other organs), Burn infections, invasion of the nasal sinuses (sinitis),
Onychromycosis (nail fungus), Keratomycosis (eye- infection of the cornea)
and toxic ingestion by eating contaminated foods containing or covered in
These three are not to be taken lightly, that is why it is so important to confirm
the type of mold and to get a proper diagnosis and treatment following exposure.
This too however, is very difficult as the majority of physicians seem to be greatly
lacking in this area, making proper diagnosis and treatments from toxic mold
exposure very difficult and in some cases impossible. Again the CNTMC
expresses the need to be informed about the type of toxic exposure your have
been in contact with. In the case of mold/toxic mold an allergist/immunologist or
and immunologist/toxicologist may be better suited to assessing and/or treating
toxic mold exposure.
In many cases both past and present, the patient is misdiagnosed and the wrong
treatment(s) administered. The right cure for the right cause should be foremost
in everyone's mind. History shows that symptoms are treated, but that in a majority
of cases, the actual cause(s) for the symptoms is/are rarely sought or known.
With mold exposure, especially toxic mold exposure or other environmental toxic
exposure, this could lead into years of misdiagnosis and improper treatments -
resulting in an endless cycle of chronic illness for the patient/individual.
As mentioned earlier, those individuals with underlying disease/illness may
experience an amplification in their symptoms from exposure to toxic mold and
so the importance lays within the knowledge of not only your own body and
what you put into it, but what your body is being exposed to in your own
environments as well.
Again, if you suspect or know that mold exists within your home, provide this
information to your physician when presenting your symtpoms - be informed,
and get the facts.