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Mold: the Silent Killer

Mold can grow both indoors and outdoors, thriving in environments that are damp, warm, and humid. Mold can be in reference to a multiple types of fungi that reproduce by spore. These spores are extremely tiny and are not visible to the naked eye. Mold spores are extremely hardy and can survive harsh conditions and environments, lying dormant until conditions become more favorable such as when moisture is present. For this reason, mold tends to proliferate in humid spaces of the home, like bathrooms or areas where there is a leak such as under the kitchen sink. Mold and their spores contain extremely toxic chemicals known as mycotoxins and are implicated in a number of health conditions including fibromyalgia, autoimmunity, and chronic fatigue syndrome among others.

Mold is a chronic, silent epidemic

According to estimates, 50% of U.S. homes and 80% of commercial buildings are water damaged.

Water Damage Buildings (WDB) in particular are of concern for human health and safety as these buildings contain a toxic slurry of fungi (mold), bacteria, mycobacteria, actinomycetes, and other toxic compounds.

This environment could have been brought on for a number of reasons, including:

  • Poor ventilation

  • Construction defects

  • Failure to identify and repair leaks or water saturation

  • Inadequate cleaning after remediation

  • Incomplete basements exposed to saturated ground water

In addition, 25% of the population have a gene variant whereby their body cannot effectively detoxify mold, making these people more susceptible to the deleterious effects of mold exposure and water damaged buildings.

Have you been exposed?

Remember, mold does NOT have to be visible to cause symptoms!

Symptoms associated with toxic mold exposure can include:

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Poor memory

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Morning stiffness

  • Joint pain

  • Respiratory symptoms: coughing, infections, shortness of breath, asthma, sinus congestion

  • Unusual skin sensations - tingling, burning, numbness

  • Appetite swings

  • Mood swings

  • Increased urinary frequency or thirst

  • Red eyes, blurred vision

  • Metallic taste in mouth

  • Static shocks

  • Vertigo

  • Lightheadedness

The VCS Test

If you feel unwell, have been exposed to or have symptoms associated with toxic mold exposure, you can take an online screening test called the visual contrast sensitivity test. This test assesses neurological function using contrast to identify potential exposure to neurotoxins and biotoxins like mold and mycotoxins. This test is a very good first step for determining the probability of mold illness. The test can be taken in the comfort of your home, online at: For additional information, check out leading mold expert, Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker's website: References: Surviving Mold. Survivg Mold, 2019, Accessed 24 Jul. 2019.



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