Thursday, August 30, 2007
Are you suffering from brain mold?
Whether you're one of those hot, exhausted people cleaning up after a flood or just fighting the good fight to keep that dark, dank film off the grout in the shower -- mold could affect your mood.

In what's being hailed as a first, a public health study led by Brown University finds a link between regular old household mold and depression.

The study included data from the World Health Organization of nearly 6,000 people in Europe.
Some of the science is intuitive - sure, if you have a moldy home, you're likely to feel out of control - and perceptions of control are linked to depression.

And yes, if you're depressed, you might not be the best housekeeper.

Exposure to mold can produce physical symptoms that are well-documented: For those with allergies, asthma or suppressed immune systems, mold can make you sick- and if you're sick from mold, that could certainly affect your mental state.

But researchers hypothesize there may be another possible pathway: mold on the brain. Molds are toxins - and researchers suspect (but haven't proven) these toxins may impede the function of the frontal cortex, that touchy-feely part of our brain that rules emotion.

As someone slightly household-chore-challenged, I wondered - just how much mold might it take to affect my mood?

It's hard to quantify, says lead researcher and Brown University epidemiologist Ed Shenassa, adding that while a little mold in the bath won't do it, the more mold your have, the more likely it is to impact emotion.

Let's be clear: What we have here is an association between mold and mood-- more research is needed to see whether mold does indeed directly cause depression.

But Shenassa says there is a clear takeaway from this study: "Healthy homes promote healthy lives." That means not letting carpets, wallpaper or ceiling tiles to get wet, and stay wet for more than 48 hours, and giving leaks in the roof, walls and plumbing the immediate attention they deserve, because they're all sources of mold.

The study appears in the October edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Do you have mold - and has it affected your mind, and body? Tell us your story.
Perhaps if they conducted a study where some participants were exposed to something that appeared to be mold (in sight, texture, smell), while others were exposed to real mold, you could help determine if its more psychological. Also, they could add mold to a room, but not inform the person. Of course you would probably want to test this with people who aren't allergic to mold or have asthma.
I lived in two different apt buildings where mold was a problem. I started to get sick at the first building and also had a problem leaving my apt due to severe panic attacks. At the second apt it got worse and the buildings owner was cited for the mold problem and then fined. My health got worse and the panic attacks also got worse.
I am now in a mold free building though my health is still a problem I do not suffer the same kind of panic attacks though it is still hard for me to go out in public unless I am with a friend.
In recent years especially, Americans have become increasingly marketed and sold on the idea of "germ-free" homes. As more consumer products are available to destroy these mold toxins, are we lowering our natural resistance to them over time?

The potential effect of this is to allow molds and other toxins to have a potentially greater effect when they are introduced. Are we seeing people truly effected neurologically by mold, or are we simply seeing people "create" allergies for themselves, which has a similar impact as referenced in the story?
There are many people from across the states that are very ill from molds in their homes, workplaces, and/or schools. I talk to many mold victim's on a daily basis, and many have depression from the molds along with many other illnesses caused from these silent killers. I am also a mold victim and have been for 18 months. I do suffer from depression do to the molds and my illnesses caused from the molds,and am on medication for it. I dedicate my website to mold victim's in trying to help them out with moral support, knowledge, and resources that they can turn to.

http:.//www.moldenvironment.com

Darlene
Mold is present in school buildings with leaks and poor maintenance practices, as well as defectively built new ones. Building molds can impact the brain, respiratory system and immune systems. A high percentage of schools have moisture and mold problems, and that means the school staff and students can get sick from these buildings. Visit www.schoolmoldhelp.org for more information.

We hope Dr. Gupta will do a show on this topic, it is impacting the learning, mental state and health of all Americans who cycle through our damp schools.

Susan Brinchman
Director, Center for School Mold Help
www.schoolmoldhelp.org
director@schoolmoldhelp.org
I was exposed to mold at school. I was very sick from September through October(my last day in the building was 10/24/06). I developed asthma as a result of the moldy classroom. I have been on Paxil, but still find myself depressed because of a never ending "battle" with the school district. Even though I have had 2 Workman Comp hearings in my favor (and the mold reports from the district say in black and white the medium levels of pennicillium can make a person sick)the district continues to appeal the case. I have always been careful with my health and becoming sick from a moldy classroom was a nightmare.
I have suffered with depression and anxiety for many years now and since I moved from Chicago to Houston into a "so-called" luxury apartment complex, I have had to live with mold that the apartment management refuses to fix now going on 2 plus years now. Since, I have moved into this apartment, I have had 4 bouts of severe major depression and had to be hospitalized once as well. In my opinion and experience, mold does affect depression and mood as well as physical health.
This is a very interesting news piece which prompts me to inquire if the researchers at Brown University are aware that scientists at the US EPA have recently developed a DNA-based mold detection assay for monitoring the indoor environment. It was part of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) American Healthy Homes Survey, so there is now a national index against which any homes mold level can be compared. The assay is called the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI). The test is now commercially available, and represents a monumental improvement over traditional mold testing in sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, etc. More information can be obtained from the EPA website or from any of the licensed labs offering the test.
Hello,

I think that the mechanism by which mold exposure causes depression may be the same mechanism by which it inhibits hippocampal neurogenesis.

This may be caused by a number of mycotoxins, I've seen research on both ochratoxin A and several trichothecenes impacting neurogenesis. Here are the references for ochratoxin A

Neurotoxicology. 2006 Jan;27(1):82-92. Epub 2005 Sep 2
Acute neurotoxic effects of the fungal metabolite ochratoxin-A.
Sava V, Reunova O, Velasquez A, Harbison R, Sánchez-Ramos J.


Toxicol Sci. 2007 Jul;98(1):187-97. Epub 2007 Apr 21.
Adult hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells in vitro are vulnerable to the mycotoxin ochratoxin-A.
Sava V, Velasquez A, Song S, Sanchez-Ramos J.


J Neurol Sci. 2006 Nov 1;249(1):68-75. Epub 2006 Jul 14.
Can low level exposure to ochratoxin-A cause parkinsonism?
Sava V, Reunova O, Velasquez A, Sanchez-Ramos J.

Islam Z, Harkema JR, Pestka JJ.
Related Articles, Links
Free in PMC Satratoxin G from the black mold Stachybotrys chartarum evokes olfactory sensory neuron loss and inflammation in the murine nose and brain.
Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Jul;114(7):1099-107.
PMID: 16835065 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Also see
The mechanisms of neurotoxicity induced by a Stachybotrys chartarum Trichothecene Mycotoxin in an in vitro model
Karunasena, Enusha
doctoral dissertation
http://etd.lib.ttu.edu/theses/available/etd-05252005-163223/unrestricted/Karunasena_Enusha_Diss.pdf
Toxigenic molds producing high toxins were found in my home. I
had become ill with bloody sinus,
rash, anxiety (I now know because
my adrenal gland was overtaxed as
half of it is used for hypersensitivity and my immune system
was overactive fighting what it
perceived as an overwhelming infection), chronic bronchitis,
bloating, acid reflux, etc. Later
the anxity gave way to chronic
fatigue ( my adrenalin gland was
fatigued), brain fog, and a
depressive state which I had never
experienced before in my 59 years.
My employees noticed a change in
my memory and mood as well as my
family and friends.
My allergist sent a blood test to
IBT Labs in Lenexa, Ks. and the
results showed I was positive for
HP a lung illness caused from
indoor molds from damp buildings.
He then sent me to a lung specialist. We had our home tested
after that and found several toxigenic molds which were producing high toxins. One of which
was Stachybotrys. We left our home
with only the clothes on our backs
which we disgarded upon checking into a motel. I saw Dr. Eckardt Johanning, Albany, N.Y. and he told
me I was hypersensitive now and
chemicals and weeds would bother
me now. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, Md.www.moldwarriors.com has found
genetic testing of the HLA-typing
that shows 25% of the population
is effected and I was I was in the
lower 2% - one of the most dreaded
genotypes.
Dr. Johnathan Kerr, UK, has discovered all patients with Chronic Fatigue have different genes than the rest of the population. Dr. David Straus, Texas Tech has found not only the
spores carry toxins, but the micro
organisims that come off them carry toxins and come through cracks in walls and cause exposure
even if the spores aren't found in
air samples. Mold can be hidden
in walls.
I thank Brown University for their
study and I know they will find out
on their future studies what my
doctors already know by treating
patients exposed to toxins from
"indoor" molds- they cause multisystem-multisymptom problems.
I am a board member of Schoolmold
help, a non-profit org. which website has been established to
educate those who are concerned
with health issues in schools
that have indoor mold problems.
Hello,

My name is Mandy, and while living in Oakland, Ca, I was staying in a room that had mold under the carpet for about six months. I had frequent sinus problems, headaches and fatigue. Over time it affected my ability to concentrate as well as lead to depression.
Finally! The deceit over the mold issue is being brought to greater light. People have been complaining that mold is causing cognitive difficulty in ever increasing numbers. The CDC knows this, but has intentionally failed to research in this area. Why? Because to acknowledge that moldy buildings can cause severe health effects, increases the liability for stakeholders of moldy buildings. (insurers, builders, real estate). Deny the illness - deny financial liability for the illness. What has been occurring within the CDC in partnership with private medical associations with close affiliations to industry - primarily occupational physician orgs with unholy relationships to workers comp insurers/disability, has caused a true American tragedy for the lives of many.

For more on the subject, read the following link the to Jan 2007, Wall Street Journal article titled "Court of Opinion, Amid Suits Over Mold Experts Wear Two Hats". Maybe mold has not made you sick, but this article surely will.

http://drcraner.com/images/suits_over_mold_WSJ.pdf

The CDC is outsourcing environmental medicine to the medical gatekeepers of industry.

Thank God, the truth is finally coming to light in spite of the conflicts of interest within the CDC and their private partners.
Hi Amy,

PLEASE help us. I live in a property identified as Public Housing in a rural community of Illinois. I reported the mold growing in my home July 8, 2006 to the landlord, and as of this date, the only thing they've accomplished is arrest me, harrass me, and come into my apartment when I'm gone. Their attorney literally made fun of me in court last Friday, August 24, saying he "didnt believe that mold could have such an affect on her like that". I moved there in March 2006 and I have gained 50 pounds, my mood is that of extreme euphoria and then immdediately drops to pessimism and despair. I'm extremely lathargic. There are moments in the past year that I have slept 24 36 hours at a time. Before I moved there, I would wake up every morning like clockwork at 5:09, one minute before my alarm, now I can hardly drag my self out of bed. I have a mold growth of some kinf on my skin, to which I've now been referred to a dermatologist. There are massive structural issues in this coomplex that they refuse to fix because of money, yet they recieve $15 millon of our federal tax money per year. There is evidence that they have been painting over the mold since 1999, as I recently met the gentleman who was their maintenace man for 6 years. He is dying of a calcified mold growth in his lungs the size of a lemon. They refused to provide him with PPE and instructed him to use bleach. Many of my neighbors are on respiratory equipment at night, because they can't breathe while sleeping. One lady to her baby to the clinic for his monthly well baby checkup and the nurse told her, "your baby smells like mold". Again, they think that i am causing a hysteria over this issue. On July 12, 2007 Keith Daniels if the Illinois Housing and Development Authority came from Chicago to do a thourough inspection at our request and was appalled at what he found. He told them they had 30 days to initiate some sort of plan, including hiring a professional abatement company. They have done nothing. In addition, I went to Chicago this week, only to dscover that the Illinois supervisor for this company, blatantly ignored the State's request, and did NOT respond to the State's request on what they plan to do. Last Friday in court, their attorney argued that "it's their property, they can paint over the mold if they want to". I was pissed!!!! I'll bet you $10 they don't live like this. I am even more appalled that they are building multi million dollar condos in Phoenix. Good way to hide money, huh. Come to Charleston, Illinois, I can provide you with 15 people in one apartment complex suffering from the ill effects of mold exposure. We don't want to be anonymous, WE WANT TO BE HEARD!! These are our tax dollars too. My cell phone number is 217-273-4128. My name is Diana Yamamoto. PLEASE, somebody help us.
Dear Amy,

THank you for the mold update. My room-mate who is in the building management business told me that. I had black spots mold growing on the bathroom walls and it may have influenced my mood, I don't know.

He told me the following:
1. Keep bathroom ventilated after taking a shower by opening a window and the bathroom door.

2. Wipe mold off with bleach

3. paint the walls with mold-resistant primer before you paint any other color.

I got ot the part of wiping mold off with bleach, using gloves offcourse.
Lets get over the denial that mold causes health problems AND JUST FIX THE DEFECTS! My God, the amount of time & money wasted on denial over the mold contamination- WE COULD HAVE THE PROBLEM CLEANED UP! Sweet Jesus- Why is there such dragging of our feet? IT MAKES PEOPLE SICK- CLEAN IT UP! It really is that simple.
For many years builders of homes and commercial properties have gotten by with using cheap materials and inadequate installation of materials with impunity. When brand new homes lead to leaky roofs, siding, windows, and foundations it will inevitably lead to water intrusion and toxic mold. It is past time that laws protecting these builders be changed so that they can be held accountable and responsible. Check out www.hadd.com for more on homebuilding problems.
The frontal cortex does not rule emotion. The frontal cortex rules logic. Emotion happens in the mid-brain.
All of these stories are so eerily similar to mine in different ways. Isnt it obvious that there is "truth" to mold being toxic to people. Why is it that the people responsible for the buildings construction, or property management think this is some kind of joke? This is ridiculous. I see a specialist at National Jewish in Colorado and I now have asthma as a result of the mold exposure where I never had it before. These are highly certified specialist, that can account for the environmental toxins these molds produce. So here is my story. We are now homeless, jobless, carless, and in total despair. We need help desperately.


In August of 2005 we moved into an apartment complex in Longmont, Colorado having never seen the apartment before the actual move in date we had no idea what we were in for. When we entered the apartment and did the initial walkthrough we noted a large area of green, brown, and black mold growing in the pantry area. We immediately documented it in writing as well as contacted the management. When they sent out their maintenance crew to bleach the area we believed that this was the proper method of remediating the problem.
I was pregnant at the time we moved into the apartment and when our 3rd child was born in December of that year he immediately became very ill. Once a month and sometimes more freqently he would have upper respiratory infections, ear infections, skin rashes and colds. We attributed this to him being a winter baby and didn't know any better at the time. As we continued our lives into 2006 I became increasingly ill. I began having chronic sinus infections, fatigue, night sweats, dizzy spells, memory loss,hair loss, skin rashes,panic attacks, heart palpitations and gastrointestinal problems that ultimately resulted in gallbladder surgery in May of 2006. All of my illness and my infants sons illnesses led to excessive time missed from my job, the sole income for our family at the time. When my oldest boy then 6 began having complications with his eczema that led to skin infections and we again attributed it to a drier summer, or colder winter. All of these illnesses increased throughout the year. My husband began having chronic headaches and at times would cough up blood. Every morning I would wake up and gag because my throat was so dry or I had sinus drainage. My oldest, our daughter began experiencing weird rashes that looked like giant O's around the inner creases of both of her arms, she also began experiencing bladder infections and frequent incontinence. We also noticed that when we had company come in from out of town they would stay in my daughters room and often complain of headaches and scratchy, dry throats. In October of 2006, my then 6 yr old son had come down with yet another upper respiratory infection. This time however, it didnt go away. After a week of antibiotics we took him to urgent care where they diagnosed him with what they thought was strep throat. His neck was stiff and he could barely move it. The very next day he woke up and could not move his neck at all so we rushed him to the ER where he was diagnosed with a rare illness called a Retropharyngeal Abscess. The upper respiratory infection he had, led to tonsilitis which in turn seeped strep B into the deep neck area. He was hospitalized for 4 days and on day 5 (also his 7th birthday) he was whisked off to Childrens hospital to have surgery to remove the infection, and now requires a tonsilectomy, and adenoidectomy. All the while the family was still battling ongoing problems. I missed work constantly and was on the verge of losing my job.
It wasnt until Jan of 2007 that I noticed the area in the pantry where we had first documented mold had begun to resurface. I immediately contacted the apartment management by phone and told her we had a HUGE problem. Her response was " Are you trying to get out of your lease" and I was astounded. I explained to her, that my family had been sick since we had lived there and I wanted nothing more for the issue to be fixed or for us to be relocated. She sent out her maintenance crew again to "inspect" the area. The maintenace man barely browsed over the areas and told me they were nothing more than discoloration. I also notified him of the water damaged baseboards throughout the apartment. He said it was due to cheap plywood used. I wasn't satisfied with his response so I went and purchased an at home mold test kit. I waited the incubation period and low and behold the petri dish was growing. I took pictures of the test kit, as well as written request of transfer to another location, I went back to management in person and requested again that the issue be resolved or for us to be relocated to another unit. She insisted that maintenance had found no problem but she wanted to send him in to cut open the drywall to further inspect. I told her that this was unacceptable as long as my family still resided in the home. Management insisted and in two days maintenance came in to cut open the walls. He himself stated that it was dangerous to cut open the walls if there was in fact mold, and again stated that these areas were just discolored that he found no mold in the drywall that he did cut, which mind you were small pieces to which he couldnt even see into the wall far enough to inspect. After he left that evening on 02/14/2007 I decided that I had had enough and I knew that there was mold in that apartment. That it was in the air and in the ducts of the home too, which maintenance informed me had never been cleaned since the building had opened 7 yrs prior. After writing several letters to management, and the property management and getting no resolve I hired a professional mold inspector to come out and take some samplings. When an inspector from the inspection company came into our home he stated that he could smell the mold when he walked into the apartment. He conducted an indoor air sampling and an outdoor air sampling. His results were nothing short of disgusting. The outdoor spore count was 167 vs the indoor count of over 14,000/m3. We would have been safer living outside in a tent. Oh and the types of mold found were Alternaria,Ascospores, Aspergillus which were in the thousands (and they had to use a data quantifier to estimate the totals), Chaetomuim (again they had to use an approximation because the numbers were so high), Cladosporium, Stachybotrys, and some unclassified, Conidia. The results from the lab that I sent in also confirmed Chaetomium, Penicillum, and Stachybotrys. I again brought this to the attention of the management and her immediate response was to place a lease termination paper in front of me. I begged for her to relocate us as I didn't have the means to move, and lived close to my job which was already in jeopardy. She again refused. So I contacted the code enforcement for the city , and with the evidence from the inspector she deemed the apartment legally uninhabitable. I again in good faith attempted to get the apartments to relocate our family into another apartment or townhome but she refused. With no other options and medical bills mounting, we were forced to move. Our credit had been totally distroyed by medical expenses and we were denied a place to live left and right. With time running out before we needed to vacate I had no choice but to relocate to the only family who could house my 5 person family to my mothers over 200+ miles away. Where eventually I lost my job as a result as I could not reasonably commute, and my attendance from illnesses had finally taken its toll. We are still experiencing health issues, my panic attacks continue, my sinuses are absolutely destroyed. As stated by my ENT, and I am chronically fatigued. Please HELP!!!
Sincerely,
Jamie S, Colorado
My home was flooded over 8 months ago and mold was found in many areas by a hygienist sent by the insurance company. The built mold containment units in severe areas, but they refused to re-home us. We have had to live in the house while the insurance companies delayed the progress of cleaning up the mess. I am 61 years old and am raising my grandchildren. I have never had any remarkable depression. I have become so depressed that I have difficulty with severe depression. My youngest son was married last week and I could not enjoy the wedding at all. When someone told me that they had seen Sanjay Gupta speak about the causal connection between mold and depression I was so relieved to hear that researchers had acknowledged this syndrome. I immediaely looked up this article and would be interested in follow up studies.
I have not personally had mold but had to be on the alert for it during my construction defect case because it did involve leaks. Because I sought information on my legal problem I also ran across people who had mold. It was clear that they were only suffering, not profiting, and yet society and the "defendants' side" repeatedly accused them of being crazy, greedy, etc. Their symptoms were real, and their symptoms often started before they realized that square yards of mold were growing inside walls and ceilings. When they got out of the situation their symptoms abated but for many did not entirely go away.

I have since met doctors who tell me how aspergillus can infect the lungs and is very real. I've read military documents about how some molds emit mycotoxins that can harm anyone even if they're not allergic.

In hindsight I now realize that two apartments I rented as a younger single person, that had chronic leaking problems, may have had mold. I was always sick there, and never knew why. When I left, my illness went away.

I believe mold can affect people's health. I also believe that there is a lot of money, power, and connections, on the "defendants' side" that can and probably has suppressed evidence of this. These industries are some of the top donors to politicians: home building, insurance, real estate.


Recently, a former US Surgeon General said health information has been suppressed by the government for politica reasons. Though this wasn't specifically about mold, (that he mentioned), I wouldn't be surprised if mold was among the things suppressed.
Please copy this down and save it.
Print it out and give it to your doctor. Clean it up, print it out, and send it by registered mail to your landlords (keeping a copy) Then they won't be able to play dumb anymore.

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I just wanted to add a few things. To those people saying 'just clean it up with a little bleach' you are wrong. The people who are getting sick HAVE bathroom fans, they have kitchen fans. They do the best to keep humidity down INSIDE of their apartments/homes. The BIG problem with mold is with HIDDEN MOLD and its almost always inside of their walls on the back of sheetrock. There are no laws protecting people and people who complain are often attacked, evicted like my wofe and myself, EVERYTHING.. When the truth is finally acknowledged about mold the next day millions of eviction notices will go out to poor people everywhere. Landlords have known they were poisoning people for years but they thought they could get away with it. When they can't, they will condoize.. The market is broken. Canada has made all detectable toxic mold situations illegal, as of last March. We can't leave these big loopholes. And housing needs to be preserved which means that the repairs need to be done first, then remediation. You can't just stop the leaks, you also need to clean out the old mold on the insides of the wall cavities AFTERWARD. Using containment to prevent cross-contamination.

See http://lib.tkk.fi/Diss/2003/isbn9512267756/

The fifth and sixth papers linked at the bottom of the first page show graphically why mold in cavities in wood buildings needs to be cleaned out.

Airaksinen M., Kurnitski J., Pasanen P. and Seppänen O., Fungal spore transport through a building structure.
http://lib.tkk.fi/Diss/2003/isbn9512267756/article6.pdf
If you live in Las Vegas, Nevada and have visible mold, a local homeowner advocacy group will come to your house and do FREE air sampling.

Las Vegas Lemonade was founded when I bought a new home that was damaged during construction and came with mold. The builder refused to clean the mold and raw sewage for weeks, stating that "by law, we don't even have to wipe that up." --Unfortunately, the builder was right; there are NO laws governing mold. Finally, a local reporter stepped in to help at no charge.

2 years later, Aspergillus/Penicillium (the second most toxic mold) was found in this same home. The Nevada State Contractors Board ruled in my favor and gave my home builder 20 days to remediate the mold or lose their license for the entire state. The Contractors Board is a FREE service for homeowners in Nevada.

As a result of these hardships, I went to mold school and learned how to perform air sampling. I bought professional level equipment to use when mold is visible in local homes.

Las Vegas Lemonade is a homeowner advocacy group that promoted a Nevada New Home Lemon Law during the 2007 Legislative Session. We will try again in 2009. Our website focuses on no-cost resolutions to housing problems.

Sincerely,
Robin Vircsik
Founder, Las Vegas Lemonade
http://lasvegaslemonade.org
We Protect Dreams
Toxic mold poisoning due to a flood underneath our home has changed me from the person I once was, in everything from my physical health to my mental health, and I know it is not just for today, but for the rest of my life. All of this is in addition to the property loss and turmoil that was also a result of it. No-one should ever underestimate what harm mold can do.
I was told about this report by a friend who I confided in today about my frequent bouts of depression.

Over the last three years and have developed multiple health problems such as chronic headaches, sinusitis, ear aches, dizziness, blackouts, muscle/joint pains including limited range of motion, asthma, muscle twitching/seizure like activities, hair loss, abdominal pain, chest pain/palpitations, hives, chronic rhinitis and sleep apnea.
I began to notice that my symptoms would occur while I was at home. After seeing several physicians, I finally got tested for allergies and was found to be highly sensitive to molds. I then got my home tested for molds and it was positive for mold toxins. I have lived in my home for 3 years and have been chronically ill during this period. I was completely healthy prior to living in this home. My 13 year old has developed a lupus like rash and is now being tested for lupus.

Yes, mold does cause illnesses and more research needs to be done with regards to long term effects.
I was a productive, energetic teacher in my school district, but moved into a new school that leaked from day one. I spent 13 years emptying buckets. I had a long term exposure due to a lack of proper remediation responces and building mistakes. Improper remediation exacerbated the problems and my health damage. By the time I was ordered to put 14000 books back on library shelves (same wet books and shelves) I was unable to breathe without hiccup-like gasps for air and intense pains in my chest. My health plumeted from there. I was unable to process any synthetic chemicals (cleaners, fragrances in everything) or petroleum byproducts. I lived indoors pretty exclusivbely with filters for these past three years. My pres coverage continues at : http://pagewebberink.com/~angie/MoldPressCoverage.html
Currently my school has me on charges and a state education adjudicator is deciding if its legal that they fire me for the very disability they caused, or wil they need to follow the ADA. I was on the cover of the last NYTeacher. The decision will be precedent setting. I am ill from mold gasses, mycotoxins, not allergic, not an allergy, but a poisoning. This was established very early on in workers compenstation court, but hindsight is worth little now. That is, unless people like you are willing to speak truthfully against interests of multi million dollar chemical companies and insurance companies in whose interest any truth hurts profits. But this is CNN Im writing to, and they adverize... "keeping em honest"
I have had severe alergies since I was a young child.The alergy tests also indicated alergies to just about every type of mold. I have tried all my life to avoid mold. In the dry heat of California it was easy. I moved to oklahoma about 5 years ago since then I have had severe problems with both depression and ilneess. I have had 6 bouts with Phnemonia, aproximatly 12 with bronchitis. Not to mention the cronic sinus infections. Due to post nasal drip I have to use a asthma inhaler as well.
Now the reasons why the fisrt apartemtn we lived in I was fine no problems at all 3 months later we moved into our new apartment at first nothing looked wrong but my body knew better, within a few weeks I was very sick about 2 weeks after that we started to see black mold show up in closets and in the water heater chamber. Not just a little, a lot from the baseboards to about 4 feet up the wall. First call I made was to the apartment that just had a person come in and clean it with bleach as if that would fix it and knowing better. Second call was made to the Oklahoma housing athority who cited and fined them then went to inspect other unocupied units in the complex and fined them more. The management company then sold the units to another management company and I had to repeat the procedure still no action was taken to rectify the problem. I went on to spend 8 days in the hospital and then siting the mold situation and threatening to call the housing authority again i was let out of my lease.

The apartment was never fixed or repaired it was cleaned with bleach then repainted.I was so happy to move. Lukaily my new apartment did not have these same problems and ive been a bit healthier, but still chronicaly sick though not a servere as before.I also noticed i felt better when i would have time off work to stay at home.

The move from the moldy apartments also coinsided with a move from one tower to another at my work.A few months later an enginer left an electrical closet open and peered inside as I passed and there it was Black Mold all over one wall of the closet.This time I had to be more careful about filing my complaint I had to find the proper authority and be sure I could submit my complaint anonymously, I reported to OSHA and they in turn notified local agancies. They have indicated that in the public areas of the workplace the spore count is not high enough to cause health problems in the general population. This kind of angerd me.

My workplace is a call center and full of overweight people that in majority are either younger then 24 or older then 55 and most of us are sick at least 3 times a year with a non commumacble illness.I dont know who they use as their general population model of how out of date it is but I can tell you positivly that that mold is affecting all of us here.
To learn more about how to rid yourself to mold toxins go to knowthecause.com
Well I have always had allergies on damp days (rain) and it's obviously mold.

And while I'm sure mold can have a depressive effect on people I think that the more likely cause for depression is the caged lives we live among hundreds of square miles of concrete and aspalt, surrounded by extremely rude people. It is inhuman to live like that.

At least we should try to model our cities where one can walk to the store and other places to do errands. I've actually often seen people driving to their mailbox from their apartment to check their mail! And we should create numerous green islands in every neighborhood in cities and suburbs.

Now doesn't that sound more reasonable? After all our ancestors have always been surrounded by molds and spores and such things.
The question I would ask is this, "which came first the devastating illness from the mold or the depression?". From my experience as a professional teacher, the devastation from losing your career, your health, the sense of community that a school provides is reason enough to be depressed. Even greater is the betrayal that most experience when they enter the worker's comp system to find that the school district they once were devoted too, has not only abandonded them but has allowed their insurer to treat them with such disrespect and in many cases joined forces with to try to discredit and humiliate the teachers. This certainly can be a cause of depression. Even when seeking professional help, a person can be turned away as I was because therapists don't want to take patients who are in the middle of a worker's comp case in my state because of the viciousness of the insurer. They don't want records to be obtained, they don't want to be called to testify, etc. Again, doesn't this add to depression? I believe that many of the people I have encountered who have had severe mold exposures are suffering from what I am, which is an adjustment disorder which in turn can cause depression especially when as mentioned above, professional help remains unavailable to the patient. Teachers in particular make good victims of this system because we inherently believe that all people are good. We believe that everyone wants to and will eventually "do the right thing". It's just part of our nature. Unfortunately, it makes us prime targets for insurance companies. Schools are like families. The betrayal of a school district is like a betrayal of a family. The lose of that family is huge. The loss of a career that is more than a job is tremendous. Teaching is not a job, it's a part of a teacher. It can't be seperated. When a teacher can no longer teach due to environmental sensitivies, cognitive damage, chronic fatigue, inflammation, etc. caused by their moldy classroom environment, it's devastating. We aren't malingers or people with psychosomatic illness. We are professionals who did our job and want to get back to our jobs. Simply put, we are and forever will be teachers.
Your article is one of many that are shedding light on the neurocognitve effects of mold and the toxins they produce on human health. Let's just hope that that "light" can shine through the insurance company paid experts. The time is right. But then again, isn't it always the right time to do the right thing?
Thank you Dr. Gupta!!!! Finally this insidious health issue is getting some serious attention. My 10 year old son, my husband and I have been suffering from the dire health effects brought on by toxic mold exposure in 2000.

We have been struggling with our health for over 7-years due to this mold exposure.

Let's add in here for good measure systemic candida for all three of us due to over-prescription of anti-biotics by doctors who were ignorant and un-educated about the seriousness of mold infection (and candidiasis!), also my own chronic mercury poisoning from the several silver amalgams (now all removed) in my teeth.

We have suffered severely, and in my opinion unnecessarily, due to first of all, high-handed doctors or doctors too scared to do further investigation.

My son, who was 2 1/2 years old at the time of the infection (confirmed by one of the only two labs who accurately test for mold in this country!!) now suffers from a learning disability. He was perfectly normal and even above the average mile-stones for his age. This to me is the most depressing aspect of this disease.

The anger we have felt towards the lackadaisical and closed-minded medical establishment has empowered us to search and finally find the answers and some relief and cure from this terrible affliction (not to mention the over $250,0000 to date on medical expenses and lab-tests out-of-pocket because Insurance is just as neanderthal in their attitudes as the AMA when it comes to the real medical problems people face.

And while the medical establishment is FINALLY accepting the link between mold and psychological disorders (and physical disease) let us also mention here that Arizona's "Valley Fever or Coccidiomycosis" is just as dangerous and overlooked, and it is not just confined to Arizonians or certain Californians or New Mexico. People who travel through Arizona or other endemic regions are exposed also. It can have fatal effects on immune-challenged individuals, and are mostly misdiagnosed, especially if the person is not a native to an endemic area.

Let us mention as well chronic candidiasis in people who have been overprescribed anti-biotics and never taught how to re-establish the healthy flora in their bodies after anti-biotic treatment. It is a wide-spread problem and doctors need to start looking at this seriously.

Thank you again for bringing this matter to light.
I live in a house that was built in 1907 and of course there is going to be "things" living the walls etc. Ever since we have moved into the house, I have been diagnosed with depression and been in the hospital several times, the last time, was informed I have no immune system left. And to add to it, I also have asthma. So I will most def follow up iwth the blogs and research on this. We are in the military and will be moving in the summer/fall of next year.
Good article on Mold our Development called Rancho Obispo in San Luis Obispo, CA was an upscale project by RW Hertel & Sons when MOLD was discovered and massive leaks and defects the Builder sued the owners who complained about the Mold to silence them, one home was so mold ridden the builder bought it back when the State Investigators found 51 of the 53 homes built to be defective and not to code the builder changed his name. Many people and children have gotten ill and AP did a story exposing the builder but Medical issues still plague people the story was helpful.
Mold is a big problem for me! I really can't drink wine anymore, or beer from a brew pub. Some wines contain mold, and some beer contains mold. My throat closes if I sip one with mold in it. I suspect is is in the lines, or maybe in the barrel. Cheap wines that are mass produced never affect me. I can microwave any wine and not have a reaction, so that kills the mold. I can't wash mushrooms with my hands, and I can NEVER eat raw mushrooms. They too make my throat close which is very painful.
As I sit here once again and write of how toxic mold has destroyed my quality of life after being affected in February 2006, it sadens me to say that my health has deteriorated that much more. We must as a community of victim’s of these toxin’s, spread awareness, knowledge and support one another in any possible way that we can. There are thousand’s of mold victim’s across the states that need everyone’s help,not just the help of other mold victim’s. We need the medical, political and public to open their eyes, listen with their ears to what we are telling them. Feel free to go on our website’s, or visit our blogs.

I would not ever want to see my loved one’s go through the horror that us mold victim’s experience. Our loved ones experience the turmoil with us, though sometimes not understand to the full extent by them.

When my little grand-daughter of three years old looks up at me and says Gramma, I will take care of you, or Gramma can I sleep over your house. You see, I can not let my grandchildren stay over at Gramma’s house, because Gramma’s house has mold, toxic mold throughout the building by know fault of my own. Will the problem be taken care of, not likely.

As I continue to breath with oxygen, take my nebulizer treatments, take all the medications to help me breath at this stage in my life is like a terrifying nightmare and at sometime I wish I will wake up and it will be gone.

Please feel free to visit my website and join my free forum for awareness, knowledge and support. Pray that this never happens to you or your loved one’s because it takes the once normal life that you had, and turns it completely upside down into horror.

Help support the mold victim’s of the world…spread the word…write to our political arena’s to pass bills that are stalled in congress for air quality regulation’s. For our schools, for our homes, for our workplace.

Visit our new website:
The Nation's Indoor Environment - Toxic Mold
www.moldenvironment.com
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
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