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A Mold Recovery Blog
Sunday, 03 June 2018

I have probably been asked a million times by so many people: "I'm cleaning up after my toxic mold situation, can I keep plastic toys, plastic bins or plastic this or that".  I really do wish that for every time someone has brought up the topic I could be paid a $1.00 because I'd be a millionaire. 

Plastic was never on my possessions list on the website because it can either bite you in the bum or it can just "be alright".

I have come to realize that there are a million kinds of plastic in this world and it all depends on how the manufacturer made it. Some plastics are very porous and can literally grow black spots of mold on them while others never grow mold nor do they make anyone react after they are washed in ammonia. Because manufacturers won't reveal the ingredients in their plastic molds it's a real crap shoot. I truly think some manufacturers use natural organic materials in some of their mixes and this might explain why mold is attracted to some of them.

Breaking down the process of how plastic is made

Plastics are made from natural materials such as *cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and crude oil through a polymerisation or polycondensation process. ... Crude oil is a complex mixture of thousands of compounds and needs to be processed before it can be used.

Cellulose is a favorite nourishment for mold growth. Cellulose is the primary cellular makeup of any wood product and can be found in: cardboard, ceiling tiles, drywall, dust, the kraft-facing on fiberglass insulation, etc.. 

The dictionary definition of cellulose is:

"A polysaccharide (C6H10O5)n,of glucose units that constitutes the chief part of the cell walls of plants, occurs naturally in such fibrous products as cotton and kapok, and is the raw material of many manufactured goods (as paper, rayon, and cellophane)"3

This is where the controversy lies.  From research, we know that Cellulose feeds mold and that most plastic processes contain Cellulose.  We also know that Cellulose contains "GLUCOSE" which is the main fuel for toxic molds.  (This is why after a mold exposure you should avoid sugars in your diet because they feed mold in your body - a little off subject but yes, it's related). 

Another thing to consider is that because crude oil contains some nasty chemicals that "off gas" it's probably a good idea NOT to have plastic items around your home.  The chemicals in plastic leach into the air and you breath the chemicals as well as soak them into your skin.  Because you've been exposed to toxic mold your liver is already at it's maximum capacity for toxin control and you are putting you and your family at a higher risk by just "having" plastics around.  If you need to keep plastic containers it's best to keep them in a storage facility or separate garage away from living areas so that you can give you and your family the best shot at recovering from toxic mold.  (Please consider this when making decisions about what to keep).  


Take away from this article is: "You do what is best for your family." If you see mold growing on your plastic items...please throw them out for the sake of your family members and pets. If you are "reacting at all" to anything that is plastic THROW IT OUT.  If you don't see mold growing on the plastic and you are not reacting then give it a good soak in a 50/50 solution of ammonia for about 30 seconds.  Remember, ammonia can break down plastics if you let it sit too long so make sure it's just a quick dunk and then it's out.  

Another substance that can neutralize mycotoxin are Essential Oils, but essential oils break down plastics so this is probably not going to be your best option.  Although I have had some success using "Tea Tree Oil".  TTO, doesn't seem to be an oil that breaks down plastic plus it kills toxic mold spore species AND is proven in scientific studies to neutralize mycotoxin.  

My favorite brand to use is from Edens Garden.  They carry 100% pure essential oils and their prices are awesome because you don't have to pay inflated pricing to pay a company representative who sells it.  Edens Garden doesn't have any sales reps.  You can get it HERE straight from the company's Amazon account directly. 

Posted by: Jennifer AT 10:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 18 January 2018

By: Guest Blogger: Elliot Wells, MoldBadger.com

Deciding whether to remediate mold or abandon the premises is one of the toughest decisions our clients make. Molds and the mycotoxins they create are nature’s equivalent of chemical weapons. That said, if you own your home, walking away isn’t always an option. This article covers mold testing, mold remediation basics, and the ugly truths of the remediation industry.

Most mold issues are invisible to the human eye and only show themselves with a thorough inspection coupled with proper mold testing.

So maybe you’ve been suffering from various physical symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, red or itchy eyes, headaches, brain-fog, and fatigue; in doing your research you determine mold to be a likely culprit. The next step is to get accurate mold testing.

Not all tests are equal, and the over-the-counter petri-dish tests you get at Lowes are not going to cut it. That’s because mold spores are everywhere in small quantities, and swabbing a surface will of course confirm the presence of mold spores, healthy home or not.

These over-the-counter tests are great for confirming the species of visible mold growth, but Mold Badger’s favorite tests are ERMI testing with a dust cloth, air testing because it shows what you are breathing in and swabs to cover large areas that will give you an estimate of the “moldiness” of a structure. You can learn everything about mold testing here.

A good air test should answer:

  1. How many spores are in the air? How does the indoor air compare to that outside?

  2. What are the species of mold and in what quantities per unit of air?

Professional mold testing is almost always required to quantify the problem and unfortunately to prove to other parties that a problem exists and that you aren’t a hypochondriac. We hear this doubt cast all the time by landlords, friends, and family .

  • Are you sure it’s not a cold?”
  • Are you sure it’s not allergies?”
  • Could you be imagining all these mold symptoms?”

It’s sad, but true. To confront the problem you will need evidence that only proper testing provides.

Furthermore, if you are renting, professional testing is required to break the lease. Mold Badger is not an attorney.  The  Surviving Toxic Mold website has started a page for attorneys who specialize in mold cases. 

A landlord is required to provide a safe and habitable property and, although you may have to go to court to present evidence, the presence of significant mold can be cause to break a lease.

If you own the property, you still need to leave while you figure out how to deal with the problem. Stay with friends, family, or at a hotel or short-term rental if you can afford it. The important thing is to remove yourself from the toxic environment. You will see your symptoms improving almost immediately, although the road to full health is a long one.

The mold remediation industry is still fairly young and filled with professionals of varying degrees of competence. The trick is to know what makes a professional competent and to get multiple quotes to try to get a common assessment of what needs to be remediated and what it will cost .

Indicators of contractor competency:

  1. Make sure they are using PPE (Personal protective equipment) such tyvek suits, full-face respirators, and latex gloves. If they aren’t concerned enough to protect themselves properly, they are not going to protect you and your family.

  2. Proper containment: If you think you have a problem now, wait until you have a remediator remove mold-infested drywall and carry it through your house or until the air from the disturbed area carries spores through your HVAC system into the rest of your house. Any areas where remediation work is going on need to be sealed off from the rest of the house.All materials should be double-bagged and wiped down before being removed. Better yet, remove material via an exterior window if possible. In larger work areas, a negative pressure system is required. That means the air flows into the work space (where it is then vented out) and not the other way around, so you don’t have to worry about spores and mycotoxins wafting into the rest of your home.

  3. Make sure any porous surfaces in affected areas such as carpet, fabrics, and furniture are removed and properly disposed of. It can be tempting to try to clean or shampoo, but given the nature of spores and mycotoxins, these surfaces will never truly be clean. Depending on the scale of the problem, this could be only one room, but we have had clients leave everything they own to try to get away from the mycotoxins. In the end, your body and health are your most important assets.

  4. Chemicals used: The irony of using harsh, poisonous chemicals to deal with toxic molds is not lost on us, but it is the norm. Do not hesitate to ask the contractor for a full list of all chemicals used in their process. We could write a book about all of the various options, but do your research and ask if there is a way to use greener alternatives. The Mold Badger loves Borax-based solutions to treat mold spores and ozonating the environment. Ozone is essentially the oxygen we breathe with an extra oxygen atom, making it highly reactive. It is one of the few treatments that has no known long-term residue and is potent enough to deal with mycotoxins.

  5. Source of the moisture: Mold is all about the moisture. Whether it is from a roof leak, plumbing leak, improper ventilation, or one of the many ways water can enter a home, you must deal with the cause. There is nothing worse than going through a remediation, only to have the moisture return and the problem repeat itself.

 

Just remember, your health is more important than a house. If you suspect a mold issue, get it tested immediately and stay elsewhere if possible. Be careful that any belongings you bring with you aren’t covered in mold. Once you have the issue dealt with professionally, you can sell your house or move back in if you are comfortable with the remediation. If you are renting, consider finding a new place.

 

Best of luck and check out moldbadger.com for more information on the pitfalls of mold testing and remediation.

Posted by: Guest Blogger: Elliot Wells, MoldBadger.com AT 06:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, 13 November 2017

You've always enjoyed having a real Christmas Tree.  It brings back memories of the past, nostalgic family feelings for most, however did you realize that it also brings trillions of mold spores as well?!!!

Did you know that pine trees begin to decay and produce mold spores that release mycotoxin into the air as soon as they are cut?  It only takes a few short days for the spores to start duplicating and building up in an indoor environment, including homes, schools and offices.

Have you ever noticed that you feel sick or maybe you already know that you have been exposed to mold and when you bring out the Christmas decor or go shopping for that perfect Christmas Tree every year you start to feel a lot of mold illness symptoms coming back? 

Remember, we don't have to give up our holidays to enjoy life again...we just need to alter our shopping purchases and make sure that the items we are bringing into our homes or are storing in our basements and attics are not going to re-contaminate our homes or working environments. 

 

Some research shows that mold counts in indoor environments can raise mold and spore counts as high as 5 times the normal "range" in as little as a week or two after bringing it indoors. 

In a study conducted by The National High School Journal of Science "Household air samples were taken from families in the Washington Township, New Jersey area both before and during the winter holiday season.  Data shows that there is a substantial (100%) increase in the number of mold spores in the air when a family introduces a live Christmas tree into the home.  Families that use artificial Christmas trees also experienced an increase in mold, and those that did not use any type of tree during the winter holiday season did not see an appreciable increase in airborne mold.  42% of participants with underlying respiratory disorders (such as allergies) experienced an increase in their symptoms when there was a live tree, versus 13% if an artificial tree was used.  These results indicate live Christmas trees carry mold which causes a seasonal flare-up of allergy symptoms in susceptible individuals."

It is well-known that people exhibit crazy symptoms around the holidays that are very much in alignment with a toxic mold exposure.  Symptoms range from shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, throat and eye burning, asthma flares, itching skin, fevers, rashes and new food allergies.  Because of this, we highly recommend that people NOT purchase freshly cut trees but opt for artificial trees that they can properly clean each year to minimize the possibility of an exposure.

If you are absolutely set on buying or cutting a fresh tree, the only way to minimize the effects of an exposure would be to only have the tree in the home for no more than "4 DAYS". 


Cross Contamination

The issue of cross contamination is also a very serious issue.  Most often, christmas decorations from years-past can be moldy and become a NEW exposure every single year.  The dangers of keeping ornaments and christmas crafts that are made of porous materials are that they can hold mold spores that can lay dorment inside and on the surface of these items all year round and then are brought out and disturbed into the open air during the holiday season.  Moisture from shower areas, snowy and rainy weather, steam from cooking pots, humidifiers or even water based essential oil diffusers can trigger an expansion of a mold spore and result in growth and a new colony of toxic mold. 

If you have decorations or old trees in storage, make sure to bring them outside and take inventory of our "porous" and "non-porous" decor and throw out the "porous" items and do not bring them back into the home.  Although it may be hard to part with memories from the past, such as precious ornaments made by your children or grandchildren, always keep in mind that your health and the future health of your family and pets is more important than a memory from yesteryear.  Here are some ideas to replace old contaminated moldy decorations with new "non-porous" options that are easy to clean each year and will not grow mold.

Use Glass Ornaments
Glass is "non-porous" and these type of decorations can be washed in either borax, ammonia, baking soda or anti-fungal essential oils each year before putting them on your tree.  Because of the non-porous nature of the material mold will not grow on them and mycotoxin can be easily neutralized by washing them annually in the solutions that are above mentioned.  You can buy glass ornaments HERE

Use Metal Ornaments and Decorations
Metal is a "non-porous" material that can be washed in either borax, ammonia, baking soda or anti-fungal essential oils annually before you bring them out to display them in your home.  Just keep metal away from conducting electricity is probably the only warning we can give.  You can buy metal Christmas Decor HERE

Use Artificial Christmas Trees
Artificial trees can be washed annually to help prevent and minimize toxic mold expossures.  Avoid trees with wooden trunks or bases as wood can harbor mold spores because it is considered a porous material.  You can buy artificial christmas trees HERE

How to clean an artificial christmas tree for mold and mycotoxin:  Start with filling a bathtub with water a few inches from the top, add 3-4 cups of "Clear" Ammonia.  Submerge the entire tree and stand/base for about 10-15 minutes (there's no magic timing for this).  This will neutralize any mycotoxin that may be present anywhere on the tree or stand.  Let the ammonia water down the drain and rinse both the tree, sstand and tub out thorougly.  With a second round, fill a bathtub with water a few inches from the top and this time add 2-3 cups of borax or baking soda.  This second rinse will make sure that any mold spores are destroyed and no longer an issue. 

Use Beads for Garland
Use plastic, glass, porcelain, metal or glass beads for garland instead of the furry looking garland or real tree branches that might be more prone to spores or mycotoxin.  You can buy beads HERE

 

Avoid Using These Types of Christmas Decor

Real Trees
Real Garlands or Wreaths
Fuzzy Garland
Popcorn string garland
Anything made with cotton
Wooden ornaments that are NOT sealed with varnish (varnish adds protection to the pores and puts a barrier between the wood/food that mold requires to grow) so in other words: raw wood decor and ornaments.
Decor made with tree trunks or branches (this is super popular, but bad for mold exposure)
Decor made with moss
Wooden baskets
Firewood (can be highly contaminated)
Leather decor
Anything made from paper
Storing christmas decorations in cardboard boxes
Keeping cristmas decorations in wet and humid areas of the home
Stuffed animals
Pillows (anything material thicker than an inch)
Cards and wrapping paper
Felt
Foam any kind
Yarn

  If you don’t feel well during the holidays, your
Christmas tree & decor could be one of the causes.


 

Comment below and let us know if you have other ideas for non-porous Christmas decor

 

Posted by: Surviving Toxic Mold AT 11:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 09 June 2016

Houseplants can sometimes hold a sentimental place in our homes and hearts.  I know some of the plants in my home were given to me by close friends and relatives.  It can be heartbreaking to think that the "legacy of the plant" can't be saved, but I'm here to tell you that they can be saved!!!

When it comes to finding sources for mold around the home most people NEVER think to look in their potted plants as a source for mold. 

In general, caring for houseplants only takes little time and a little bit of "green thumb" effort; but there is a potential problem that can be lurking in your pots and even on the leaves of your treasured houseplants and can become a serious health threat to not only you and your children but also your pets. I'm referring to MOLD. Mold growing in your houseplants' soil, or sometimes mold growing directly on your plants' leaves, is an issue that can be harmful for both your plants and yourself.



Here are some solutions below that you can use to get rid of mold in potting soil and on the leaves of houseplants and learn how to keep it from coming back.

More than 8,000 species of fungi cause plant diseases, but chemical fungicides can be harmful to other plants, children, pets and the environment. Tea tree oil is a natural product that has been used for centuries as an antimicrobial for a wide variety of conditions. If used properly, tea tree oil can help control fungal diseases on plants without many of the dangerous side-effects of chemical fungicides.

Fungicide Effects

Most components of tea tree oil are active against a range of fungi, with terpinen-4-ol the most active agent in the oil. A study published in 2007 in "Letters in Applied Microbiology" demonstrated that tea tree oil was effective at fighting the fungi that cause Fusarium head blight in wheat, barley and oats, as well as barley leaf stripe and powdery mildew. Other studies have found tea tree oil beneficial in controlling fruit rots, anthracnose and leather rot in strawberries; early blight disease in tomato plants; alternaria solani on potato; and cercospora beticola on sugarbeets.

Uses for the Home Garden

To prevent fungal growth on plants and leaves, combine 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a "GLASS" spray bottle (never use a plastic spray bottle with essential oils because the oils can break down the plastic as it sits in the bottle over time) and spray plants every three to seven days.To avoid burning oil-treated leaves, spray in the morning and less frequently during hot dry spells. If plants already have blight on leaves but not stems or fruit, pull off affected leaves and spray the entire plant. Tea tree oil also repels whiteflies that excrete a sticky honeydew causing sooty mold fungi to grow on foliage. While generally safe for humans, tea tree oil can be toxic if swallowed. It can also cause allergic reactions if you're allergic to balsam, benzoin or plants in the myrtle family.

Preventing Future Infections

Remove infected plant materials and leaves around plants and dispose in the garbage to avoid spreading disease. When using tools to cut diseased wood, dip the tools into a tea tree oil solution to disinfect them. Keep weeds away from plants, as they can harbor insects and pathogens. Water plants regularly but avoid overwatering, which can encourage fungal growth. Use a variety of plants since fungi tend to be plant-specific, and purchase certified disease-free seeds and cuttings when possible.


Moisten a microfiber cloth (like these) in warm water. Mold on a living plant's leaves can usually be wiped away satisfactorily with a damp microfiber cloth (never use a paper towel because paper towels are considered food for mold). Rinse the microfiber cloth out after dampening it to prevent drips.
 


Wipe the moldy leaves down with the "WET" microfiber disposable towel. Supporting the underside of each leaf with your free hand, wipe the tops with the wet towel. This should remove all of the visible mold. Do not attempt this with a dry towel, as this will stir the mold spores into the air and worsen the problem.
Replace the microfiber towel as necessary. As the towel accumulates mold and dust from the plant's leaves, discard it and use a fresh one. When all the leaves are wiped down, you can allow the plant to air dry, preferably in a well-ventilated area.

Scoop away the top layer of moldy soil. If your potting soil shows mold growth, it is most likely confined to the top half-inch (1 cm) or so. Use a spoon to scoop this moldy top layer into a sealable plastic bag for disposal.

Replace the soil with fresh potting soil. After removing all of the visible mold, top the pot off with fresh potting mix. If the mold growth was particularly severe, it is best to instead replace all of the plant's soil.

Add a natural anti-fungal to the houseplant soil. Even when you remove visible mold, plenty of mold spores inevitably remain. To help prevent the immediate reappearance of mold from these spores, you can sprinkle a bit of Organic (Non-GMO) cinnamon onto the top layer of soil. Cinnamon acts as a natural deterrent to mold growth, and is harmless to the plant.

Place a layer of drainage stone in each plant pot. The primary culprit for mold growth on houseplants is soil that remains wet for too long. Each pot should have a thin layer of gravel at the bottom to allow the potting mix to drain thoroughly. This keeps your houseplant healthier and minimizes its susceptibility to mold.

Posted by: Jennifer AT 02:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 01 March 2016

NEW BOOK!!

Is Your House Making You Sick? - A Beginner's Guide to Toxic Mold
by Andrea Fabry

Are you curious about the hype over toxic mold? Have you experienced a mold exposure and are unsure of your next step? Are people telling you mold is everywhere and it's no big deal? Are you afraid your indoor environment may be negatively affecting your health?

Andrea Fabry, former journalist, certified Building Biology Practitioner, and mother of nine, has a passion to empower people to ask good questions and seek answers. In 2008, undetected water damage created a toxic mold crisis that cost her family their home and their health.

In 2008, undetected water damage created a toxic mold crisis that cost her family their home and their health. Andrea has seen the impact toxic mold can have on children and adults alike. She understands the confusion, myths, and lack of information surrounding toxic mold.

In this eye-opening resource, you'll hear more about Andrea's story and benefit from her years of research as she shares principles for identifying and remediating toxic mold, effective mold testing methods, the symptoms of mold exposure, health recovery strategies, and much more.

Is Your House Making You Sick? A Beginner's Guide to Toxic Mold offers hope and help for homeowners, tenants, landlords, and anyone concerned about indoor air quality and its effect on human health.

Posted by: Jennifer Cannon AT 10:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, 02 January 2016

Stages of Mycotoxicosis: For Inhalation of Mycotoxin
By Dr. William Croft

The three Stages (1-3) ranging from lower to higher severity of poisoning were modified according to exposure via the air as opposed to ingestion already established (Forgacs et al., 1962; Joffe, 1971). A separate Stage of convalescence occurs when a patient is completely removed from the contaminated premises and the source of mycotoxin or mold spores.

Stage 1:
The primary changes are in the brain, respiratory and immune systems, mucus membranes and gastrointestinal tract. Signs and symptoms may include burning sensation in the mouth, tongue, throat, palate, esophagus, and stomach, which is a result of the action of the toxin on the mucous membranes and skin in the exposed areas.

Moist areas of the body armpits, under breasts, belt line and groin are more sensitive or first affected. Patients may report burning within the eyes, ears and nose. Patients also reported that their tongues felt swollen and stiff. Mucosa of the oral cavity may be hyperemic. Mild gingivitis, stomatitis, glositis, and esophagitis developed. Inflammation, in addition to gastric and (small and large) intestinal mucosal, resulted in vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Excessive salivation, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue and tachycardia were also present. There may be fever and sweating. The respiratory system develops burning sensations and congestion. Severe exposure to mycotoxinwithin the lungs may lead to congestion, edema and failure, due to caustic action. Body temperature remains normal and controllable bythe patient. The poisoning appears and disappears relatively quickly in this Stage with the exception of, lungs and central nervous system. Initially (Stage 1), the patient's symptoms are very uncomfortable or painful. As the poisoning continues and the patient progress toward Stage 2, he or she becomes accustomed to the presenceof the mycotoxin and a quiescent period follows due to lack of nerve sensation. Depending on exposure levels, the first Stage may last from 3 - 9 days. In scoring the 50 signs and symptoms listed in Tables-1 and 2, an average score range of 20-45 represents Stage 1.

Stage 2:
This Stage is often called the latent Stage or incubation period because the patient feels apprehensive, but is capable of normal activity in the beginning of this Stage. Every organ of the body is affected by degeneration and necrosis with continued exposure. The primary target organs for an individual become evident over time, due to biological variation.

These are disturbances in the central and autonomic nervous systems resulting in headaches, mental depression, loss of short-term memory, loss of problem-solving ability, various neuropsychiatric manifestations, meningism, severe malaise and fatigue, narcolepsy, loss of temperature control, hyperesthesia or numbness of body areas, and cerebellar dysfunction including hypotonia, attitude and gait, dysmetria, asthenia, vertigo, disturbances of speech, and loss of balance (Best, 1961).


Spinal corddegeneration may also be observed in gait and reflex abnormalities,such as the ability to drive vehicles, ride bicycles or pass sobriety tests (inability to tolerate ethyl alcohol).

Attention deficient disorder may be observed in children.

Various systems may include:


Eyes: visual disturbances, floating objects, light sensitive, lack of tears, burning and itching.

Ears: burning, itching, and loss of hearing. Immune and hematopoietic: progressive loss of white and red cells including a decrease of platelets and hemoglobin, and high susceptibility to bacterial, mycotic and viral infections, debilitating chemical and allergies.

Gastrointestinal: metallic taste in mouth, tooth loss, gum problems, stomatitis, sores in gums and throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, excessive flatulence, abdominal distention, hepatitis, pancreatitis, and diabetes mellitus.

Respiratory: burning and bleeding from nasal membranes, respiratory difficulty, asthma, extreme susceptibility to cold, flu and pneumonia.

Skin: thinning of hair on head, burning on face, rashes, irritation, and edema.

Renal: proteinuria, possible hematuria.

Reproductive: irregular ovarian cycles, increased menstrual flow, fibroid growths in uterus, cystic development inmammary glands, and tumors of mammary and prostate glands.

Musculoskeletal: somatitis, muscle weakness, spasms, cramps, joint pain, enlargement of joints in hand, and clubbing of fingers.

Cardiovascular: chest pain, palpitations, ruptures of atrial walls, myocardial infection and aneurysm of arteries. The skin and mucous membranes may be icteric, pupils dilated, the pulse soft and labile, and blood pressure may decrease or increase. The body temperature does not exceed 38 degree C and the patient may be afebrile, or chilled. Visible hemorrhagic spots may appear on the skin.

Mental and Emotional: Thoughts of suicide may be prominent in the person's mind at this time or anytime in Stage 2. Human bonding is very important for survival.

Degeneration and hemorrhages of the vessels marks the transition from the second to the third Stage of the disease and may not be consistently observed. The degeneration of the vital organs including serious respiratory insufficiency or asthma and CNS degeneration will take the patient into Stage three along with development of necrotic angina.. If exposure continues, depending on exposure levels, Stage 2 may continue from weeks to months or even years until the symptoms of the third Stage develop. Evaluating the 50 signs and symptoms (Table- 1 and 2) by assigning a score (0-least intense to 5-most intense or severe) to each symptom, we have determined that an average score range of 45-180 represents Stage 2.

Stage 3:
Severe degeneration of the vital organs. The transition from the second to the third Stage is sudden.

In this Stage, the patient's resistance is already low, and violent severe symptoms are present, especially under the influence of stress, or associated with physical exertion and fatigue.

The first visible sign of this Stage may be lung, brain or heart failure (heart attack), with or without the appearance of petechial hemorrhage on the skin of the trunk, the axillary and inguinal areas, the lateral surfaces of the arms and thighs, the face and head, and in serious Cases, the chest. Thepetechial hemorrhages vary from a few millimeters to a few centimeters in diameter. There is increased capillary fragility and any slight trauma may cause the hemorrhages to increase in size.Aneurysms of the brain or aorta may be observed by angiography. Hemorrhages may also be found on the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue, and on the soft palate and tonsils. There may be severe interstitial thickening or scarring of the lungs, or respiratory failure. Nasal, gastric and intestinal hemorrhages and hemorrhagic diathesis may occur.

Necrotic angina begins in the form of catarrhalsymptoms and necrotic changes soon appear in the mouth, throat, and esophagus with difficulty and pain on swallowing. Severe degeneration of the skin on the face, eyelids, and loss of lashes is also often present. Necrotic lesions may extend to the uvula, gums, buccal mucosa, larynx, vocal cords, lungs, stomach, and intestines and other internal organs such as the liver and kidneys and are usually contaminated with a variety of avirulent bacteria. Bacteria infection causes an unpleasant odor from the mouth due to the enzymatic activity of bacteria on proteins. Areas of necrosis may also appear on the lips and on the skin of the fingers, nose, jaws, and eyes. Regional lymph nodes are frequently enlarged. Esophageal lesions may occur and involvement of the epiglottis may cause laryngeal edema andaphonia (loss of voice). Death may occur by strangulation.

Patients may suffer an acute parenchymatous hepatitis accompanied by jaundice. Bronchopneumonia, pulmonary hemorrhages, and lung abscesses are frequent complications. Tumors may develop of various organs, including skin, urinary bladder, brain, mammary gland, bone, immune, liver, prostate, possibly resulting in death.

The most commoncause of death is brain failure due to both direct effects of the mycotoxin on the central nervous system and indirect effects due to respiratory failure or lack of oxygen to the brain caused by the severe caustic inflammation (fibrinous exudation) reaction with the lung tissue, rendering it non-functional. Again, using the scoring system represented in Tables-1 and 2, an average score of greater or equal 180 represents Stage 3. Stage of Convalescence: The course and duration of this Stage 3 depends on the intensity of the poisoning and complete removal of the patient from the premises or source of mycotoxin. Therefore, the duration of the recovery period is variable. There is considerable cellular necrosis and scarring to all major organs of the body in which cells will not regenerate, including the brain, spinal cord, eyes, lung, heart, liver, pancreas, kidney, adrenal, and blood vessels. If the disease is diagnosed during the first Stage, hospitalization is usually unnecessary, but allergies and asthma should be monitored closely. If the disease is diagnosed during the second Stage and even at the transition from the second to third Stages, early hospitalization may preserve the patient's life. If however, the disease is only detected during the third Stage, death cannot be prevented in most Cases.

1. Croft, W. A., Jastromski, B. M., Croft, A. L., and Peters, H. A., "Clinical Confirmation of Trichothecene Mycotoxicosis in> Patients Urine , In: Journal of Environmental Biology 23(3), 301-320 (2002).
2. Forgacs, J., and W. T. Carll : Mycotoxicoses. In : Advances in Veterinary Science. Academic Press, New York and London, pp 273-372 (1962).

the "21st Annual International Symposium on Man and His Environment in Health and Disease." To read all of the papers presented, go to:
http://www.aehf.com/articles/2003Symp.htm.

DO YOU NEED HELP or Want to know how to get well? 
Start healing today and go to our basic toxic mold plan HERE

Posted by: Surviving Toxic Mold AT 12:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Chicken Zucchini-Vegetable Soup
You'll need:  A stainless steel stockpot OR slow cooker. 
 
Ingredients
 
Water
Organic Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of minced Organic Garlic
Himalayan Pink Salt (2 gallon stock pot I use 2 tablespoons salt)
1 Organic Chicken Breast
1 (2 inch leaf) of Organic (Home Grown) Basil
1 (leaf) of Organic (Home Grown) Oregano
1 leaf stalk of Organic (Home Grown) Parsley
1 Yellow Zucchini (Organic)
1 Green Zucchini (Organic)
1 CUP each of the following cut up vegetables:
(All organic) Red Pepper, Celery, Broccoli
 
Directions
  1. Fill up stock pot or slow cooker 3/4 full.  For every quart of water add one tablespoon of organic olive oil.  So for 2 gallons I use 4 tablespoons of oil.  Add minced garlic.  Add Himalayan Pink salt for taste.  DO NOT over salt.
  2. Add Chicken to stock pot and cook on low/med heat for one hour until chicken pulls apart. This will make a nice chicken stock. 
  3. Blend mince the Home Grown Basil and Oregano and add to pot. Add remaining cut up vegetables (EXCEPT the ZUCCHINI) and cook on low to medium heat for 30 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook for an additional 15 min.  Remove from heat immediately.
  4. Add, Serve or freeze in individual ziploc bags for easy fast soups.

Meal Planner that I use

Plant To Eat honestly is the most awesome tool I have ever used on the internet that let's me customize my meal plan according to my diet restrictions and plan breakfasts, lunches and dinners (even snacks) that correlate with my Mold Detox Diet.  Sometimes a one-size fits all approach does not work when going on a detox diet.  Some might have food sensitivities that others may not have and so on. 

With this tool I am able to 100% costomize my meals and schedule them perfectly so that I don't cheat and my mold-free goals become more of a reality instead of relying on my will power or lack of meal planning to get me through this detox period.  GO HERE or click on the banner above and you can usually get a 30-day free trial then it's only $4.95 a month thereafter...like I said, nothing has ever made this whole mold detox diet more simple than Plan To Eat has for me.

 
 
Posted by: Surviving Toxic Mold AT 09:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, 09 October 2015

According to researchers and toxicologists Trichothecenes are some of the worst mycotoxins in the world.  They are 3-4 times more potent and deadly than other mycotoxins such as Ochratoxin, Aflatoxin and Citrinin.

Scientists in the agricultural industry are always looking for ways to neutralize/denature the mycotoxin in food that is fed to livestock and therefore reduce the likelihood of mycotoxin contamination in animals that we eat. We can learn a lot from their studies and apply them to humans and mold exposures from indoor damp environments.  This post will be dedicated to compiling a list of research in finding multiple angles at neutralizing mycotoxins.  Solutions we find here will include names of experts and also scientific research that we find.

Ammonia

The one component that scientists have used for centuries to neutralize different types of mycotoxin has been ammonia.  You can read HERE on a previous article we have compiled about the effectiveness and safe use of ammonia to clean up after mold has been removed as well as a life saving therapy for humans and animals. 

Green Tea

After doing some general research we ran into a great study done in 2011 showing that ECGC found in Green Tea actually reduced the toxicity of Trichothecene mycotoxins. 

Mycotoxin Res. 2011 Nov;27(4):281-5. doi: 10.1007/s12550-011-0105-8. Epub 2011 Jun 29.
Epigallocatechin gallate suppresses the cytotoxicity induced by trichothecene mycotoxins in mouse cultural macrophages. FULL LINK ON PUBMED HERE

Trichothecene mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by a number of fungi including Fusarium species, which adversely affect lymphocytes. Deoxynivalenol (DON) and HT-2 toxin (HT-2) belong to the trichothecene group of mycotoxins and the occurrence of cereals and foodstuffs with these compounds are serious health problems. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of the main components in green tea catechins, on DON- or HT-2-induced cytotoxicity in mouse macrophages. EGCG had protective effects against the trichothecene-induced cytotoxicities of both mycotoxins. Additionally, EGCG suppressed the DON-induced activation of caspase-3/7, which is an indicator of apoptosis. These results indicate that EGCG might be useful in protection against DON- or HT-2-induced cell death, suggesting that EGCG could contribute to reducing the toxicities of trichothecenes.

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Green Tea Tips:

Cheap Green Tea is not quality tea


Paying a higher premium for quality tea is medicinally worthwhile.  There are many cheap versions of green teas which are not grown and picked from the area where the tea originated from nor is it processed in traditional ways.  As a result many lower quality green teas do not contain the level of antioxidants.  This makes it difficult for the tea drinker to experience the true healing properties of a good green tea.  Perhaps more importantly, authentic methods of producing tea were developed over time, and are responsible for the most optimal way of getting the most medicinal benefit out of a specific type of tea leaf.  Ignoring these production methods, in favor of cheaper mass-produced tea bag versions, almost always results in less of the EGCG and antioxidants that help to reduce the toxicity of trichothecenes.

Never use tea that is packaged in tea bags

In 2013 Dr. Mercola, world-renown MD and natural physician and researcher wrote a detailed article on the dangers of toxins used in the production of tea bags.  In this article he pointed out that there are plastic and cancerous compounds in tea bags.  You can read the full article HERE

You would think that something used as food that people consume would be free of toxic ingredients, but not so according to Dr. Mercola's article.  In the article he points out that:

"Anyone aware of the dangers of plastic chemicals leaching out of plastic containers and bottles is likely to be concerned about drinking tea steeped through heated plastic.

The other bad news is that paper tea bags may be just as bad, or worse, than the plastic ones because many of them are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins."

Knowing these chemicals are more than likely in tea bags makes us realize that if we are using Green Tea to to detox and denature trichothecene mycotoxins that we need to make sure that everything involved in the tea-making process needs to be as non toxic as possible.

So what kind of Green Tea do I need to use?

If we take all the research we've compiled and put it together it gives us the safest possible choice of the type of green tea we are looking for.  Essentially you want a Green Tea that is:  Organic, Grown in the Region where it originates, loose leaf (not in a tea bag).  Here are a few sources we've purchased in the past for quality green tea:


Numi Organic Green Tea
BUY IT HERE

Davidson's Organic Green Tea
BUY IT HERE
 

The Water you use can either enhance Medicinal qualities or completely taint the process

A final point to make about medicinal tea quality, is that the quality of your water is even more important in medicinal properties of the tea than the actual tea leaf or bag.  Tap water should never be used.  Tap water contains chlorine which is added to water (to sanitize bacteria) and completely zeros out the "healthy" benefits of the tea.  Choose a high quality mineral water or filtered water instead (but not reversed osmosis water or distilled water).  I have found that purchaseing a quality Berkey Filter is by far the best way to bring good, clean filtered water into your home without the hassle of trying to climb mountains and find the closest spring.  You can purchase the same Berkey Filter I recommend HERE

Posted by: Jennifer AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, 01 September 2015
The world of Fungi is like a school playground. (Your body is the park and your organs are the different toys on the playground. The teachers are the doctors and allergenists and the Principle is the "Cure")
 
 
On every playground there are two kinds of fungi: Allergenic and Toxigenic
 
Allergenics like to play on the equipment, some like to mind their own business and most of the time they just have a lot of fun causing the rides to spin really fast. They don't fight with other fungi on the playground they are more concerned with having a good time. But when recess is over they go back to the classroom and take their nap. There are many more Allergenics in the world than there are bullying toxigenics. These guys have common names like Suzie and Johnny or Papulospora, Pithomyces and Wallemia.
 
Toxigenics have only ONE mission on the playground and that is to dominate!! They'll do anything they can to be "King of the Hill" Instead of putting more wear and tear on the playground equipment they are more focused on bullying the Allergenics. They want everyone in that playground to know "THEY ARE THE BOSS". So these guys don't just threaten...they are bullies. They knock down other Allergenics and send a message to the whole world of fungi that they are in charge here. They don't play on the equipment they destroy it. They don't want Allergenics to have any fun on the playground because their only mission is to dominate the playground.
 
Their parents always give them a unique name at birth like Butch or Snoozer, Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chaetomium. Most of the time these fungi have no other friends. They don't play nice with anyone other than themselves.
 
When a new "Toxigenic" with a "NEW NAME" enters the playground you better believe there is going to be a school-wide fight on the playground.  Now all the other Allergenics are scared and cheering and the teachers are called in.  The two toxigenics by (different names) are fighting for dominance over the playground and they won't stop until they ruin the playground and kill each other.  The only way for them to do this is to become BIGGER and BADDER than they were before so they call in for backup.  They call in other toxigenics who originally were not their friends but have the same name (Stachybotrys etc.) and they rally for more and more Stachy soldiers to fight off the Aspergillus bullies so they can be the ONLY bully left on the playground.
 
The teachers are called in and have NO IDEA WHAT TO DO to stop the fighting so they do their best and try to "inject" Allergenics (allergy shots, antigenic therapies) into the crowd...maybe that will quiet down the bunch...but no, all it does is aggravate the Toxigenics even more.

Teachers that were supposed to protect the playground are still letting in more Toxigenic bullies into the playground like Penicillium and now Chaetomium and the fight gets so out of control that the playground is nearly destroyed. 
 
So what can the teachers (or doctors) do?  They come up with another idea...maybe if they create a distraction like (say it's all in your head, give you supplements, tell you to just avoid the bullies (mold) maybe this will work.  But to no avail.  Nothing is working. 
 
It's not until someone goes for help who KNOWS how to break up a real fight between the playground and a Toxigenic bully do things heal, disperse and begin to have balance again.  The principle shows up with the right amount of authority to lead the teachers and explain to them just how to control the toxigenic bullies.  The Toxigenics see the principle and now get scared.  They stop fighting, are sent back to the principles office and are put in their place.  The principle sets them straight and they get counseling and eventually end up adapting back into the real world and stop trying to go to playgrounds and wreak more havoc. 
 
 
The playground (or your body) is now at peace.  Yes, there will always be alllergenics...the world is filled with lots of molds and fungi and our bodies (if taken care of) will keep the peace but we should always prevent bullies from coming into the playground.  They are never welcome.
 
 
Posted by: Jennifer Cannon AT 08:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, 30 July 2015

Some people have asked me what I use or used during detox in place of milk.  Now some may not drink milk but for those who always "like me" believed the fluff about milk being good for me :)  I used milk all the time for cereal, baking, frostings, scrambled eggs, creamer etc.  Before mold I used to be a sucker for a bag of oreos and a tall glass of milk or my famous homemade chocolate chip cookies and that same milk.  

Those days have passed, "thank goodness" but some people still struggle with how to replace bad habits of using milk for everything.  I was on a mold diet for over 9 months so in those 9 months I didn't have much milk or dairy.  Now that I'm way past the mold detox diet phase of being strict on glucose consumption I am on a more steady Whole foods diet and basically now eat what is healthy for my body.

I wanted to recommend what I used to replace my "Milk habit" with.  I tried all of the milk sub's out there that everyone normally recommends like "Almond Milk", "Rice Milk", "Coconut Milk" but I was never satisfied with the taste or some of the ingredients they used.  It wasn't until about January of this year that I recently saw a new type in my local health food store and decided to try it.  

It was "Hemp Milk": by Pacific 

They have 3 flavors

  1. Original - No flavoring (No Carrageenan, Non GMO)
  2. *Chocolate (Contains *Carrageenan, but Non GMO)
  3. Vanilla - (No Carrageenan, Non GMO)

Not only did it taste good enough to drink right out of the bottle (which normally I NEVER do because things don't taste that great) but I was shocked to look at the nutritional information for Hemp Milk.

Here was what I found:

  • It had a perfect balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • It was sweetened with brown rice syrup (which isn't that sugary)
  • It has tons of vitamins and minerals like 190mg of potassium...almost as much a a banana.
  • It had over 10 essential amino acids (crazy)
  • Contains 3 grams of protein
  • and I couldn't believe it has 50% of the RDA of calcium in just one serving
  • It contains an excellent source of Vitamins D, B12 and riboflavin which most people argue about in saying that only Milk can provide this....well I found out that that was false information.

WHERE TO BUY IT

After recommending to a few friends I found out that it was not that readily available in most stores so I found an easy way to show others where to get it by buying it online.  What I found was that most of the sellers were offering FREE SHIPPING so it made it worth it to get it delivered to your home.  You can buy it HERE...make sure you bookmark this link so you can go back to it month after month and re-order like I now do. :)

Hemp Milk...It DOES A BODY GOOD!!

 

Posted by: Jennifer AT 12:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
 

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