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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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 .
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.
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:
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.
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.
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".
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.
Use Glass Ornaments
Use Metal Ornaments and Decorations
Use Artificial Christmas Trees
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
Avoid Using These Types of Christmas Decor
If you don’t feel well during the holidays, your
Comment below and let us know if you have other ideas for non-porous Christmas decor
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, 01 March 2016
Is Your House Making You Sick? - A Beginner's Guide to Toxic Mold
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.
Saturday, 02 January 2016
Stages of Mycotoxicosis: For Inhalation of Mycotoxin
DO YOU NEED HELP or Want to know how to get well?
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Chicken Zucchini-Vegetable Soup
You'll need: A stainless steel stockpot OR slow cooker.
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
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.
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.
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.
Green Tea Tips:
Cheap Green Tea is not quality tea
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
"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:
Davidson's Organic Green Tea
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
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.
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.
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:
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!!