Here at Dr. Nuzum.com we talk a lot about toxins in your food, in the environment, and the impact they have on your body. However, there is one toxin in many American homes that we often don’t think of, and sometimes don’t even see. That substance is mold.
THE INVISIBLE DANGER
Most of the toxic mold in the air around us we cannot even see. We may or may not be able to smell a mildew type odor, or something we refer to as musty. More than likely the cause of this is mold.
Even if you do not see it, this means you are breathing in unclean air. Spores of mold contaminate the air and can float anywhere. Studies show that they can cause everything from simple allergic reactions to depression, serious respiratory illness like asthma, skin irritation, or even death. Especially if you experience asthma or seasonal allergies, you may be more sensitive to mold than others might be. One of the tell tale symptoms of mold toxicity is severe and intense anxiety. Those that are severely compromised with mold, are extremely hypersensitive to everything. They can have reactions to almost anything and due to the severe anxiety that is already caused by the mold poisoning, their reactions are very much amplified.
Dr. Nuzum has worked with 1000’s of patients that were highly sensitive to chemicals, medications, supplements, foods, and just about anything else. The one thing that they all had in common was severe anxiety and mold exposure. The mold exposure doesn’t even have to be chronic for these issues to be triggered.
Here are a few signs and symptoms that Dr. Nuzum has observed consistently over the years that mold may be an issue:
- Severe anxiety
- Multiple chemical sensitivities
- Digestive and respiratory issues
- Remedies work for a while and then are either of no effect or are harmful
- Remedies work in reverse (they do the opposite of what they are supposed to do)
Of course, if you see mold you know you have a problem. Black mold often becomes visible in bathrooms, laundry rooms, under sinks, and in other damp areas of your home or office.
Mold spores join using tiny tube like arms to create a single organism known as a cluster. These clusters are visible, like the green spots you see on bread when it has sat too long in a closed plastic bag. Black mold is more commonly found in bathrooms and damp crawl spaces, is highly toxic, and is also visible because of several spores clustered together.
The issue for your lungs is un-clustered mold spores that are flying around in your home and can be breathed in. They are often too small to be filtered by standard HVAC filters, and are actually spread by your heating and air conditioning system.
Most molds produce allergic reactions and issues with the nervous system. However, there are certain types of molds that produce what are called mycotoxins which are particularly dangerous. Studies have shown that breathing in large amounts of these mycotoxins can impair the entire human system, and can even lead to death.
HOW MOLD SURVIVES
Mold thrives in dark, warm, and humid environments where there is any kind of organic material for them to live in. Areas with high levels of moisture, like a basement or a shower, are favorite places for it to grow.
It can also grow under wallpaper, on windowsills, and in ceilings especially if you live in an area with high humidity, and can even be present under your refrigerator.
There are 100,000+ types of mold, over 1,000 are found in many US homes. The other scary fact is that often the air inside most homes is more toxic than the air outside, and the majority of people spend 60% or more of their time indoors at home.
Obviously if you see signs of mold growth or if you smell a musty odor, especially if you have experienced any water leaking issues, you should know that you have mold in your home. If you are simply experiencing some allergy symptoms or other issues you may feel are related to mold, you can get mold test kits and test the air in your home for mold.
You can hire a professional mold tester to come and check out your home, and even find the source of the mold if it is not readily apparent. This may be expensive, but if you are experiencing the symptoms of mold toxicity, it may be worth it for your health and that of your family. This is especially true if the more toxic forms of mold have found their way into your home.
GETTING RID OF MOLD (and it shouldn’t be taken lightly)
In extreme cases of mold, you need to hire professionals that are a part of a disaster cleanup company to remove the mold from your home. This may be covered by your homeowners or renter’s insurance depending on your coverage.
Keep in mind that if the area of mold is larger than 10 square feet in total, it is recommended that you hire a professional. But there are three solutions you can mix at home with normal household cleaners you already have. NOTE: When you spray any mold directly it can cause the spores to become airborne and release mycotoxins (dangerous toxins that mold produces) and cause harm. You can put your cleaning solution on a rag or towel first and then wipe/clean affected areas!
If you conquer the clean up yourself you should adhere to the following safety precautions. To minimize exposure and/or potential health risks from the mold removal project:
- Wear respiratory (nose and mouth) protection when handling or cleaning moldy materials. The minimal type of breathing mask, or respirator, that should be used for protection from mold particles is an N-95 particulate respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
- Wear protective clothing that can be laundered or discarded after the project.
- Wear gloves and eye protection.
Bleach: Dr. Nuzum does not recommend ever using Bleach on mold. Here’s why: mold spores grow its roots (Mycelia) deep into the porous surface that it is growing on. For mold remediation a cleaner would have to reach deep down into wood and/or any other porous building materials that it is growing on, to remove or "pull out" the roots. Bleach has a molecular design that prevents it from soaking into porous materials. On the surface it looks gone, but under the surface, mold always remains to grow back.
Because bleach contains 90% water and mold needs water in order to grow. After bleach is applied, the chlorine evaporates leaving behind mostly water which soaksintothe porous surface encouraging mold to flourish and grow back again. Although things may look bleached and clean, the spores will root deeper, stronger and will often return worse than before.
Vinegar: You can use distilled white vinegar without diluting it. Although the smell is unpleasant, it is a non-toxic alternative to bleach. It can be used on nearly any surface safely, but should be used sparingly on porous surfaces like wood.
Baking Soda: Again, this does not work well on porous surfaces, but it is a good alternative to commercial cleaners and it also works as a deodorizer. Mix ½ cup baking soda to 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon mild liquid detergent, preferably organic.
Hydrogen Peroxide: This can be used on any surface, including porous ones like fabric and wood. You should use straight 3% hydrogen peroxide, or 10% for difficult mold, you can also add it 50/50 to vinegar or baking soda, which will aid in preventing the mold from returning.
Borax: Borax is a great substance for mold removal. It is safe to use on all surfaces and is non-toxic for the most part, although it should not be ingested. Mix 1 cup of Borax to one gallon of water.
If you discover you have mold in your home, or even suspect that you do, you should take significant steps to remove it. Consult with a professional, and if you discover you can clean it yourself, be sure to avoid toxic chemicals and use natural solutions outlined above. Cleaning your home is crucial. Do not neglect the signs because mold doesn’t just go away and getting sick from mold will happen slowly over time. By all means, check your house, move if you can, and find the right solutions for your household.
Mold toxicity causes deep damage and it is not a simple one month fix. In fact it sets the stage for many other illnesses such as AutoImmune conditions due to a weakened and compromised immune system.