“The attack of the mold spores usually starts so subtly you almost don't notice”.
There is a growing body of evidence escalating numbers of asthma patients and so called mystery illnesses coming into hospitals, are the result of mold exposures.
They have sent inspectors to the homes of some kids with stubborn cases and found mold in a significant percentage. Sometimes the symptoms mimic asthma -- difficulty breathing and sneezing. Or existing asthma can be exacerbated, sometimes to a fatal level.
Other symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and strange rashes. In one famous instance, in the mid-1990s, a cluster of 45 cases of lung bleeding in infants, 16 of whom died, was attributed to stachybotrys.
Mold attacks in one of four ways:
*First, you could be allergic to it. This occurs in 10% to 20% of cases. A skin or blood test would pinpoint it as an allergic substance.
*Second, substances called ergosterol and glucan in the walls of mold cells can cause hay fever-like symptoms with itchy, red, and watery eyes and nasal congestion. You don't have to be allergic -- anyone could react to these.
*Third, molds release organic compounds such as benzene and acetone that would raise alarms in any workplace and are linked to nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Again, you don't have to be allergic.
*Fourth, molds, like other organisms, don't want to compete for food and nurturing, so they expel mycotoxins to kill competitors such as bacteria. In the case of helpful mycotoxins, we call these antibiotics and use them to help us.
But in the case of some molds, the mycotoxins target cells within our bodies and cause problems such as cancer, stillbirths, and bleeding in infants. Stachybotrys and Aspergillus make a lot of these harmful mycotoxins.