Multiple chemical sensitivity
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A nasty list, isn’t it? This is just a few of the myriad of symptoms and illnesses which have been at one time or another associated with mold exposure, illness or sensitivity.
Legally, it is difficult to prove mold as a medical cause. However, medically, there is a treasure-trove of research. There are, in fact some common misconceptions.
-Mold does not have to be black to be toxic.
-Toxic black mold is a common name used loosely and is practically meaningless. It is often used to refer to Stachybotrys chartarum, which is greenish black. Not every mold that is black is Stachybotrys; not every mold that is black is toxic.
-Stachybotrys grows on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. It needs water.
-Stachybotrys refers to a genus of molds.
-In many cases, the mold itself does not cause problems. The mold however creates poisons, called mycotoxins, which do cause problems. Stachybotrys creates trichothecene mycotoxins which are very nasty and relate to a number of toxicity mechanisms.
-In addition to mycotoxins, people can develop specific allergic reactions, becoming sensitized to the spore casing (in much the same way one develops allergies to, for example, pollen.)
Mold testing is useful 1. legally to create a record 2. statistically 3. medically to help doctors pinpoint allergens 4. physically- recognizing what type (s) you have makes it easier for a builder to guard against a particular type of infestation.
Although agents like bleach are non-specific, linings and paint that is resistant to specific types of mold growth is being developed for use in the construction industry.