Further Research Linking Mold With Asthma

Further Research Linking Mold With Asthma
Yet another study has been published that links the presence of mold with asthma.
The study by Dr. Richard Sharpe of the University of Exeter Medical School in the UK, found that increased levels of the fungal species Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium can pose a significant health risk to people with asthma. The study further concludes that these fungi will worsen symptoms in children and adults.
Cladosporium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Penicillium species were found to be present in higher concentrations in homes of asthmatic participants. Exposure to Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium species were found to be associated with increased risk of reporting asthma symptoms by a limited number of studies. The presence of Cladosporium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Penicillium species increased the exacerbation of current asthma symptoms by 36% to 48% compared with those exposed to lower concentrations of these fungi, as shown by using random-effect estimates. Studies were of medium quality and showed medium-high heterogeneity, but evidence concerning the specific role of fungal species was limited. (Indoor fungal diversity and asthma: A meta-analysis and systematic review of risk factors)
These conclusions were based on findings gathered by systematically reviewing 17 studies that were done in 8 different countries.
During an interview by Dr. Marie Benz of www.medicalresearch.com, Dr. Sharpe emphasizes the following:
1. Dampness and fungal contamination in the home has been consistently shown to increase the risk of asthma and the severity of its symptoms.
2. Majority of the evidence reviewed focuses on the exacerbation of asthma symptoms, and few assess their role in the development of asthma.
3. So far Aspergillus and Penicillium species have already been linked to an increase in the risk of asthma development in children, but we know little about the effects of the other species we considered.
4. Dampness is one of the major factors affecting the growth of mold inside homes – a problem which has been on the rise as aging houses are sealed and retrofitted with new energy efficient technology. We currently know very little about how people’s living habits can contribute to indoor air quality, and ultimately affect their health. This study highlights the need for homes to have adequate heating, ventilation and home maintenance – all factors that will help to reduce the presence of mold and its effects on asthma symptoms.
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

Asthma In School Children Caused By Mold!

Asthma In School Children Caused By Mold!
In about 30 days, summer holidays will be over and our children will be back in school. One of the questions we have been researching is the impact that poor air quality has on the health of children. In fact, February, 2012, Got Mold? posed the question: Should Canadian School Boards be Concerned About Mold?. This question stemmed from the fact that earlier that year, CNN reported that one-third of American schools had poor air quality.
One of the most common health concerns for children is asthma. What causes asthma?
One study based on a survey of more than 10,000 university students, cited that there was a strong correlation between mold and asthma.
Another study of 300 children found a strong correlation that three species of mold–Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus unguis and Penicillium variabile–caused asthma in children. The studies author went on to conclude that: “It’s proof of common sense that you want to take care of mold in the home. It’s just proving that if you don’t do that, your kids are more likely to develop asthma.
December, 2013 the New York City Housing Authority was forced to recognize mold as a health threat and specifically that one of the core causes of asthma was moisture and mold.
It would appear that more research is pointing to the fact that the prevalent and core cause of asthma in children is, indeed, mold.
Research out of Taiwan, provides even more proof that mold causes asthma.
The researchers studied school children aged 6 to 15 years old in 44 schools and concluded that:
Classroom Aspergillus/Penicillium and basidiospores are significantly associated with childhood asthma and asthma with symptoms reduced on holidays or weekends (ASROH). Government health policy should explore environmental interventions for the elimination of fungal spores in classrooms to reduce the prevalence of childhood asthma.
Based on this conclusion, it is fairly clear that parents, teachers, school trustees, and the government needs to take the issue of mold in schools seriously. It is no longer a theory that poor air quality affects the health of school children, it is fairly clear that it does. It is also fair to conclude that the prevalent cause of childhood asthma is mold.
If we want to reduce the number of children with asthma, then the obvious solution is to address the issue of poor air quality in schools. Will this happen? I am hopeful, but in an age of constant government cutbacks and tight budgets, the likelihood of this happening is not very high. The driving force for change in schools will ultimately have to be the parents whose children are impacted by poor air quality.
As a parent, the only way you can determine if your child’s school is causing sickness is to monitor their health during the summer when they are away from school and monitor their health when they are in school.
Here are some questions you may want to consider when your child is back in school.
How do I know if my child is getting sick at school from mold?
Some children are more sensitive than others. But watch out for symptoms that seem to appear only at school – for example, wheezing, hoarseness, cough, runny nose, acid reflux, digestive issues, headache and irritated eyes.
What should I do if I suspect my child is getting sick because of school?
Visit your children’s classrooms and other parts of their schools. Do you see or smell mold or mildew? Are there signs of water leaks on walls, around windows or on the ceiling?
Musty and earthy odors are always an indication that a mold problem is present. Dirty carpet and water damage might also mean mold and bad air quality. Mold grows where there’s moisture.
How do I know if it’s mold?
If you see fuzzy, slimy, or discolored surfaces — especially in damp or wet areas — it’s probably mold. Molds can be green, black, gray, purple or even orange.
What if I see a problem?
Alert your principal or a School Board member. A lot of times, it will take more than one call or e-mail to get a response. Although calls might be quicker, your letters will provide a paper trail. Also, be sure to log all your calls, letters and observations. Inform other parents of the problem.
How can I protect my child?
Educate yourself. Talk to school officials about what they’re doing to control humidity and how quickly they’re fixing leaky roofs and windows. Ask to see copies of investigative reports and work orders for repairs and mold removal. Finally, ensure that your child is maintaining a healthy diet so their immune system is strong.
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

Does Mold Cause Depression?

Does Mold Cause Depression?
Great question because it is asking whether the air quality in a home will affect one’s mood. Research has shown that mold could possibly be the cause of MS and Parkinson’s.
But does it cause depression and hopelessness in the future? According to toxic mold survivors: Gina Lopez, Raffaella Tassone, Kelsey Best, and other survivors I have spoken with, YES, mold and bad air quality causes depression, hopelessness, and in extreme cases, thoughts of suicide.
However, is there any Third Party Research to support claims that bad air quality and mold causes depression? There has been some research conducted and my hope is more will be released in the future. The research cited below provides further evidence that air quality can have a negative effect on one’s thinking and mood.
A study led by Brown University epidemiologist Edmond Shenassa, found a significant link between mold and depression.
Shenassa’s team analyzed data from 5,882 adults in 2,982 households. The data was collected by the World Health Organization in 2002 and 2003. Interviewers visited 1000s of homes in eight European cities and asked residents a series of questions, including if they had depressive symptoms such as decreased appetite, low self-esteem, and sleep disturbances. WHO interviewers also made visual checks of each household, looking for spots on walls and ceilings that indicate mold.
1. There is a definite connection between damp, moldy homes and depression.
2. Mold related health problems such as wheezing, fatigue and colds causes depression because the home owner has a perceived lack of control over their housing environment. “Physical health, and perceptions of control, are linked with an elevated risk for depression,” Shenassa said, “and that makes sense. If you are sick from mold, and feel you can’t get rid of it, it may affect your mental health.” According to Shenassa, “healthy homes promote healthy lives.
If you or someone you love is suffering from depression and you suspect that the home’s environment may be the cause, then it is important that you get a professional to inspect for mold and evaluate the air quality. If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

What is the Connection Between Mold, PMS, and Depression?

What is the Connection Between Mold, PMS, and Depression?
Recently, a health writer and former nurse, Helen Marino, wrote an article, What Does Mold Have to Do with PMS and Depression? We have written extensively about mold and health and this article provides further proof.
Mold will grow as long as there is moisture and food and this is one of the key reasons that mold inspections are so crucial if you suspect moisture issues in your property.
There are three distinct types of mold: Allergenic which are not life-threatening, but can aggravate allergies; Pathogenic can cause infections like hypersensitivity pneumonitis, suspected of killing actress Brittany Murphy and her husband; and Toxigenic also known as toxic molds which produce mycotoxins
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring substances produced by mold and are pathogenic. More than 300 mycotoxins are produced by some 350 species of fungi. The T-2 mycotoxin, which is classified as a trichothecene mycotoxin, comes from the fusariam, aspergillus, and stachybotrys (black mold) species of mold and is used in biological warfare. Unfortunately, mycotoxins are produced by the five most common molds and include Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys. Since these types of molds release mycotoxins which can cause adverse health reactions, it is important that the species of molds are determined during mold investigations. It should also be noted that mycotoxins are not only harmful to humans, but animals as well. Interestingly, in addition to causing death to animals, it has been suggested that mycotoxins in stored animal feed are the cause of an apparent sex change in hens.
According to Marino, mycotoxins create unwanted immune reactions that can lead to inflammation. Marino believes that these immune reactions will aggravate PMS specifically because:
The livers of women with PMS symptoms are unable to degrade and excrete estrogen through the process of methylation. The mycotoxins will get accumulated in the liver and lead to elevated toxic stress. This will further reduce the efficiency of the liver and cause the accumulation of estrogen. Excessive estrogen levels can lead to PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, uterine and abdominal bloating, irritation, fatigue, headache and gastrointestinal disturbances. They can also increase your risk of estrogen-related cancers.
Simply put, one of the functions of the liver is to filter harmful substances from the blood and body. When women are exposed to mold and mycotoxins, this will create additional stress on the liver, reducing its efficiency and ability to filter toxins. When this occurs, estrogen levels increase, causing PMS symptoms.
In 2010, Got Mold? was asked to investigate an office building because employees were getting sick, suffering from upper and lower respiratory infections, fatigue, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and depression. During our investigation, we found significant moisture problems leading to mold growth. We also found high levels of Stachybotrys Chartarum, a toxic mold that releases mycotoxins. Fortunately, we successfully remediated the mold and not surprisingly, many of the health complaints subsided.
We have reported on the link between mold and depression before. The first article, Healthy Homes Promote Healthy Lives cited research from Brown University which was based on an analysis of data from a questionnaire. This study provided indirect proof of a link, citing psychological reasons: mold related health problems such as wheezing, fatigue and colds causes depression because the home owner has a perceived lack of control over their housing environment. However, research by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, cited in a more recent article, Mold Got You Down!, examines the scientific reasons mold is linked to depression based on Shoemaker’s research on Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.
Marino’s article provides further proof of a link between mold and depression. In her view, one of the problems that mycotoxins cause is inflammation of the brain tissue:
Mycotoxins produced by molds cause inflammatory reactions in the nervous system, and disrupt the production of neurotransmitters such as gamma-amino butyric acid, serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine. The neurotransmitters control your brain’s ability to focus and stay calm, and to process information efficiently. Abnormal neurotransmitter levels in the brain can manifest as fatigue, depression, brain fog, anxiety, aggression, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficiency, impaired speech, vision, and poor mental processing. Mycotoxins can also impact the temporal lobe of the brain, and increase the susceptibility of the brain to secondary infections caused by Streptococcus and other bacteria, which can in turn, lead to other serious complications.
It is clear that chronic exposure to mold and the mycotoxins produced by mold will cause health issues. In order to effectively deal with mold, we suggest that you contact a professional who understands how to safely and effectively remediate mold problems. The cost of this service pales in comparison to the health issues caused by long term exposure.

School Mold Awareness Worth The Effort!

School Mold Awareness Worth The Effort!
I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy. (Og Mandino)
Since January, one of the missions of Got Mold? has been to raise awareness of mold and the consequences of poor air quality in our schools.
We created awareness by implementing the following actions:
First and foremost, we began tracking all reported incidences of mold in the news that pertained to schools. This initial idea led to the launch of our “Mold in the News” postings we began in February.
Second, we began compiling stats on what percentage of stories actually pertained to schools by inputting the information on a spread sheet. Our data shows that 30% of all stories were about mold in the schools.
Finally, and most importantly, we used social media to share our findings. Since February, we have aggressively been using twitter to broadcast all stories we find, updating our website daily with information we think is relevant, and posting to our facebook fan pages.
The results are very encouraging. We are creating awareness both in the community we serve and with our followers around the world, who hopefully will use the information and education we provide. Ultimately, we hope our followers that encounter mold will at least know what to do and what not to do and when to consult with a professional.
Using the intelligence we have been gathering and his expertise in mold remediation, asbestos abatement, and air quality, our founder and President, James C. Watson, has been actively engaging our local community through radio, face-to-face visits, and presentations. His efforts, we are happy to report, have been received well by real estate professionals, local military personnel, and school board officials.
Got Mold? is very pleased to report that because of these efforts, we have been invited to provide a mold education seminar to 80 custodians in a Saskatchewan school division. This is an enormous success because we now have an opportunity to provide knowledge to front of the line workers who are in charge of maintaining schools in our community. Our goal is to provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions about air quality and mold issues so that our schools are safe and healthy environments for our children to learn.
Got Mold? is grateful to all of our followers and so thankful that our awareness campaign is working. Together we can make a difference…mold is a growing concern!