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Introduction to The Mold Help Organization  
Posted by Susan Lillard  
Monday, 15 July 2013

Mold-Help.org is a private website that educates and refers people whose lives are impacted by the effects of mold poisoning and recognize systemic fungal disease as a national health crisis.


Last Updated (Wednesday, 26 February 2014)

MOLD. . .What is it all about?  
Posted by Susan Lillard  
Monday, 28 January 2013

Mold, what is it all about?

 

Mold has certainly made its way into people's homes as well as the headlines recently.  Many people still don't fully understand the health hazards of fungal exposure.  The term toxic mold is somewhat misleading as it exudes an idea that certain molds are toxic, when actually certain types of molds produce secondary metabolites that produce toxins.  The correct term is mycotoxins.  Airborne mycotoxins can definitely destroy one's health. Sometimes, people are unaware that they are breathing mold spores and mycotoxins until they are very sick. Certain people have a minor allergic reactions to the some molds,  but once you leave the affected area they most likely recover with few serious side effects. However, if they have been exposed to the dangerous molds such as Stachybotrys or Chaetomium, they could suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heartproblems, cancermultiple sclerosischronic fatiguelupusfibromyalgiarheumatoid arthritismultiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more.  

This private non-profit organization is dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of innocent people who have lost their lives, health, and homes to this scourge as our government, social service organizations, and disaster management groups have ignored them in their greatest time of need.  We offer the most current information, resources, and solutions regarding what everyone must know about one of the most devastating national health hazards of this millennium.

Unfortunately, the government has failed to establish guidelines that determine unhealthful amounts of poor indoor air quality standards, making it impossible for thousands of sick people to obtain help during this looming national health crisis.  This is the main reason why so many people are confused about the damage mold can cause.  As most know, many molds can cause allergens that can affect some of the population, but some molds can also cause toxins, which can affect everyone, depending on the length of exposure.  Approximately 25 million Americans suffer from allergic reactions to molds yet most of them don't even realize that when they're sneezing and sniffling the cause could be from fungi.

The molds that produce airborne toxins that can cause serious symptoms, such as breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and acid reflux. Common ailments from toxigenic mold---including allergies (hypersensitivity after initial toxicity), and excessive bruising---usually can be treated and reduced after people leave their contaminated environment. Often medication, diet, and other treatment protocols are necessary.  But other health problems may remain permanently, such as brain damage and weakened immune systems.  Eyesight, memory, coordination/balance, and hearing are generally the most common residual effects that often do not improve after treatment in most cases.

Molds can be found wherever there is moisture, oxygen, and something to feed on. In the fall, they grow on rotting logs and fallen leaves, especially in moist, shady areas. In gardens, they can be found in compost piles and on certain grasses and weeds. Molds grow in our homes in moist warm areas like damp basements, closets, and bathrooms, even after the moisture has dried up. Also, molds can grow in places where fresh food is stored, refrigerator drip trays, house plants, humidifiers, garbage pails, mattresses, upholstered furniture, or foam rubber pillows. The worst place that molds can grow, however, is inside wall cavities and flooring of our homes, wherever there may be cellulose materials they can feed on, such as wood, ceiling tiles, or plasterboard, even if they are not visible, and they have sustained water damage at one time or another. This is very common if there has been a plumbing leak or an inadequate roof.  Actually, any type of water damage can cause a mold problem.  Mold and cellulose eating insects are often partners in crime in water damaged portions of your home. Due to similar conditions required for each to thrive, the presence of one may indicate the other.

As previously stated, many people are either unaware, ignorant, or in denial about the severe health hazards involved with some types of indoor household molds.  Molds come in thousands of different varieties, but a few who are some of the offenders that invade our homes. Alternaria and Cladosporium are the molds most commonly found both indoors and outdoors throughout the United States.

Aspergillus,Penicillium, Helminthosporium, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Mucor, Rhizopus, and Aureobasidium are also common. One of the mycotoxins, aflatoxin, is produced by the fungi Penicillium, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Four different aflatoxins, B1, B2, G1 and G2, have been identified with B1 being the most toxic, carcinogenic and prevalent. Another very dangerous family of toxin producers is Fusarium. The toxins zearalenone, trichothecenes or moniliformin can be formed by various types of Fusarium including F. moniliforme, F. oxysporum, F. culmorum, F. avenaceum, F. equiseti, F. roseum, and F. nivale. 

The most dangerous mold strains are: Chaetomium (pronounced Kay-toe-MEE-yum) and Stachybotrys chartarum (pronounced Stack-ee-BOT-ris  Char-TAR-um) as they have been proven to produce demylenating mycotoxins among others, meaning they can lead to autoimmune disease. Under certain growth and environmental conditions, both of these fungi release toxic, microscopic spores and several types of mycotoxins that can cause the worst symptoms which are usually irreversible such as neurological and immunological damage.  Some of these natural mycotoxins include a very strong class known as trichothecenes. Trichothecenes are also produced by several common molds including species in the genera Acremonium, Cylindrocarpon, Dendrodochium, Myrothecium, Trichoderma, and Trichothecium. The trichothecenes are potent inhibitors of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis, and have been well studied in animal models because of concern about their potential misuse as agents of biological warfare, due to their ability to destroy human health (mentally and physically), and never appear in an autopsy. 

The disturbing factor about airborne mycotoxins is that it is impossible to know how much damage they have caused to one's health until it is too late. Therefore, It is imperative to not knowingly expose oneself even for brief periods of time in any place that smells moldy or has an appearance of mold or mildew. If you suspect that the air quality in your home is being compromised by mold spores you can have the air tested, but it can be quite expensive in some instances. It's worth it if it helps save your health.  Mold Help approved testing companies are listed on this site with more reasonable costs.  These testing companies have been approved due to their thoroughness, value, and efficacy.  You will find that their cost is generally lower than most, but this in no way compromises the value of their work.

Some molds are cryophytes (these adapt to low temperatures), some are thermo tolerant (they adapt to a wide range of temperatures) and some are thermophiles (they adapt to high temperatures). Depending on the species, these microbes will grow just about anywhere. Not even a fire in excess of 500 degrees Fahrenheit has been able to destroy some molds such as Stachybotrys. Mold requires a compatible temperature for each species. Environmental factors (temperature, nitrogen, oxygen, etc. ) are necessary compounds for indoor molds to thrive.

Mold also needs an organic source of food. People might be confused as mold can grow on glass, tile, stainless steel, cookware, etc., but it is generally feeding off of some organic source deposited on this material (oils, film, dirt, skin cells, etc.). The fiberglass insulation which some assume that mold does not grow on their product which is a fairly true statement, however, it grows on the organic debris that become trapped in these products. Mold also grows on things such as wood, fabric, leather, gypsum, fiberboard, drywall, stucco, and many insulation fibrous materials. All molds require some form of moisture to grow however, like temperature, the amount of moisture varies for different species. Some are xerophillic (colonize under very dry conditions) some are xerotolerant (colonize under a wide range of moisture levels) and some are hydrophilic (colonize at high moisture levels). It does not have to be a leak. . . Humidity or moisture content of the substrate can often be sufficient (relative humidity 50% start becoming problematic in many indoor cases). It can spread very easily through any HVAC system.

Mycotoxins are examples of chemical substances that molds create generally as secondary metabolites, thought to possibly play a role in either helping to prepare the substrate on which they exist for digestion, as defense mechanisms, and some have suggested that they may be produced when the organisms are under stress, which could be related to competition/defense, or simply due to inhospitable environmental conditions. The mycotoxins, which are also neurotoxins (a toxin that is determined to cause neurological damage), most commonly reach people from the air, via spores from the molds in question. They are also found in small particulates at times which may often represent mold dust, small particles of mold that has dried and turned to dust. Spores, when inhaled, can begin to colonize in the sinuses and throughout the body, including the brain, lung and gut after a period of time.

Sick buildings are one of the major causes of fungal illness, primarily mycotoxicosis or systemic fungal disease, in industrialized nations today.  The United States is the least developed in fungal illness research and assistament to the community due to the high costs and fear of reprisals, so sadly, most American physicians have little or no education in treating this health crisis.  The average American physician knows only how to identify a mold hyphae under a microscope, at best. due to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry funds the medical schools.  Mycotoxicosis, often mistakenly called "Toxic Mold Syndrome" out of ignorance, has reached epidemic proportions at a national level in the United States due to defective construction, lack of regular maintenance, shoddy and inappropriate building materials, ignorance, and lack of government  involvement; all or in part due to the high costs of standard and substandard remediation. 

This illness has been so misunderstood, some who profit from the misfortunes of these poor individuals even go so low as to claim that there is no evidence to back up the fact that mold can cause permanent neurological, psychological, immunological and pathological damage, despite the medical data from well respected physicians all over the world.

This site contains everything you need to know about this national health crisis including scientific literature, symptoms, treatments, associated illnesses, related articles, archived news articles on several subjects regarding fungi, a discussion board, physicians list, related resources, spiritual definitions, and many solutions with our new Mold Help Approved Services and Products.

The information on this website has been disseminated as a service to assist in this public health crisis for no profit.  We welcome your comments, suggestions, and stories.  Your input is a valuable part of our success.  This site is not intended to give medical advice.  Seek the advice of a professional for diagnosis, medication, treatment options, and complete knowledge of any illness.  The opinions expressed here are exclusively our personal opinions and contributing authors thus may not necessarily reflect our peers or professional affiliates. The information here does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supersede the professional advice of others.

 

"I am a firm believer in the people.  If given the truth they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.  The great point is to bring them the real facts." -- Abraham Lincoln

 

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 18 February 2014)

Mold in the Bible  
Posted by Susan Lillard  
Sunday, 26 August 2012

 Leviticus, Chapter 14: 39 - 47

"On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the *mildew has spread on the walls, he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. If the *mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house is scraped and plastered, it is a destructive mildew and the house is unclean. It must be torn down - its stones, timbers and all the plaster - and taken out of town."

Leviticus 14:45

A house desecrated by *mildew, mold, or fungus would be a defiled place to live in, so drastic measures had to be taken.

Leviticus 13:47-50

If any clothing is contaminated with *mildew---any woolen or linen clothing, any woven or knitted material of linen or wool, any leather or anything made of leather---if the contamination in the clothing or leather, or woven or knitted material, or any leather article, is greenish or reddish, it is a spreading *mildew and must be shown to the priest. The priest is to examine the *mildew and isolate the affected article for seven days.

Leviticus 11:47

You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean.

* Leviticus-Technical Clarifcation

The noun tsara'at appears about two dozen times in the Hebrew Bible, almost exclusively in Leviticus, where it is used to describe a state of ritual defilement manifested as a scaly condition of the skin, a condition of cloth, leather, and the walls of houses. In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, negac tsara'at was translated as aphe lepras; in the Latin Vulgate, this became plega leprae. These words in Greek and Latin implied a condition that spread over the body, not a term of ritual impurity. Tsara'at has continued to be translated as "leprosy," even though this term is not appropriate, as there was no leprosy as we know it in the Middle East during the time period the Hebrew Bible was written. Others have suggested that the proper translation of tsara'at is "mold." The recent identification of a specific mold (Stachybotrys sp.) that contaminates buildings and causes respiratory distress, memory loss, and rash, and the fact that mold has been present for millennia, lend support to the translation of tsara'at as "mold."

 

 

 

 

Mold and the Ten Plagues; Bible Prophecy Ideology

The Learning Channel aired a program on the Ten Plagues (4/98) that discussed the theory that the plagues weren't ten separate events, but one long series of connected events.

The first thing the scholars determined was the time frame. They agreed on 1260 BC, about a thousand years after the pyramids were built. Supposedly around that time, the Egyptian life centered around Memphis, just south of present-day Cairo, and the Israelites were living 50-80 miles northeast of there.

The first plague turned the waters to blood, the fish died and the river stank. The show's contention is that this constituted a local outbreak of pfiesteria. This is the organism that killed many fish off the coast of North Carolina recently. The phenomena produces sores on the fish that leak blood and this, with the red pigment that occurs with some strains of the organism, would account for the first plague.

Once the fish had died and polluted the water, the next plague--frogs--appeared. Seeing all the fish were dead, there was nothing feeding on the spawn and huge groups of frogs would hatch and look to leave the stinking river. Toads of the specific genus Bufo are supposedly very common throughout the world and they have large clutches of eggs, so that the numbers can go up drastically within a short period of time if the conditions are right. Why the frogs died, however, was not discussed. Nevertheless, with all the frogs dead, the insect population would explode.

The third plague was of lice. The explanation for this plague was put off as exactly which insect was meant by the word "lice" was difficult to pin down. Seeing the classification of insects didn't come about until 1,000 years later, the experts believed that there were too many unanswered questions to make a definite choice.

Plague #four; the swarm of flies. They whittled the field down to 5 possibilities with just one fitting all the criteria--the stable fly. These types of flies bite and they lay up to 500 eggs at a time.

Next came the murrain on animals, an epidemic of sickness among livestock. Anthrax was discounted because no humans were infected. Hoof and mouth disease also was shot down because the tell-tale signs were not mentioned in the Bible narrative. To get this info they went to a USDA agency located on Plum Island off of the coast of CT where they were doing animal research for the Department of Agriculture. The expert there stated he thought this plague was caused by two different diseases--African horse sickness which strikes quickly and affects horses, mules and asses, and blue tongue, which is another closely related virus of the same family, which would attack the cattle, sheep and goats.

Once they had decided on what the murrain was, they discovered that those two viruses were transmitted by Culicoides, the midge or no-see-um and this gave them the missing plague of the lice. Elusive plague number three was identified as the midge which would attack humans and animals, but would also transmit a disease to the animals, but not to man.

Plague #6 - boils, blains or ulcers. They were looking for something that would affect both man and humans and found it in an obscure bacterial infection called "glanders" that could possibly be transmitted by the stable fly. Apparently this disease was described by ancient Greek and Roman historians and was even used as a biological warfare agent in WWI. This disease affects horses, camels, oxen, sheep, pigs and humans and causes lymph nodes to expand and oftentimes leads to death.

The Egyptians would have been having a very hard time of it by now (with the Israelites being spared these local occurrences because they were situated too far away to have been affected). The food supply was dwindling as the fish were dead, the cattle were dying and the Egyptian's last hope was about to be wiped out by the next plague--the hail. This is not uncommon in the area, but for the Egyptians it was very untimely.

Plague #eight - locusts, would finish off whatever the hail had not totally destroyed. And to add to their woes, the ninth plague, three days of darkness which the experts believe to have been a sandstorm, hits the area. The land is now covered with a layer of sand.

What crops the Egyptians had been able to harvest would have been hastily stored away in small pits under the desert sand,  the sandstorm would have created a "blanket" that bakes the stored crops and increases rotting. This rotting would have produced mold which in certain conditions can produce mycotoxins. Stachybotrys atra, a mycotoxin released by black mold in damp areas has been implicated in the deaths of many children recently in Cleveland.  Many homes of the infected children showed evidence of this mold in the basement caused by water damage. If this toxin had been present in the grain that was left after the other nine plagues, it could account for the tenth plague--the death of the firstborn. Apparently this mycotoxin grows best on cellulose--grains and cereals--and can kill within hours.

According to the Bible, the eldest customarily receives a double portion. This may be the reason why the firstborn alone died--he was the only one who ingested enough of the mycotoxin for it to be lethal. This, however, does not account for why the firstborn of the animals died. The Jews at this time, Passover, would have been eating lamb, herbs and unleavened bread which the experts consider to be safe from contamination.

The show ended by saying: "For Jews, the ten plagues were directed by the hand of God, but we can begin to see now how that hand may have moved."

It's an interesting hypothesis that should be taken into account while trying to fully comprehend one of the many possible reasons for this controversial devastation on mankind.

 


Last Updated (Thursday, 20 September 2012)

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