This article will teach you what bio-toxins are, so you understand mold is just the beginning of the story of the hazards that result from a water damaged building. By understanding this you will understand how to make your air healthier to breathe.
It is VERY IMPORTANT to know that with active growth, toxins will NEVER be eliminated. See our related article here about how difficult toxins are to eliminate once established.
To give you an idea how serious these toxins are, I have so much accumulated toxins in my body from my current home that I am triggered immediately when biotoxins are present anywhere. (While I was finishing this current newsletter my friend was making breakfast. He left an empty Teflon coated pan on a hot stove. It burned and emitted toxins. Immediately I smelled it… which means it passed into my bloodstream and my right arm became EXTREMELY painful to the point that it hurt to lift anything. It took me about an hour to recover from that.)
What Biotoxins Are
When people think of water damaged buildings, they think of mold., but what they don’t realize is that with excessive water ALSO comes many of biologically active substances and THAT is the most dangerous part of mold exposure.
Over your life you have taken antibiotics for infections. Did you ever wonder about what antibiotic is? Here is the definition: A substance, such as penicillin or erythromycin, produced by or derived from certain microorganisms, including fungi and bacteria, that can destroy or inhibit the growth of other microorganisms, especially bacteria. Antibiotics are widely used in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
Biotoxins are substances that:
- produced by nearly every living organism.
- both toxic and have a biological origin.
- come in many forms/purposes such as a waste product, predation and defense, procreation
- can be large complex molecules or fairly simple proteins.
These toxins produced during consumption of the substrate they are attached to result in a slimy biofilm or toxic gas to defend it’s territory from invaders.
I DID NOT KNOW THIS AND HANDLED THAT BIOFILM WITH MY BARE HANDS ~ WARNING!!!! LEARN FROM ME! If you see a slimy black biofilm and think mold is present use EXTREME CAUTION!! Within 20 minutes of touching a couple dots of this stuff now my hands go numb and then I have temperature regulation problems and brain fog. If I touch enough of this my hands can go numb for a week or more! I have developed a sensitivity from cumulative exposure over time… You may not get the same reaction I did, but keep exposing yourself to biotoxins and you probably will.
There are nine types of bio-contaminants which are found in damp indoor environments from microbial growth:
- Gram negative and positive bacteria;
- Microbial particulates;
- Volatile organic compounds, both microbial (MVOCs) and non-microbial (VOCs);
- 1-3-b-D-glucans (glucans) and
- Lipopolysaccharides (LPS – endotoxins)
These 9 organisms mentioned above, like any other, including you, are looking for a “sweet spot” for food and water. When the colonies of organisms get established can multiply. When these organisms are threatened or under stress they produce toxins to out compete each other by KILLING other living organisms.
Pause for a second….
Is that something that sounds healthy for you?
Of course not… Those substances are immune suppressants and some are extremely toxic to your nerves and brain. In fact, some of these toxins are so effective that they are used in biological warfare. (Stachybotrys (black mold) was used in Vietnam and in the Gulf War.)
Don’t doubt for a second either as to whether such toxins cause cancer. They ABSOLUTELY do!!! Because of political interests and insurance companies, you can bet there is far too much money at stake to connect the dots for you. Suppression of this information is to their benefit to avoid paying to fix the problem causing health issues.
So be smart. Hear my words PLEASE, connect the dots yourself. I hope what I will share with you will help you live the best life you can.
Next time you doubt a person when they say they are suffering from a water damaged building or you think they are mentally off-balance, evaluate their living and work environment and please show compassion. Some mentally challenged people I know ABSOLUTELY live in a water damaged building and no one ever connected the dots for them. ~~ Every facet of a person’s life will be affected until they GET OUT of the building permanently or remediate it.
Mold is tested in a home more than other the potential contaminates because their presence is the easiest to access. When mold species exceed those present outdoors contamination is deduced, which is why environmental air testers always take outdoor samples when evaluating your home.
You probably wonder how are bodies deal with these microbial assaults in our natural environments. Consider the well known phrase “The solution to pollution is dilution.” That solution is VERY difficult to apply in indoor living spaces, if a concentration of these contaminates exist. That is why we often rely on mechanical devices to correct the problem.
Any time mold colonies get established in your home and humidity goes above 50%, they become active again… even after the event causing water damage is fixed! The mold colonies will still be in your building materials, bed, couch, books and papers… waiting for water to begin feeding in the material they have settled into.
Want some heavy science on this topic? Check out page 11 for a list of what some common mycotoxins can do to your body. (CLICK HERE)
Mold and bacteria are EVERYWHERE and there is no such thing as an environment that exists without it. There are 3 conditions that gives us a starting point for assessment and remediation as defined by the IICRC (This association provides the gold standard for this topic. THIS LINK is for the 2008 edition. 2021 was just published, but viewable by paid subscription only.)
- Condition 1 (The good): Normal fungi ecology: Normal mold presence based on the identity, location and quantity of a reflective ecology for similar indoor environments.
- Condition 2 (The bad): Settled spores: An indoor environment which is confirmed to have excessive microbial spores and are dispersed directly or indirectly from a condition 3 area, also known as cross contamination.
- Condition 3 (The ugly): Actual Growth: Worst case scenario, mold growth that is visible and air contamination is confirmed.
My home now is in a situation of condition 2 and 3 which is EXACTLY WHY I have to eliminate all possessions made of cellulose that can’t be washed or are greater than 1/2 an inch thick from my life.
The most acute biotoxin exposures occur from living in water damaged buildings. However, there are other ways to come into contact with biotoxins such as ingesting contaminated food or water, inhaling airborne biotoxins, or tick and spider bites.
Here are a few references if you wish to do some more reading on the topic:
- The biotoxin pathways in your body. (Dr. Shoemaker wrote the gold standard on medical assessment and treatment. People worldwide are grateful, including myself, for the seeds he planted to create the education required to live your best possible life.)
- A slightly broader discussion of the topic. (This one covers defining what biotoxin illness is. Hint: In it’s most simplistic definition it is called CIRS ~ Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndome. It manifests in DIFFERENT SYMPTOMS for each person!)
If you are unsure if you are affected by biotoxins, take a look at this list of chronic symptoms which can include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Headaches or migraine
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Brain fog
- Persistent cough
- Sensitivity to chemicals
- Depression or anxiety
- Mood swings
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
If a combination of these symptoms exist for you or someone you know, please access the environment. Also, based on my experience and that of thousands of other people, talking to your primary care doctor is a WASTE OF TIME. They are not trained to deal with it. Western doctors always treat symptoms, not the cause..
I will include information in the future about how I sought medical treatment for recovery. Please know that it DOES NOT MATTER what medical treatments are available if you continue to live or work in a toxic environment. Step one to recovery is getting out and taking nothing contaminated with you.
Getting out is VERY HARD and there will be days when you feel like you can’t do it. I’m going through that soul-wrenching process right now, but I am taking steps toward that goal.
It is my hope by sharing my journey, I can give you or someone you know the roadmap you need to give you the courage and strength you need for your own recovery.
Stay Tuned for Future Lessons
Future newsletters will explain why the longer the water damage festers the worse the outcome. I will also share how to look for signs of a water damaged building, health tips, improving indoor air quality, digitizing documents, and more.
These are lessons that will help ANY immuno-compromised person or any one wishing to live their best life possible without brain fog or other symptoms from toxins in your environment and body.
Here is an index of topics on this subject that will be updated with each new series of lessons offered.
Please donate, if you can. I have a lot of expenses from medical, moving, and storage to replacement of damaged items. For any donation, I am offering you a mask lanyard as a thank you gift (LINK HERE).