COVID 19, Black Mold and Other Health Threats – Why indoor Air Quality is Critical to Health.
By JAN THOREN, CEO
With the decline of indoor air quality and increasing health hazards in the environment, it is more important than ever to pay attention to the quality of indoor air and keep toxic mold from growing in moisture-prone areas such as laundry areas, and around sinks, tubs and refrigerators.
Today, pollution levels in many areas of the United States exceed national air quality standards for at least one of the six common pollutants:Although levels of particle pollution and ground-level ozone pollution are substantially lower than in the past, levels are unhealthy in numerous areas of the country. Both pollutants are the result of emissions from diverse sources, and travel long distances and across state lines.
An extensive body of scientific evidence shows that long- and short-term exposures to fine particle pollution, also known as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), can cause premature death and harmful effects on the cardiovascular system, including increased hospital admissions and emergency department visits for heart attacks and strokes. Scientific evidence also links PM to harmful respiratory effects, including asthma attacks.
As a survivor of a severe hidden mold problem, I learned a lot about the higher toxicity levels of mold toxins due to the growing tolerance of mold to fungicides used in cement and paints for many years. A wonderful company called Fresh Environment out of Berkeley really helped me understand the consequences of living with mold and in many cases undetected mold behind the shower wall, under linoleum, in air ducts, and in carpets.
I am sharing my story to save you from going through the nightmare that has taken years to shake. In my case, there was no visible mold, no evidence. It was invisible and came from in and behind the ceiling and walls. There was a roof leak in the new home I moved into with my family that only resulted in a three-inch light brown spot on the ceiling and a couple of drops of water coming through. It really didn’t look like much. Within a few days, I noticed I was coughing a wet cough that felt like drowning and water in the lungs. When the testing results came back the indoor air was 365,800 more mold in the indoor air. It had become airborne. We had to move out of the house and discard all items that were soft materials. I was overseeing construction as the architect in residence. The men in the white suits came and ripped out the ceiling and scrubbed down the rafters. The leaking of water for years came from panels for solar heating water where the holes in bolting the panels to the roof were not maintained with sealant. The whole attic area was loaded with mold. They removed all of the gyp board wall and ceiling panels and scrubbed the wood studs with an antimicrobial solution.
My daughter had lymphoma at the time and was complaining of choking when the heat was on .The forced hot air was also loaded with mold as a result. Thankfully my daughter survived. She originally got dosed with black mold from an old apartment building which had black mold when she was in college.
I stayed in that house for 15 years and discovered later that the insurance job did not get rid of all of the mold from that area. Test results showed that other areas had mold issues such as the dining room roof leak that was not properly repaired. Test results showed mold in the master bathroom where a lose tile had leaked moisture into the wall and it spread through the wall board to the master bedroom as well as the office. I was working from home and suffered many health problems during that time such as fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, weight gain, and memory loss, mental confusion, and stress.
I strongly recommend that you avoid toxic cleaners and use bio-friendly ones like white vinegar and other safe products. Check all of the common areas such as under sinks, tubs, leaky hoses from refrigeration, and laundry areas and run some tests if you smell mold or see damp wood or gyp board. Fresh Environments may know of companies in your area to contact or you can search online.
I am finally getting back to normal after four years of moving out and leaving many things behind, suffering from extreme arthritis and inflammation and rebuilding my business back up after years of being a bit compromised.
This story was in many ways my inspiration in bringing forth the protective healthy building materials patented by my partner. NanoArchitech focuses on providing healthy building materials for new and existing buildings in an increasingly toxic world. Please make an extra effort to check that you have good air circulation, clean vents, and thorough cleanup from any moisture problems. Replace old rugs, sofas, and fabric items. Keep a healthy energy flow. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Your home is your temple. Stay safe.
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