5 min read

Mycotoxins May Not Be The Issue!

Published on
May 18, 2023

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This could actually be titled, “Stop trusting disaster Companies” Or “Stop Trusting Air  Quality Testing!” Or “Since when do we trust air quality tests?”

When a disaster occurs, typically from a flood caused from a storm  or a leak, the disaster company is going to come in and do what  they do. These are their steps:  

1. Stop the water intrusion.  

2. Assess the area, determine what is wet or has been wetted, and determine  mold growth or mold concerns.  

3. Contain the area that is wet, or has microbial growth with plastic, and  tape.  

4. Set up negative air, and air scrubbers.  

5. Dry out/tear out damaged materials. (carpet, padding, sheetrock, etc)   6. Monitor the moisture level of the remaining materials.  

7. Begin the rebuild when appropriate.  

8. Complete the rebuild, continue with air scrubbers.  

9. Keep the air scrubbers in the confined area, sometimes for days.

10. Test the confined area for spores that may have been missed by the air  scrubbers. (notice they’re not testing the home, they’re testing the air  scrubbers)

11. If Test comes back with the total spore count, “Close to or below outdoor  level” they will then declare the job completed, and most importantly, suggest  that the home is now safe.  

I’ve talked to traditional remediation companies about this, and this is typically  how the conversation goes:  

Mike - “Why don't you test the home after the containment has been  removed?”

Traditional Company - “ It’s not in our scope of work, we were contracted to  take care of the disaster and return that area to dry, rebuilt and no/low  microbial growth.”

Mike: “I understand that, but what about the rest of the home?”

Traditional Company: “We were not hired to deal with the rest of the home, we  were hired to correct the area affected by the disaster”

So what is the problem? The problem is that in as many as 75 percent of  homes in this country there is an elevated mold load long before the disaster  occurred. The mold growth at the site of the moisture is simply a manifestation  of an elevated mold load to begin with. Additionally, very few people understand  the inadequacies of air quality testing, and certainly air quality testing within a  confined area does not in any way, shape, or form indicate that the home is  healthy. This desperately needs to be understood by all those involved. If this is  not universally understood, then all subsequent thought processes and planned  treatment of getting well from mold toxicity, are now based around the false  notion that the home is now mold free. It affects all parties including the  customer, the health care provider, and the customers family.

The Customer - Now thinks that their home is mold free, and has to drawn the  conclusion that either they are not sick from mold as they have been told.  Secondly, and just as dangerous; they conclude that since there is no longer  existing mold, it must be this ever present and (almost impossible to get rid of)  mycotoxin. This becomes mentally exhausting and leads to a number of decisions  that are not rooted in fact.  

The Health Care provider - Now often trusts the report, and believes the home is  finally mold free. He or she potentially changes the diagnosis, or at least changes  the approach. Again, they have been assured by the “Mold Experts” that, based  on the test results, the home is now mold free. The popular opinion in the mold  toxicity world is now, the issue must be the ever present mycotoxins. Don't get  

me wrong, I whole heartedly believe that when a person has been exposed to  mold, the mycotoxins and their detrimental effects can linger on for a long, long  time. Mycotoxins inevitably become the emphasis of the concern. In other words,  everyone feels the mold has been addressed, so the mycotoxins must still be the  issue. This becomes a real issue when certain mold pundits around the world  begin telling their patients that the mycotoxins cannot be removed and you must  walk away from the home, leaving your mycotoxin contaminated belongings  behind. (All this, based on an air quality test, within a small, plastic tent using a  testing method that, quite frankly, nobody trusts.) Are they right in saying the  mycotoxins are present? Yes, of course they are. But they are missing the point.  The mycotoxins remain because in multiple places in the home… the mold  remains and is constantly emitting the toxins. This is still an ongoing mold issue.  

I do not believe a home exists, in which the mold has been completely  remediated, yet the mycotoxins remain. I also do not believe that many homes  have been completely remediated, unless they have received the Pure  Maintenance Service. Pure Maintenance often gets phone calls requesting  information that proves we eliminate mycotoxins. My first thought is always, “If  we don’t, who does?" Secondly, peracetic acid has been proven to breakdown  the sulphur and sulphydral bonds of enzymes and metabolites. I.e. mycotoxins. It  would be very easy for us to simply say, “Yes, the mycotoxins get dismantled  by the peracetic acid.” We believe it is more important to educate our customer  base on what is really going on in the home. Having said this, I repeat, I do not  believe, that the home that has been remediated by traditional “tear out” has

only mycotoxins remaining. In fact, this is a total fallacy. The home has been  spot treated for mold, and ignores the fact that every home inherently has an  elevated mold load. My point being, if you think you still have mycotoxins, I  believe you still have mold. As evidence, we know that mycotoxins have a  documented half-life. Certainly, the half-life within a home and the homes  contents, must be equal or less than that within our body or within our own  cells. Our homes, for the most part, get a constant supply of fresh air daily and  even hourly.  

Furthermore, to make the assumption that all of the mold that was in the home  previously, before the flood or leak, simply migrated to the moisture, so that all  of the mold within the home could conveniently be cleaned up and disposed of in  a couple of plastic bags with zippy ties is beyond ridiculous.  

Hopefully I have explained that the mycotoxin problem is not because toxins  mysteriously hang out in the home long after the mold has been addressed, but  more accurately, the home still has an elevated mold load, and is still emitting  mycotoxins. It is the constant emittance of mycotoxins from existing mold in  the home that is the real issue. Mold finds food and moisture in a number of  unseen places. Window sills, bathrooms, clothing/shoes, hvac duct work, air  conditioning coils, drains and overfill holes in sinks, floor drains, carpeting,  caulking around bathroom tubs, and kitchen sinks, crawlspaces, etc , etc. And it  is often the cumulative effect of the mold throughout the home that creates the  elevated mold load and the constant emittance of mycotoxins.  

As a comparison, let’s assume your home has a natural gas leak originating from  two places, the water heater and the furnace. Next, let’s assume the gas  company fixed the water heater, but did not realize that the furnace had a gas  leak and was releasing dangerous natural gas toxins. It would seem very odd to  me, for the gas company to say, “Yes, we fixed the gas leak, so if you are still  feeling toxic effects from the natural gas, its because the gas is still in the home  from the original leak.” In other words, they claim to have fixed the problem,  now you, as a homeowner, will have to deal with the toxic gas that hangs  around. This, of course, is nonsense and I don't believe any gas company would  ever say that. However, that is essentially what the mold world is saying when  they:

1. Trust the very tests that everyone knows are inaccurate and inconsistent. and  

2. Assume that because the Disaster Company tested within the plastic tent,  after running the air scrubbers, and those tests were OK, the whole home is OK.  

More appropriately, the gas company would come back and check for other gas  leaks. A mold company should do the same before anyone waves the “mycotoxin  white flag," and inaccurately declares that the mold is gone but the mycotoxins  remain. Consider getting your home treated by a Pure Maintenance Licensee.  Pure Maintenance recognizes that the entire home needs to be addressed, in  order to assist our customers in their journey to wellness. The mycotoxins will no  longer be an issue, once the mold (ALL OF THE MOLD) is remedied.