Mould – isn’t all about Cheese and Penicillin-A fungus among us

February 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm 18 comments

This family had a brush with what we believe was toxic mould and that experience has left me sensitive and in red flag mode- I want to know what type of fungus is among us in the work places and buildings of this old city and especially her buildings that have been left to “fester” and what employers etc are doing about this major problem?

A few years ago my husband experienced heart trouble- without going into detail after a number of tests ( as his symptoms weren’t fitting the “mould” so to speak , the specialists came across the problem- the strings of the flap in his heart ( were breaking/broken) – I remember the heart specialist at the Cleveland Clinic saying this could be caused in one of two ways- One is a vicious blow to the heart such as what would happen if you were on a sailboat and the boom came across and hit you in the chest , or you slammed into a tree whilst downhill skiing etc. My husband had not had any blows to the chest but he had had experience in his work place with ‘mould” and it is mould that the Drs. determined was the likely culprit.

(Heart Problems)
Endocarditis is an inflammation of your heart’s inner lining. The most common type, bacterial endocarditis, occurs when germs, mold or other microbials enter your heart. These microbials come through your bloodstream from another part of your body, often your mouth. Bacterial endocarditis can damage your heart valves. If untreated, it can be life-threatening. It is rare in healthy hearts.

Risk factors include having:
•An abnormal or damaged heart valve
•A severe case of mitral valve prolapse
•An artificial heart valve
•Certain heart defects

There are any number of websites explaining the danger of mould and types, some are fairly harmless others deadly and you can’t just go by colour.
Types of Mould

Many people seek to define mould by the colour that it appears: ‘green mould’ or ‘white mould’, ‘grey mould’ or ‘brown mould’, or, even more general, ‘black mould’ versus ‘non-black mould’. Unfortunately, the colour of a mould rarely tells you anything useful: there are harmful and non-harmful kinds of mould in each colour group. It is difficult to impossible to determine if a mould is harmful based on what it looks like growing on a surface.

Types of Mould
Hazard Classes

Some countries have adapted a hazard class system to place moulds in different categories based on their health risks. They are broken into Hazard classes A, B and C:
•Hazard Class A:
Moulds in this group are either directly hazardous to health due to risk of infection or creation of toxins. They should not be in homes or workplaces and should be removed right away if found.
•Hazard Class B:
Moulds in this group can cause allergic reactions, especially over longer periods of time.
•Hazard Class C:
Moulds in this group aren’t known to cause any health risks or reactions in humans. Note, however, that even moulds in this category can potentially cause structural damage to things that they are growing on, and should still be gotten rid of

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.

Source Alberta Mould Test
Canadian National Toxic Mould Center

following lists out some of the individuals at greater risk from “toxic mold” exposures
(again keeping in mind the amount and duration of exposre can be varied).

Pregnant woman, infants, the elderly, autoimmune compromised individuals, individuals
with Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer, Lupus, Asthma/Lung disease, Liver,
Kidney or Gallbladder Disease, Diabetes, Fibromyaliga, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression, Central Nervous System disorders,
Arthritis, Muscle Disease, Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat conditions, just to mention a
few. Many of these diseases are now being linked to environmental causes.

In 2001, the University of Ottawa commenced a research project that encompassed
Kidney Disease, Diabetes and Environmental Toxins.

In the United States, Cornel University has publications and ongoing research
in the field of toxins and human disease. They state that about 40% of their
population die because of pollution and environmental toxins.

Recent studies have shown, that Canadians spend approximately 90% of their time
indoors. For those with illnesses restricting their outdoor time, this may present
greater risks to their health, especially if they are being exposed to “toxic mold”.

There are of course beneficial moulds
Benefits of Mold

Mold – A Natural Recycling Process
Mold can be destructive, but they are also beneficial. They help to make cheese, fertilize gardens, and speed decaying of garbage and fallen leaves. Today thousands of different types of mold fungi grow on and absorb food from substances such as soil, wood, decaying organic matter, or living plants and other organisms. After the devastating forest fires in Yellowstone National Park, mold was the first on the scene to begin the nature’s process of decaying the leftover matter and building a base for new plants and trees.

Mold in Processes
Certain types of mold have proven extremely valuable in the synthesis of antibiotics and hormones used in medicine and of enzymes used in certain manufacturing processes. Penicillin, a product of the green mold P. notatum, revolutionized antibiotic drugs after its discovery in 1929, and the red bread mold Neurospora is an important tool in genetic experiments.

An interesting fact is if a medicine name ends in “mycin”, you know it was made with mold. Another is that in a few certain kinds of cheeses, mold is added for flavor. Butchers also inject mold into animals before they butcher to preserve the animal. Without mold, we would not have beer or bread. Molds also have many industrial uses, such as in the fermentation of organic acids and cheeses. Some fungi, such as mushrooms and truffles, are considered tasty delicacies that enhance a wide variety of recipes, including pizza. Other molds can damage agricultural crops, cause disease in animals and humans, and form poisonous toxins in food.

You can buy kits for testing the type of mould you are dealing with and some mould remediation is more than a bucket of bleach….. clean the keyboard and do the searches you may be surprised at what you find


Entry filed under: Brit take, city of lorain, health, Open for Discussion, personal opinion. Tags: , , , .

Two little boys- my childhood song- the American Civil War connection Puk-wudgies and Settlers’ Watch- Beware the Puk-wudiges

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Grammy  |  February 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you so much for this insightful post. This is information to topical for the city of Lorain especially since they are going to re-open a closed environment for our children.

    I hope that the powers that be read this and do further research instead of just being expedient.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Certain types of mould can be fatal – it nearly was with my husband – and that is a longer story- as to how to “prove it was the mould’ etc. and ensuing lawsuits… we didn’t have the time/ money or energy after having open heart surgery at the clinic to pursue but I feel guilty because people are still working in that enviroment . It is also one of the reasons I supported the rehab of the fire dept

    …. . The problem is it is usually expensive to clean up the problems and therefore the mould paint and the bleach is sometimes not enough

    … but IF and I stress IF the mould in a work place is toxic then in my opinion those knowing the dangers are criminally negligent…..

    but it is up to those who are employed or living in conditions that breed the mould to KNOW for their own safety what they are breathing in daily buy a kit it may save your health ……...

  • 3. Dennis Flores  |  February 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Heaven forbids, how many times have contractors, landlords or (house flippers) have bought houses that have been vacant for years, fixed it up and rented it out without ever pulling a permit or paying for rental inspections?

    No problema, throw some drywall over it (mould), cover it up just like every other issue in this city. Spend some money to make it look pretty, give me $350 a month and move them right on in, no problema!

  • 4. Joyce  |  February 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Is mould anything like mold? :O)

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    It sounds so much classier don’t you think Joyce with the British spelling 🙂 I have mould with a “u” what type of mold do “you have” 🙂

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Dennis I wrote about the little house next door on WoM ( no long er available unfortunately – “How Blight Happens in Lorain”
    This little cottage was flipped three times….. sigh…… and not an inspection in sight ( they used to work on the property on Satyrdays and Sundays ( no chance of an inspector driving by …… fact the last “flipper ( who eventually lost it to foreclosure. caulked the leaks in the basement with bathtub caulk…. the ground water permeated the basement …. floors were rotten braced and covered with carpet. and changed from a one bedroom into a two.the city had allowed the lot to be split ( and in my opinion illegally- but that is another story) the owners ranged from fireman- school principlal and a “builder’s son” the upshot is after the laterst owner and there have been many after a potential purchaser had it inspected by a home inspection company ( and I talked to the chap that did the inspection… and the home inspection found a plethora of faults including mould.. fault the seller would have had to disclose the issues…. so he rented to well people who didn’t care their basement was a cess pool they didn’t pay the rent…. the next did care called in the city BUT the city could ONLY INSPECT the areas the renters mentioned and not a full inspection SIGH
    So then a tree hit it , it is awaiting demolition ( the city purchased it last year and have boarded it up because the strippers have moved in ) and the skunks are having a wonderful time procreating…. and so it goes and yes I should imagine there is some toxic mould in that one at least…….

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Hmmm just been thinking about the history of those homes

    foreclosers and flipping are the f words that describe their tale

    1st a Frod employee and his family purchsed the lot with the two houses- took off the wrap around porch and sided with cheap stuff the larger.

    They were both lost to foreclosure – purchased under sheriffs auction by firemen who did electrical etc and cleaned them up- rented both and then sold them off to another fireman who did some renovations enough to sell and he split the lot and sold to two different entities

    larger home went to a family ( and I use that term loosely) who trashed it and walked away and it was foreclosed- it was purchased by “landlord group who really put in new windows siding did a decent job etc.” and rented it. and then rented it out with option to buy and then they were foreclosed upon so the rent with option to buy people left and it sits empty and owned by the bank 1st Federal

    smaller home was purchased by a LCS principal- who hired the renter to paint the outside and used it for what was left out of it – he did nothing … he sold it to the “builder who “fixed it up again and then lost it under foreclosure- 1st Federal again and now is owned by the city and waiting demolition ”

    and all the while the house on the bluffs sits empty and forlorn as it has done for at least 39 years

  • 8. aka mozart  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    It is always something….u”u”gh! …:)

    Not to get off the mo”u”ld…but ya godda love biber calling the state officals out today in the ct…not good to call them to speak..

  • 9. Dennis Lamont  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    If I get a good whiff of the mold that happens with damp leaves or hay or straw I have to run for my inhaler …closes things right up.

  • 10. Grammy  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    So how do we make sure that the Southview building is environmentally safe for everyone – healthy or not so healthy?

  • 11. Grammy  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    MR. BIBER: Where do you get your ideas? It is not the “fault” of those who wanted us to build on property we owned instead of questionable land by the river for having to move into Southview. You really are something else sir. (and I use the term loosely at best) You went along with the closing of the facility so button it!!!!

  • 12. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Grammy since the mentioned the mould at Southview in the newspaper this morning I would HOPE TPTB will have a ‘PROFESSIONAL MOULD REMEDIATION COMPANY come in and clean and certify as to its safety.

    However as I mentioned to two of the BOE today I would think they also need to look at Charleston as the one day I was there there were buckets collecting water and a leaking roof a prime source for mould ……

    Also I am concerned after seeing the inside of Irving that the new owners Constellation will also be having the issue there professionally taken care of.. and then there are the firestations the homes OMG it just goes on…..

  • 13. Brian  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    This article made me think about mold. Yesterday I cleaned out my fridge and I had all kinds of stuff in there that I didn’t even want to attempt the sniff test on…

  • 14. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Growing your own penicillin ? thats my excuse anyway – joking aside glad it is making people think….. and take action on their own behalf…..

  • 15. Alice  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Excellent post, Loraine. I will be sharing it with my co-workers and principal. I’ve heard that every building in the district has some kind of leaking water issue, even the newest additions. I hope that isn’t true. You’d like to think the decision makers would be smart enough to not expose themselves to the mouldy mold, let alone all the children and employees throughout the district.

  • 16. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    At the very least I would think a determination needs to be made as to what “type” of mould is in the buildings. I don’t want to be an alarmist BUT having experienced a loved one having to have open heart surgery – a valve replacement and hundreds of thousands of dollars later- six months off of work…. because of a toxic mould was a wake up call for me. I never knew that “toxic” mould could do so much damage.

    It is so much better to be ahead of the situation and find out WHAT TYPE of fungus is among us than find out too late- especially with the dangers involved if it is the bad sort……… what price your health and it is an “EASY DETERMINATION” and can alleviate people’s fear

  • 17. Brian  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Buildings that have leaky roofs where water has gotten in tend to continue to have “issues” until it is repaired. Do the roofs leak anywhere at the school buildings? If the answer is yes, mold COULD very well grow there is there if there are other conditions like some heat and some light light to go with the moisture.

    And just because there may be all three of these conditions present, if the area that has these conditions is constructed with products that don’t promote mold growth, like a hunk of painted steel, the health concerns could be below minimal.

    The United States of America sends rocket ships to other planets looking for the presence of water believing IF there is water, there COULD BE life there, but the presence of water doesn’t guarantee a thing as nothing is always absolutely certain.

  • 18. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Thats true Brian- and I will give another little story…… young couple had to sell their house…… company transferred the husband- they couldn’t so the company would purchase the house… years before the house next door had a fire- the fire dept – had sprayed down their house to save it from burning…. due to the pressure hoses water damaged and got into the roof… the owners had the area wet insulation etc removed and a new roof. All was well the house was kept up maintained more than most – but the “company’s ” home inspection to determine worth of the house found ( mould presence – but not active) they still had to pay 2,500 dollars for a mould remediation company and EVEN with the certificate the “company would not purchase the home” and they also had to disclose the previous situation to any interested buyer…. not only did they take a major hit on the house but only a family member was willng to purchase.

    Some mould doesn’t need light to grow, there are hundreds of types and all it requires is a place to settle the right enviroment for its spores smooth or rough……All I am saying is that if you have mould it is easy enough to determine the type and it should be done… the problem is that once you know and admit to the issue it can COST …..and YES Mould scares the hell out of corporate Amercia and anyone owning properties that they might be seen to have a “situation”.I know you know about the Chinese Drywall problems …… if walls could talk

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