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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
ACTIVITY of MOLD in BUILDINGS
AGE of MOLD - Old is the Mold?
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY
AIRBORNE MOLD COUNT NUMBER GUIDE
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
BROWN HAIRY BATHROOM MOLD
BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BLACK MOLD, HARMLESS COSMETIC
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOK MOLD, Moldy Book Cleaning
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CACTUS FUNGI / MOLD
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET PADDING ASBESTOS, MOLD, ODORS
CARPET FUNGICIDAL SPRAY
CARPET STAIN DIAGNOSIS
CARPET & other STAIN TESTS
CARPET TEST PROCEDURE
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CHAIN OF CUSTODY - TEST SAMPLE
CLEARANCE INSPECTIONS - MOLD CLEANUP
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
Disinfecting Buildings with Bleach
DO-IT-YOURSELF MOLD CLEANUP WARNINGS
DUST ANALYSIS for FIBERGLASS
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
EFFLORESCENCE, Salts & White / Brown Deposits
FEAR of MOLD - MYCOPHOBIA
Fiberboard Insulation Sheathing Mold
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FIND MOLD, ESSENTIAL STEPS
MOLD in BUILDINGS
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOODS IN BUILDINGS-mold
FOXING STAINS on books & papers
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE GUIDE
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
GAS TEST PROCEDURES
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSE DUST COMPONENTS
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MICROSCOPE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
MILDEW ERRORS, IT's MOLD
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOLD
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
RENTERS GUIDE TO MOLD & IAQ
ROBIGUS & Wheat Rust Fungus
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WATER ENTRY in buildings
This article discusses the decision to consult a physician who has expertise in mold and mold related illness. We suggest a few questions to ask your doctor about the possibility of building-related illness, we include a list of physicians with expertise in mold and environmental medicine, and we provide a article series that can help you assess the risk of mold related illness in a building.
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Mold "mildew," moisture, in your house or office, building-related illness, involves your physician, medical treatment, sick building investigators, possibly professional cleaning companies, steps to reduce the future creation of mold or other indoor irritants, and possibly the special products to help clean buildings and air.
Bottom line: start by discussing your health and environmental concerns with your personal physician.
Quoting from the Center for Environmental Medicine (Portland OR) - The decision you and your doctor make about your treatment will grow out of the careful assessment of your particular needs, adequate laboratory testing, frank discussions, and your expectations. You will need to consider your responsibilities and commitment as well as the benefits you will achieve. The content found on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure. It does not provide or constitute professional advice or consultation.
When should you consult with physicians and knowledgeable indoor environment experts? If you suspect that your building is making you sick, particularly if you are someone at extra risk, such as asthmatic, allergic to mold, undergoing cancer treatment, immuno-suppressed, immunocompromised, immune impaired, elderly, or infant, it is certainly smart to consult with a physician who is experienced in mold related illness or an expert in environmental medicine.
We have encountered clients living in very moldy, high-risk environments who suffer respiratory or other illnesses, and who, on consult with their physician, were given palliative care but for whom the question of an environmental contributor to their complaint was never raised. Remember to ask your doctor, allergist, pulmonologist, or G.P. if s/he thinks that your living or work environment could be a cause or contributor to your complaints.
A simple clue that suggests that one may be suffering from building related illness is the abatement of symptoms when the person with the complaint spends time out of the building. However the converse - when symptoms do not abate - does not rule out a building as a contributor to the complaints.
Some mold-related illness symptoms are slow to diminish, and more than one building can contribute to complaints. Proving with scientific accuracy that a substance in a building has actually caused or aggravated a specific illness is a difficult and costly procedure.
A common approach taken by building diagnosticians who are considering whether or not mold in a building is (or could be) making someone sick is simply to look for substances which are believed likely to cause or aggravate illnesses and complaints. If such materials are present at significant levels they should be removed.
Extensive, technically detailed in-depth articles are also organized at our Mold Information Center. Readers should see MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE, and MOLD RELATED ILLNESS SYMPTOMS and MOLD EXPOSURE STANDARDS and also see MOLD EXPOSURE, FOOD HAZARDS, and ACCEPTABLE MOLD LEVEL. For background on how and why molds can be toxic, see this World Health Organization Mold Bulletin.
Some People Should Stay Away From Even Small Mold Cleanup Operations
If you are sick, asthmatic, immune-impaired, suffer from COPD or other respiratory illness, before attempting any mold cleanup yourself you should see your family doctor, allergist, pulmonologist, medical toxicologist, or other appropriate specialist to discuss the chances that the environment might cause or contribute to or aggravate your illness. If you suspect that your illness is caused by or aggravated by conditions in your building you should discuss that with your physician.
Our field investigation photo (left) shows multiple genera/species of more than "cosmetic" mold that was found throughout a large basement ceiling. Unlike the mold case depicted in our page top photo, this area and possibly this entire home are likely to be a health hazard to almost anyone.
And if you are yourself or if people with these characteristics are present: elderly, immune impaired, infant, asthmatic, suffer from COPD or other respiratory or immune disorders or any illness that could be aggravated by exposure to respiratory irritants, VOC's, allergens, mycotoxins, etc., you should be wary of allowing any handling moldy or dusty materials without first checking with your doctor. Medical relocation of certain high-risk building occupants may be needed before moldy materials are disturbed.
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE contains more discussion of evaluating mold risk in buildings for sensitive individuals or people at extra risk of mold related illness.
Mold Sickness References - mold related illness articles you'll want to review
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Technical Reviewers & References
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