Fungal Mycotoxins In Your Home – The Silent Domestic Killer
If you were to ask anyone as to what they perceive as the deadliest household threat to human health then the chances are that some of the following would get a mention:
- Electrical fires
- Boiler explosions
- Carbon monoxide leaks
- Food poisoning
- Chemicals in cleaning products
You probably would not think that common household moulds could ever be classed as significant threats to human wellbeing, but some fungi species produce a toxic substance called mycotoxin.
Black mould can be caused by a number of things such as leaking pipes, poor ventilation, too much condensation or even structural damp problems like rising damp, penetrating damp or rotting timer. As one of the South West’s most well known damp proofing companies Biocraft South West have carried out numerous damp proofing treatments to stop the spread of harmful mould throughout many commercial and residential properties. All fungi and moulds use moisture and warm environments to thrive so the key is to establish the source of moisture and fix it.
What Are Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are a toxic metabolite compound produced by some common moulds. They can come in either a gas, resin or liquid form. There are thousands of different mycotoxins currently identified and there is significant evidence to suggest that mycotoxins are carcinogenic to humans. The effect on a human can be very serious as many mycotoxins operate by suppressing the immune system which makes them very dangerous to the elderly and younger children who have vulnerable immune strength. Fungi works by spreading spores through the air in order to colonise potential hosts, this is evident in how certain species of timber such as ash are gradually broken down and consumed by rot. The production of mycotoxins is a strategy used by moulds to weaken any potential organic host so that spores in the environment have the best chance at colonisation.
The Case Of Emma Marshall
Many media outlets have recently been covering the story of Emma Mashall a London-based music industry worker whose health degraded over the course of three years to the point where she unable to get out of bed. After experiencing symptoms such as a lack of energy, memory loss, acne, hair loss and skin rashes, an alternative medicine specialist found that her Mycotoxin level was through the roof. Black mould in the bathroom of her East London flat had been discovered and experts have agreed that she was gradually being poisoned by the mycotoxins produced by the mould.
In Emma’s case, it took a period of around four years of investigation and multiple trips to different doctors to finally come up with a cause for her symptoms. The problem with mycotoxin poisoning symptoms (lethargy, rashes, memory loss) is that they are so general, it can be hard for medical professionals to attribute a concrete cause.
How To Get Rid Of Mycotoxins
To get rid of mycotoxins you need to get rid of the mould that is producing them. Indoor environments with central heating usually provide the perfect temperature for mould to grow. The source of moisture can then be attributed to either a structural damp problem, a leak or excess condensation. Whilst destroying the mould is the first port of call, it will grow back very quickly if not cut off from its supply of moisture. A qualified damp proofing professional will be able to provide a thorough survey of your home and quickly diagnose the location and cause of damp before suggesting a plan to permanently eliminate it.
The consequences of untreated damp can lead to a mycotoxin dominated environment. For more information on professional damp proofing in the South West visit our website.