Facts specific to your mold problems can be acquired through mold inspection, mold sampling and testing by Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC, Louisville KY. To acquire details, contact one of our mold consultants at 502-262-2022.
Interesting Mold Facts
Spore°Tech Mold Investigations’ website is primarily dedicated to offering information to “new” victims with a suspected belief they may have a mold problem, its consequences and how to address it. Interesting Mold Facts, which is periodically updated, offers a cross section of the larger picture and vigorous world of mold to help put things into some state of perspective.
The following are highlights of mold’s impact on history and occurrences in today’s life. Website source addresses for most of the information are included for ease and ready reference for the visitor who wishes to further gather information about the titled subjects.
Reference of Mold in the Bible
(History of an Age Old Problem)
Associating health consequences due to mold exposure by a civilization that existed 2000 years ago was surely a conclusion based on common sense reasoning and simple logic. Mold has a pungent, “unclean” odor and those exposed to mold two millennia ago would have displayed symptoms just as persons do today.
Leviticus 14:45 A house desecrated by mildew, mold, or fungus would be a defiled place to live in, so drastic measures had to be taken.
Leviticus 13:47-50 If any clothing is contaminated with mildew---any woolen or linen clothing, any woven or knitted material of linen or wool, any leather or anything made of leather---if the contamination in the clothing or leather, or woven or knitted material, or any leather article, is greenish or reddish, it is a spreading mildew and must be shown to the priest. The priest is to examine the mildew and isolate the affected article for seven days…
Leviticus 11:47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean…
Supported by the findings of modern scientific studies we better know and understand why a house desecrated by mold is not a place to live. The health consequences of mold are no greater today than in yesteryears. However, we now benefit from the advances in environmental medicine that provide more effective treatments and prevention of mold-related maladies. This should be viewed as a blessing since the incidences of present day mold have taken a dramatic upswing in the last 30 years.
Energy conserving construction methods initiated in the early 1970’s are largely responsible for the increased numbers of mold problems. Regardless of the source or reason for today’s mold infestations, the same “drastic measures” to rid one’s self of mold are required as they were 2000 years ago.
What drastic measures were employed to eliminate mold 2000 years ago? It seems reasonable that contaminated items were either burned or buried — or both. This is exactly what is done today to infected items including many mold-infested homes and buildings.
The specific mention and identification of greenish or reddish colored molds in the Bible offers some proof that these particular molds were a reasoned or recognized source of illness experienced by those exposed to them. Green, red and a variety of other colored molds studied today have proved to be toxic.
King Tut’s 4000 Year Old Curse is Bunk
(Mold Cited as Cause for Deaths)
Creatively written inscriptions describing how an intended intruder will die an agonizing death upon entry to a tomb warn Egyptian tomb raiders. King Tut’s tomb was no exception. Its curse and threat of death gained sensationalized notoriety when there was a coincidence of the number of deaths associated with the 1923 archeological disinterment of King Tut headed by Lord Carnarvon — Lord Carnarvon’s caged canary was killed by cobra in the tomb and shortly thereafter he met with his own sudden death. Newspaper reports of Lord Carnarvon’s death and the subsequent deaths of his colleagues perpetuated the superstitious authenticity of King Tut’s curse.
Fact: Lord Carnarvon and 26 of his colleagues and associates met with “mysterious” deaths following the opening of King Tut’s tomb. Fiction: Deaths were the result of King Tut’s curse. Scientific studies revealed the presence of Aspergillus mold spores (extremely poisonous) in the tomb were at a high level when the tomb was opened. Inhalation or ingestion of the spores are the cited source for the numerous and mysterious deaths — the toxic mold had lain dormant in King Tut’s tomb for thousands of years before stones were removed for Lord Carnarvon’s and others’ entry. The wisps of in-rushing air and movement of all entering disturbed and dispersed the toxic spores into the air.
(In a similar story dating in the early 1970’s, 10 of the 12 scientists not wearing respirators and who unsuspectingly entered a mold infested Polish royal tomb, succumbed to the mold’s toxic effects.)
“…A medicine scholar at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has completed a study which purportedly shows that the curse of King Tut never really existed. Mark Nelson selected 44 Westerners in Egypt at the time the tomb was discovered for inclusion in the study. Twenty-five of the group were potentially exposed to the curse either because they were at the breaking of the sacred seals in the tomb on February 17, 1923, or at the opening of the sarcophagus on February 3, 1926, or at the opening of the coffins on October 10, 1926 or the examination of the mummy on November 11, 1926. The study, which was published in the December issue of the British Medical Journal showed that exposure had no effect on the length of survival.
Newspapers in the decades following the opening of the tomb speculated that the deaths of some of those connected with the discovery, most importantly Lord Carnarvon who financed the expedition and died shortly after the find, were caused by a mysterious curse put on the tomb to protect the King's mummy.”
(Source: http://www.unmuseum.org/soearch/over0103.htm )
For more visit: http://www.unmuseum.org/mummy.htm
Medieval Food Bowls
(Trench Mouth — YUK!)
“Trench mouth” is a severe case of gingivitis and a term actually coined during WWI when soldiers fighting in the trenches rampantly suffered the gum disease from the lack of necessary oral hygiene. Gingivitis was also common in medieval times as reported below. Eating from mold and bacteria contaminated bread bowls contributed to the conditions that caused gum disease, albeit the lack of proper oral hygiene that was directly responsible for the malady.
“Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from stale bread which was so old and hard that they could be used for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy, moldy trenchers, one would get 'trench mouth'.”
More information: http://historymedren.about.com/library/weekly/aa042202k.htm
The Salem Witch Trials
(The Ergot Epidemic)
“In her book, Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics, and History, Mary Kilbourne Matossian (a history professor) presents overwhelming evidence that the population of Europe was held down for 500 years by endemic mold-induced food poisoning called ergot or ergotism. Although most sources attribute this long epidemic to fungi in the genus Claviceps, she also gives credit to the genus Fusarium. Both genera infected rye kernels before and after harvest, producing toxic, long-acting alkaloids (e.g., ergotamine).
In northern Europe the poor, who lived on rye bread and little else, were the most affected. Women miscarried and children died frequently. Those who survived childhood had chronic illnesses, gangrene, and mental disturbances. Their hallucinations and seizures were interpreted as witchcraft, possession, or divine inspiration. No one knew that their diet was responsible for their misfortune. Not until wheat and potatoes began to replace rye did the epidemic abate.
Wealthy households were never affected as much as poor households, because their servants prepared the grain as gruel, boiling it over a fire for about a half hour, which broke down the toxin. They also enjoyed a more diverse diet, including meat and white bread.
Ergot was responsible for the low birth rate and high death rate in Europe from perhaps as early as 1250 to 1750. It even provided occasion for the Salem witch trials, because the early settlers of Massachusetts planted rye, ate rye bread, and experienced hallucinations and seizures just as the Europeans did. Even as late as 1945, ergotism was still retarding the population growth of Russia.
As a strong influence on population and quality of life in Europe for half a millenium, mold had a massive effect on the course of history. (Matossian's book is fascinating! You can buy it for $23.90 from Books Now by calling 1-800-266-5766, ext. 1494.)”
(Source and more info: http://www.aspergillus.man.ac.uk)
Is Cancer in Our Food?
(Naturally occurring carcinogens present in food)
“The major 'naturally occurring carcinogens' present in food which are well documented to cause cancer are the fungi (MOLD) and their toxins. Furthermore, they are variably present such that the involved food correlates with cancer when fungal colonization and mycotoxin contamination is maximal, and does not when it is minimal or absent.
There are two other “naturally” occurring items which must also be addressed, nitrosamines and viruses. However, viruses are not proven to cause any type of cancer in humans and the nitrosamines are increasingly being shown to be produced by a number of fungi, particularly in stored, cured and fermented foods.”
(Source and more info: http://www.mold-help.org)
An Intentional Case of Mold Poisoning
(Cancer ala cart)
Aflatoxin is a cancer causing poison produced by mold and is a food contaminate (used by Iraq on the Kurds).
(Source and more info:http://www.canceranswers.com/Liver.Cancer.html)
Mold Spores in Tobacco Products
(A “Hand to Mouth Consumable”)
“We all know that smoking or chewing tobacco causes cancer. The mycotoxin (poison) producing fungi Alternaria and Aspergillus niger were found in six brands of cigarettes.”
Some of the nine different species of Aspergillus found in Egyptian chewing tobacco in the early 1990’s are known producers of poisons that cause cancer. Ochratoxin and aflatoxin were among the list of carcinogens.
Reader’s Digest Poll
(Hazards in the Home)
Reader’s Digest posed a question to readers, asking what one of four listed concerns they considered to be the most hazardous in their home. It is not known how many responded, but the results are evidence of a high degree of concern about mold exposure among those that participated in the poll.
1. Household Cleaning
2. Mold and mildew: 40%
3. Lead Paint: 6%
4. Carpet chemicals: 4%
5. Pesticides: 4%
It would be interesting to compare figures from 30 or even only 20 years ago, had Reader’s Digest conducted this same poll back then. It is seriously doubtful that the mold and mildew problems during the earlier times would have been considered as “threatening”.
The Irish Potato Famine
(Potato Fungus Prompts Mass Emigration)
“The potato was introduced to northern Europe in the 1700s, and is credited with the quadrupling of Ireland's population between 1740 and 1840, because it could support three or four more people per acre than wheat could. The potato blight came in 1845 and returned at intervals thereafter, causing widespread famine and the loss of half Ireland's population by emigration and starvation in a period of 47 years. This time the mold did not sicken people, as the ergot had, but it killed the plants that provided them with food. The result was an Irish diaspora.”
(Source and more info: http://www.aspergillus.man.ac.uk)
Note: Mold and fungi are responsible for dramatic changes in the social and cultural history of mankind. The consequences of Ireland’s potato fungus prompted a loss of nearly 50% of its population due to death or emigration to the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world. Today, there are an estimated 70 million Irish descendants residing outside of Ireland as a direct result of a lowly fungus that invaded their homeland during the mid to late 1800’s.
Mold victims are encouraged to research the Internet or spend time at the library to become familiar with indoor mold and the industry that professionally deals with it on a day-to-day basis. A word of warning is offered, however. A conflict of information, ambiguous information, and misinformation exists in print and on the Internet. The important thing for anyone to understand is that mold is definitely not good for our health and exposure to it can have serious consequences. The good news is that more scientists are delving into research that will someday replace the “indications” of mold with the absolutes of scientific fact.
The best information a mold victim will receive about their problem is from an on-site consultation and assessment by a reputable professional mold investigator. Visiting U.S. federal government websites (Centers for Disease Control, EPA, and OSHA) will offer supplementary information. For those strong at heart and not squeamish, we suggest the reading of My House Is Killing Me! By Jeffrey C. May, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
If you have questions or concerns regarding mold and mildew, mold inspections or mold sampling and testing, contact Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC, Louisville, KY. Emailed requests to firstname.lastname@example.org that includes your name and phone number will receive a prompt response. Or, you can speak directly with one of our mold consultants at 502.262.2022.