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Archive for the ‘Toxic mold’ Category

PAINTER’S VIEW: TOXIC MOLD

We’ve covered toxic black mold – Stachybotrys chartarum – every year since this blog started. So, what else can be said about it? Quite a lot, it turns out.

 

TAKING TOXIC MOLD SPORES WITH YOU

 

Example: Math and science journalist Julie Rehmeyer,* 40, took along personal possessions when she moved (twice) from “a pair of ramshackle travel trailers,” outside of Sante Fe, New Mexico. She noticed severe muscle and tendon pain, cognitive brain storms, worsened partial paralysis, extreme fatigue, etc.

 

She started to improve, only when she eventually moved, in early 2012, to the desert (Death Valley), and took “none” of her “own belongings.” Her limbs, tendons and joints functioned. Breathing slowed. Her hazy eye focus diminished. Most important, she learned to detect mold presence, based on bodily responses, and to avoid it in the future.

 

* Through the Shadowlands by Julie Reymeyer, copyright 2017, New York: Rodale Publishing Company. (Note: Reymeyer’s experiences with black mold were brought to my attention by relatives that read “Lost And Found,” in O The Magazine, June 2017, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 103.)

 

Example: Hotel bookings/sales director Dana B (not real name), noticed worsening asthma symptoms, when driving home from work and later at home. When she was removing work-day clothing and putting them into the hamper, getting something from her handbag, even changing from her high heels to athletic shoes.

 

Her only solutions, except to change her workplace, were to run the A/C in the vehicle and at home; launder clothes with “green,” environmentally  safe soap and softener; never use any grooming or makeup products/containers used at work; etc. (To my knowledge, “Dana” never really made the connection between her workplace and after-work symptoms.)

 

Example: Florida painting contractor Luis R. noticed that he was experiencing hives and rashes; shortness of breath; red, burning eyes; extreme fatigue; etc. This was happening every evening, by the time he got home from a major restoration project in South Florida. The symptoms at home sometimes worsened when he was doing paperwork and using his work laptop. For instance, his fingers itched and he sneezed incessantly. Then, when climbing back into his double-cab truck the next morning to head out, the backs of his knees and upper calves started to itch and burn.

 

A close examination, with a powerful magnifying glass, detected tiny black spores all over his truck, on file folders, on parts of his computer, on all three pairs of work boots, and, on his thermal water jug and lunch carrier.

 

Example: Paul P. (not real name), president of a hotel management company, noticed that he would suffer worsening breathing problems after every visit to one of their client hotels located in Florida. Especially later at night, while preparing his report of the day’s activities. His wife, a former hospital director, suggested toxic mold. Spores that he may have, unknowingly, carried off of a worksite.

 

His symptoms improved after he put someone else in charge of handling that hotel, and making those site visits on a bi-weekly/monthly basis. (Note: Within two months, that worker started to experience problems with breathing, rashes, vision, and fevers.)

 

TIPS FOR PAINTERS IN “TOXIC BLACK MOLD and SPORES-PRONE” ZONES

 

  1. Be aware of the fact that you normally live in one of these zones. You are not visiting.
  2. Stay alert for symptoms, even minor changes in the way your body is behaving.
  3. Nip it in the bud. Check things out – eg. your different “space;,” clothing and shoes; gear, tools and equipment. Even your golfcart, service cart, paintshop/workshop.
  4. Promptly report any and all symptoms and body changes to your doctor.
  5. Get tested for toxic allergens, chemicals and hazardous materials by a board certified specialist, with extensive expertise in those areas.
  6. Become proactive and protective of your own health.

 

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Often, solutions to long-term problems are found in short-term actions. RDH

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Copyright April 10, 2018. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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Painter’s World: What You May Not Know About Black Mold

Never believe something cannot harm you just because you can’t see it. Just as a virus or bacteria can cause an infection, Black Mold fungi, offers its own type of threat to your health.

 

Basically, anything which is microscopic and exhibits the definition of being alive supports its own defense mechanism. And that’s against us.

 

Black Mold, or other similar fungi, produces spores which are unseen to the naked eye. During the stages of their metabolism, they produce by-products which are often toxic. These toxins interfere with the normal metabolism and respiration of humans.

 

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT BLACK MOLD

 

I didn’t know much about Fungi, Black Mold, Myotoxins, etc. until I started looking into it further. The following is a list of three of the most dangerous effects from mold exposure:

 

1. Mold inhalation – Decreased hemoglobin red blood cell concentration, lowered blood gas concentration, anemia, and bronchial and/or sinus inflammation and infection.

 Symptoms: Dizziness, muscle spasms-tremors, headaches, stressed breathing, clamped oxygen supply, runny nose, burning eyes, confusion, and blurred vision.

 

2. Mold Skin Contact AbsorptionAnemia, change in basal respiration rate, lowered blood gas concentration, subcutaneous pustules, lesions, and widespread rash.

Symptoms: Skin irritation, itching, burning, dizziness.

 

3. Long-Term Effects (most important) -Prolonged exposure that often causes an irreversible anemic health condition. Stem cell differentiation development within the bone marrow that’s affected by cases severe mold exposure. Change in the Hemostasis of hemoglobin/red cell relationship is altered.

***Secondary effects – Permanent respiratory illnesses such as chronic and/or acute Sinusitis, Bronchitis, Asthma, and Sinus tract cysts; irritation and/or inflammation of the mucus membranes. Also partial obstruction of the airway. Because of past exposure, susceptibility to allergic reactions from common dust and pollen.

 

HEALTH PREVENTION OF MOLD EXPOSURE

 

1. When cleaning: Wear protective suit, gloves and head covering; also proper respiratory equipment such as a charcoal, organic vapor respirator, or a self-contained, fresh air supply system. Note: Dust mask is totally inadequate.

2. If infestation is invasive: Use garden sprayer with 50/50 bleach-water, or peroxide solution. Spray infected area. Promptly remove yourself from the area until the solution has degraded the mold. Then you may clean and remove by hand what is left. When the removal of mold is completed, rinse entire area with fresh water – either by hand or with a garden sprayer.

3. Ventilate! Ventilate! Ventilate! In the area where you’re working, always provide adequate ventilation when spraying bleach or similar toxic chemicals. Open windows. And use circulating fans. The cleaning process will be much safer, and go much smoother.

 

IF AND WHEN YOU’RE EXPOSED TO MOLD…

 

1. Seek a clean, fresh air environment as soon as possible. Go outside if necessary.

2. Get help now! Someone needs to assist you and call “Emergency 911” and “Poison Control” – your chief engineer,  security director, member of management, teammate.

3. If you suffer a rash or burn of any kind, use a baking soda/water solution, calamine lotion, or a hygienic glycerol soap to help reduce skin irritation.

4. In severe cases, it may be necessary to get a steroid injection. This depends on whether or not your entire body is affected.

 

IN THE CASE OF MOLD EXPOSURE…

…what you don’t know will hurt you.

 

1. I developed both chronic and acute sinusitis from daily exposure to massive amounts of toxic levels of mold plus the toxic cleaning agents, over a period of six years.

2. On a daily basis, I took the proper precautions. I used the products and safety tools and equipment provided and authorized by the chief engineer, and property management and owners.

3. But the amount of mold was too great, for too long of a time.  According to health and environmental specialists, “a person could not have come out of it without suffering ill effects.”

4. The physicians have said I was fortunate. A strong majority of persons develop Asthma. In addition, a large number are also diagnosed, eventually, with Sinus and Bronchial Cancer, and/or Lung Cancer.

 

WHEN TREATING MOLD…

Whether at home or on the job, take your time. And work safely.

Take care of yourself and the others around you.

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Everyone wants to go home at the end of the day!

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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