Based on scientific studies, there are huge compelling pieces of evidence that support the validity of adverse environmental neurotoxic health effects of toxigenic mold and mycotoxins. If this statement sounds like scary science, it’s because it is. Exposure to the toxins produced by certain molds that grow on water-damaged building materials can cause neurological disorders that manifest as difficulty concentrating, memory loss, and other symptoms of cognitive impairment. These adverse effects have been shown to occur in adults and children.
On another toxic note – Lead poisoning in children can reduce IQ, cause learning disabilities and impair hearing. Lead can damage a child’s kidneys and central nervous system, and cause anemia, convulsions and even death.
According to the US Dept of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), nearly one million U.S. kids under age six have blood lead levels high enough to impair their ability to think, concentrate and learn.
Thirty-five percent of all houses in the US have lead-based paint. As little as one gram of lead dust from sanding a wall can contaminate an entire house. Lead-based paint was banned in 1978.
Imagine the excitement of moving into an older home that you purchased at a bargain price because it was about to go into foreclosure. You move your family into the home and proceed with repairs that include ripping out water damaged walls and ceilings. Several months after moving in, your seven-year old child begins to fall behind in school. The pediatrician determines that the child has lead poisoning, with the possibility that treatment to remove the lead might not completely reverse the learning disabilities.
Also imagine that you purchase your family’s dream home, which is a ten year old four thousand square foot “mansion” with ample space for the kids to have a recreation room and you to set up an exercise room. About six months after moving in, your twelve year old’s report card shows D’s in subjects where he previously had A’s and B’s. After almost a year of doctor visits and testing, you learn that the child has suffered from exposure to toxigenic mold that is growing within wall cavities. Inspections show that the house was very poorly constructed.
Both of these scenarios are true stories from my clients. In addition to the physical symptoms, the psychological aftermath in both families was devastating. The only positive outcome is that these families spread the word to their families, friends, and colleagues. These referrals helped numerous families avoid the purchase of “dream home” nightmares, and provided the necessary information for many other families to corrected hazards before moving into houses with problems that could be mitigated in a cost-effective manner.