Exposure to mold, mold toxins, bacteria, endotoxins, chemicals and other contaminants in water damaged buildings (WBD’s) can cause multi-system inflammation that manifests as fatigue, cognitive impairment, memory fog and other symptoms. At a recent inspection, I advised a family to move out of the home that they had owned for approximately eighteen months. Pervasive rotting of the of wood structures on the exterior veneer, moldy odors, signs of concealed water damage, and visible mold were sufficient to conclude that biological contamination existed in the indoor environment. Although mold naysayers might claim that such a claim could only be made with medical confirmation of a proximate cause between the mold and illness, I considered it my professional and ethical responsibility to identify the potential hazards to the homeowners. The concerned parents took the advice seriously.
Less than a month after moving out of the house, the parents reported that their young child, who previously displayed signs of lethargy and low energy, was participating in sports and displayed notable improvements in her energy level. Sampling confirmed the presence of high concentrations of Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Wallemia, and Aureobasidium, which are fungi that grow in water, damaged buildings and are associated with allergenic, toxigenic, and pathogenic health effects.