Exposure to water damaged buildings (WDB) have been associated with numerous health problems that include fungal sinusitis, abnormalities in T and B cells, central and peripheral neuropathy, asthma, sarcoidosis, respiratory infections and chronic fatigue [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14]. It has been well established that mold and mycotoxins are important constituents of the milieu in WDB that can lead to illness [15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22]. Using a sensitive and specific assay developed by RealTime Laboratories (RTL), we recently published a study linking the presence of aflatoxins (AT), ochratoxin A (OTA) and/or macrocyclic trichothecenes (MT) to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) . The specific methods for these assays have been previously published . A significant number of these chronically ill patients were ill for many years, with an average duration of more than seven years (range 2–36). Furthermore, over 90% of the patients gave a history of exposure to a WDB, mold or both. Exposure histories often indicated the WDB/mold exposure occurred many years prior to the mycotoxin testing. Many of these patients have not had recent or current exposure to a WDB or moldy environment. Despite the remote history of exposure, these patients had chronic symptoms and the presence of significantly elevated concentrations of AT, OTA and MT in their urine specimens. The persistence of mycotoxins suggests that there may be an internal source of mold that represents a reservoir for ongoing mold toxins that are excreted in the urine. Otherwise, one would anticipate that the toxins would have cleared over time. Herein, we discuss the concept that the nose and sinuses may be major internal reservoirs where the mold is harbored in biofilm communities and generates “internal” mycotoxins.
About the Author
Emily Rachal is co-owner of Texas Mold Inspectors, (or TMI), along with her husband, in the Houston, TX area. After her family’s devastating experience that not only injured her whole family, but also resulted in the loss of their youngest son Malachi, she and her husband have dedicated their lives to now educating and assisting families affected by toxic mold with their state-licensed mold inspection company.
Emily is the founder and owner of MAM. Additionally, she has recently started a non-profit organization in the name of her youngest son, called Malachi’s Message Foundation, to aid in financial support and offer hope to families who feel isolated and are unable to afford all the complex obstacles of overcoming a toxic mold exposure.