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Integr Med (Encinitas). 2016 Jun;15(3):8-14.

Is Mold Toxicity Really a Problem for Our Patients? Part 2-Nonrespiratory Conditions.


In my last editorial, I addressed the respiratory effects of mold exposure. The surprising research shows that as many as 50% of residential and work environments have water damage1 and that mold toxicity should be considered in all patients with any chronic respiratory condition. This is especially true in adult-onset asthma, two-thirds of which appears to be caused by toxins released from water-damaged buildings. The carcinogenic effects of food-borne mold contamination are also well documented. Less clear is the role of indoor mold exposure in water-damaged buildings and its relationship to nonrespiratory conditions. As we look at the research on mold toxicity and toxins in general, we propose that the medical community (by all its names) has focused too much on the "yellow canaries" and missed the big picture that toxins have now become a primary driver of disease in the general population, not only among those most susceptible. The mold toxicity conundrum illustrates this issue quite well. As summarized in this editorial, there clearly is a portion of the population, the size of which is currently unknown, who experience neurological and/or immunological damage from mold toxicity. In addition, a substantial portion of the population experiences chronic respiratory problems from mold exposure. This does not mean we should stop paying attention to our more affected patients. Rather, we need to realize that almost everyone is being affected by toxins to some degree: molds, metals, solvents, persistent organic pollutants, etc.


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