mold, mildew, other toxins in indoor air

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by recovering doormat, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    I want to hire someone to test my ex's home for indoor pollutants: specifically, mold, mildew and other toxins aggravated by a damp basement. The house was built eight years ago and since day 1, there has been a nasty, sour, wet-concrete smell coming up from the basement to the first floor, especially around the basement door threshhold. There is no seepage or standing water down there, but we are adjacent to wetlands and the water table is high.

    It's most noticeable when the AC/heat are off. Today it was so bad I could literally taste it in my mouth.

    difficult child 2 and easy child both have asthma, easy child's is pretty severe and she has bronchitis now. I'm wondering about whether she should be sleeping in her dad's house.

    What kind of profession does this type of testing and how do I find me one?

  2. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Who built the house?
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry this is an issue. When we bought our home it was new because I didn't want to have potential mold problems from past problems. Largely this was because thank you can't spend even ONE NIGHT in the house with-o the filter running. Even if we turn the heat or air conditioning off we have to leave windows closed and have the fan running. He is just that sensitive.

    Anyway, here is a link to the EPA that talks about this:

    This site also looked helpful and had some good links. It described how to treat any mold you have using commonly used (and pretty much "green" ) products. Bleach was discussed, as was using straight vinegar and also using citrus seed extract with water - each of these is clearly described to make and to use.

    I hope these are helpful!
  4. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Who built the house?
    my ex-husband was general contractor for it. The house was factory built,a modular, and we had nothing but problems with it from day 1. The whole project was jinxed. Too long to post, but we found out the hard way why the land was so cheap.
  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Google ' complaints against' the name of the manufacturer of the modular and see what comes up.
  6. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Our part of Western Maine was dependent on modular and mobile homes. The industry has been devastated by the economy. I just heard a report on CNN that Georgia Pacific made plasterboard which produced sulfur compounds even though it was US made, not Chinese!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh dear. I am so sorry. That's sad. And kind of creepy.
    We've only had a cpl issues in the house we're in. One is the guest bedroom, where I sleep more often than not. My husband snores (and I do, too).
    When we first moved in, I had so many awful, vivid nightmares, I called it The Nightmare Room. I had the carpeting torn out and replaced, I repainted the walls, etc. The weird smells went away and my nightmares decreased by 80%.
    I am all for cleaning up toxic environments, whether it's for your lungs, skin, headaches or sleep patterns.
    Best of luck.
    Wish I had some concrete info for you.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Mold and mildew allergies are worse in a lot of ways than seasonal stuff like hay fever. My dad and difficult child 2 are both extremely allergic to mold & mildew. We have 2 spots in our house which are an issue - the bathroom and my bedroom. It's because where the electricity comes into the house isn't properly sealed.

    The bathroom we were able to fix easily - we were cleaning and the paints started fallling from the ceiling - turned out they didn't prime it first. So we used "KILZ" to prime & then repainted. Problem gone! Then we had to replace the ceiling fan and discovered why that was such an issue - it vented straight into the blown-in insulation - mildew breeding ground!!! That got fixed that night. difficult child 2 wasn't allowed near that bathroom till we had vacuumed and scrubbed it, and his room is right next door so he slept downstairs.

    My room has one spot. We just keep treating it with bleach until we can afford to have the problem fixed. We're thinking spray foam insulation for that part.
  9. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I think you find people in the yellow pages that are mold experts to test. Or call your cities health department or building department and they can likely provide names of people offering testing services.
    I rented one house that made us all very ill. We moved as landlord didn't care to fix the problem. We are now in a triplex, on the bottom floor. GORGEOUS apartment. I love it. But i know the damp is sinking into the carpets etc. Landlord won't change carpets or have mold testing done. We get sick more often than is normal. We are stuck here 2 more years until the military posts us out of here. We have used over counter mold sprays a few times to try to lessen the problem, but that in itself won't cure the problem
    I hope that you find a solution. Mold can be so hard to get rid of depending on the source and the amount and how wide spread.
  10. moldleg333

    moldleg333 New Member

    A couple of quick notes. It is important to hire someone certified to test for mold and other microorganisms. Damp & moist indoor settings promote species of mold that are extremely toxic as well as bacteria that are both gram positive & negative. One class is known as Actinobacteria. Some species are Streptomyces, Nocardia, Salmonella, & E. Coli. Common indoor molds that are often found are Stachybotry's, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, & Chaetomium. There are others also. These molds produce toxins that damage the central nervous system, liver, kidneys, and every other organ system. This has nothing to do with being allergic, however if allergic, this could already be a sign of being even more susceptible to the dangers of indoor molds. Some of the toxins produced are Tricothecenes, Satratoxins (F, G, H), Ochratoxins, & Aflatoxins. Toxin types are specie dependent. Testing needs to be done by taking cultures from several areas as well as air testing. I suggest going to the Indoor Air Quality Associations website (IAQA) to get someone certified to conduct proper testing. There are thousands in this country who are extremely ill from indoor mold and not to sound like an alarmist, but mold is a very serious health hazard. Most of the medical community is not properly trained or educated thus prevention and being proactive is key. Bel0ow is the IAQA website.