Home Forums Mould related illness & symptoms Mycotoxins and misdiagnosis

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    Mycotoxins are called secondary metabolites of mould and are thought to be part of their digestion process although some believe they are a defence mechanism against other moulds and of course their natural enemy bacteria. But even toxigenic species of mould don’t always produce mycotoxins and I have seen rooms with mould a meter high around all walls. The black sooty visual presence with high moisture content on the plasterboard it was growing on suggested it was Stachybotrys. What was puzzling was the fact the family living there didn’t have any health effects and even looked remarkably healthy. My conclusion was confirmed by lab analysis of the sample and the conclusion that the Stachy was actually controlling the bacteria and other moulds and had no need to produce mycotoxins. I tell many people the story of my daughter who after moving into a brand new house was diagnosed with aggressive Leukaemia within 4 months of moving in. The diagnosis by University Hospital in London resulted in the proposal for immediate radio therapy. It was lucky I happened to visit her home and identify three square inches of Trichoderma mould species producing a mycotoxin that simply turned off her immune system and mimicked leukaemia. In the food industry mycotoxins are measured in Parts Per Billion (per ton) and although they can be detected in environmental home sampling, a false negative is very likely. Even more likely is bacteria is the causation of illness. This confusing story emphasises the need for qualified experience when assessing exposure routes and likely culprits.

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