Toxic Mold Health Effects: The Silent Killer Toxin In Our House
Almost no one would allow a giant spider to crawl across their walls without slapping it down with a sandal, but so many people notice mold growing on their walls and don’t think twice about it. However, toxic mold health effects are more dangerous than most spiders, but most people don’t recognize them as such.
Many experts, including myself, realize that mold is a silent killer and one of the crucial, missing pieces in the fight against modern-day, chronic diseases. If mold is allowed to expand throughout your house, it is quite literally a biotoxic predator that is making you sick.
Biotoxic molds generate toxins known as mycotoxins that are released into the air and wreak havoc with the body’s hormones while contributing to chronic inflammation that results in a long list of detrimental conditions. Most of these illnesses seem to have no known cause and are classified as idiopathic diseases.
Let’s take a look at the toxic mold health effects, discuss the process of testing your body and home for mold toxicity, and focus on what to do if your residence is overrun by mold. If mycotoxins are lingering in your home, you must do something about it or you’ll suffer the health consequences.
Toxic Mold Health Effects: Symptoms Of Mold Toxicity
Mycotoxins are absolutely disastrous for our health. Mycotoxins from mold exposure are directly related to immune system dysfunction, free radical damage, cellular membrane damage, and enzyme inhibition related to cellular function.1
Exposure to mycotoxins found in moldy residences includes insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, blurred vision, allergies, joint pain, cough, sneezing, panic attacks, food allergies, asthma, body odor, weight gain, and hypersensitivity to stimuli.2
How Mycotoxins Affect Endocrine Function
Mycotoxins affect the hormone receptors by blocking or engaging them.3
This limits the ability of hormones to communicate directly with the cell and relay their message. The term for this phenomenon is known as hormone resistance.
Mycotoxins alter the synthesis and metabolism of hormones.4 5
Specifically, mycotoxins affect the 17-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD) enzymes that are involved in sex hormone metabolism.6
This means that mycotoxins negatively affect both testosterone and estrogen production and function. Cytochalasin B, a mycotoxin specific to Aspergillus and Chaetomium, two common residential molds, affects luteinizing hormone (LH) and through that mechanism of action, reduces testosterone production.7
While many factors are to blame, mycotoxins play a role in the 19% decline in male secular testosterone levels over the last 20 years.8
Cytochalasin B affects the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands by limiting the effect of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) produced by the pituitary gland.9
Exposure to mycotoxins doesn’t affect everyone equally, as other factors like environmental endocrine disruptors, stress, and lifestyle choices make some people more susceptible to them than others.10 11
Oftentimes, mold toxicity may not present any obvious symptoms, but can result in a serious autoimmune reaction during times of stress. For example, many women who are bombarded by mycotoxins display autoimmune conditions when they are pregnant, as they are overloaded by underlying stressors.
Toxic Mold Health Effects: How Mycotoxins Cause Chronic Inflammation
Stachybotrys chartarum, infamously known as toxic black mold, is commonly found in water-damaged residences. Black mold can quickly grow on walls and is associated with chronic inflammatory conditions. People who are exposed to black mold often suffer from cough, wheezing, headache, irritability, tightness in their chest, a burning sensation in their nose, lightheadedness, problem sleeping, brain fog, hair loss, irritation in their eyes, unexplained rashes, and even death.12
Penicillium mold is also common in households. Breathing in Penicillium spores results in respiratory problems that include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Some species of Penicillium contain mycotoxins that can destroy internal organs.2
Mycotoxins Affect The Immune System And Brain
In a study of 100 individuals who were exposed to toxic mold in their houses, 80% of those individuals had abnormal levels of T and B cells, signifying that toxic mold exposure resulted in immune system dysfunction.13
In the same study, 70% of patients exposed to mold couldn’t walk in a straight line when they had their eyes shut. Additionally, about half of the patients had issues with short-term memory loss and judgment, along with difficulty concentrating.13
Toxic mold health effects are substantial and negatively affect a wide range of biological systems. Mold’s toxic effects are significantly reducing our life quality and must be eliminated if we wish to truly enjoy our lives.
Toxic Mold Health Effects: Mold Toxicity Test
To test yourself for mold toxicity, there are two common options, the VCS test, and the C4a test. The VCS test is a visual contrast test that analyzes the optic nerve, as it is one of the first nerves to experience toxic mold health effects. The VCS test can be found at, vcstest.com.
The C4a test is performed at the National Jewish Laboratories which includes both blood work and the VCS test to analyze for mold toxicity.
Testing Your Residence For Mold
If mold growth isn’t clearly obvious there are ways to test your residence for mold. In many cases, mold may be growing within the walls making for a toxic living space. Mold can quickly colonize and grow on cellulose. This means that wood and drywall are extremely susceptible. The risk for mold growth is amplified by humid conditions.
To test your house for mold, perform the ERMI test. This test is designed to determine if mold is growing behind the walls, within the air ducts, and in the humid corners of the basement. The ERMI test is available at survivingmold.com.
Preventing Mold From Gaining A Foothold At Your Residence
In a study from France on 128 dwellings, occupants from 69 of these residences complained about sanitation issues or had to consult a doctor for health issues related to mold contamination. Apartments that were located on the ground floor had far higher fungal concentrations in the air than apartments located on higher floors. Smaller apartments, apartments with electric heating, apartments without a ventilation system, and apartments with water damage contained higher mold concentrations.14
In a study from Sweden, 66% of water-damaged residences contained mycotoxins.15 In other words, if you ever had issues with water damage, even small amounts of water-related issues can quickly lead to mold growth.
The first thing you want to do to reduce the probability of mold taking over your house is to keep the humidity level below 50%. If you don’t already have a dehumidifier, invest in one, as it can both save your health and prevent countless dollars in structural damage.
Additionally, good ventilation is important to reduce the probability of mold growth. As far as your HVAC system, invest in an inline air filtration system that uses MERV 7 to MERV 11 filters.
Finally, invest in an air filtration system, something like EnviroKlenz®, as it is able to kill off bad bacteria and mold while removing particles from the air. This filter reduces toxins, odors, and anything else contained in the air to improve your indoor air quality.
Removing Mold From Your Residence
If you have a mold problem at your residence, first, target the source of the issue, usually high humidity levels. After reducing humidity levels to below 50%, clean the affected area, invest in a ventilation system that includes air filtration, and note the improvement.
If your house still has a mold problem, hire professionals to remove that mold. It is only after you remove the source of illness that you can begin to heal. Realize that some houses are beyond repair and the only solution is to leave that residence behind for a new, mold-free living arrangement.
The Bible describes the protocol for dealing with a moldy house in Leviticus chapter 14. First, everything should be removed from the house and a priest will inspect it. Then, the house will be closed up for 7 days and reinspected by the priest. If the mildew has spread, the contaminated stones are to be removed and relocated to an unclean area outside of the town. Then, the walls of the house must be scraped and the contents removed and relocated to the same unclean area.
If mildew still appears in the house, it will be declared unclean and torn down. All of the building materials are to be relocated out of town to an unclean place.
In other words, if you cannot remove the mold from your house, it has been known for thousands of years that this residence cannot be safely occupied.
Toxic Mold Health Effects: The Hidden Dangers Of Mold
With all the hidden toxins lurking around us, many people don’t consider the hidden toxins that are living with them rent-free. Since so many houses have issues with mold growth, analyze your house for signs of mold, get it tested for mold contamination, and do everything in your power to remove mold from your house so you don’t suffer toxic mold health effects.
While many may think it is extreme to leave a moldy house behind if no solutions to remove that mold exists, you have to decide whether your health is more important than your house.
In addition to mold, there are other hidden toxins you need to be aware of if you want to be as healthy as possible.
1 Tessier, L. (2020, February 10). Endocrine Impacts of Mycotoxins. Naturopathic Doctor News and Review. https://ndnr.com/endocrinology/endocrine-impacts-of-mycotoxins/
2 Mold allergy – Symptoms and causes. (2021, June 21). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mold-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20351519
4 Frizzell C, Ndossi D, Verhaegen S, et al. Endocrine disrupting effects of zearalenone, alpha- and beta-zearalenol at the level of nuclear receptor binding and steroidogenesis. Toxicol Lett. 2011;206(2):210-217.
8 Mazur A, Westerman R, Mueller U. Is rising obesity causing a secular (age-independent) decline in testosterone among American men? PLoS One. 2013 Oct 16;8(10):e76178. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076178. PMID: 24146834; PMCID: PMC3797769.
10 Eze UA, Huntriss J, Routledge MN, et al. The effect of individual and mixtures of mycotoxins and persistent organochloride pesticides on oestrogen receptor transcriptional activation using in vitro reporter gene assays. Food Chem Toxicol. 2019;130:68-78.
12 Bitnun, A., & Nosal, R. M. (1999). Stachybotrys chartarum (atra) contamination of the indoor environment: Health implications. Paediatrics & child health, 4(2), 125–129. https://doi.org/10.1093/pch/4.2.125
13 Rea WJ, Didriksen N, Simon TR, Pan Y, Fenyves EJ, Griffiths B. Effects of toxic exposure to molds and mycotoxins in building-related illnesses. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):399-405. doi: 10.1080/00039896.2003.11879140. PMID: 15143852.
14 Roussel S, Reboux G, Bellanger AP, Sornin S, Grenouillet F, Dalphin JC, Piarroux R, Millon L. Characteristics of dwellings contaminated by moulds. J Environ Monit. 2008 Jun;10(6):724-9. doi: 10.1039/b718909e. Epub 2008 Apr 29. PMID: 18528539.
15 Bloom E, Nyman E, Must A, Pehrson C, Larsson L. Molds and mycotoxins in indoor environments–a survey in water-damaged buildings. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2009 Nov;6(11):671-8. doi: 10.1080/15459620903252053. PMID: 19757292.