Remove Yourself From Exposure To Mold
The most common mistake people make when they leave their moldy home, is to take moldy belongings with them. No, they are not as bad as this luggage in the photo. Usually, they don't look moldy, but they have volatile organic compounds, bits of mycotoxins, endotoxins, or toxins from the building materials on their belongings. They are not visible, but some people can smell them. These will cause reactions in susceptible individuals. Do not make the mistake of taking contaminated belongings with you when you leave.
Remove Yourself From Exposure And Avoid All Moldy Buildings
Healing From Mold Protocol #1 - From the "Step By Step Protocol" To Healing From Mold
This is the hardest thing for an individual to do. Yet it is the most important thing and the first thing that needs to take place. I can not stress how important this is and that it needs to happen before anything else. Often it means leaving your home, work or school. Remediation is a choice, but all too often remediation is not done well enough for those who are sensitive and sometimes remediation releases fragments of mold, spores, mycotoxins and other toxins from bacteria, and building materials that are so tiny that they are not kept contained by filters, vacuums or containment setups, and they end up in other areas of the house or even in the HVAC system. Now the person is even sicker. So, it is easy to say one must remove themselves from exposure, but in actuality it is hard to do. However, it is often necessary.
I tell my clients to go on vacation to someplace they are sure is not moldy, and see how they do after one week away from a water-damaged building. How are they after two weeks, or a month. This often turns the person into a believer when they find themselves feeling better. Almost everyone feels better when they do this. Some more than others and this depends on how well they are able to mobilize and remove toxins without treatment. They now realize how much exposure to the water-damaged building has effected them. Many are afraid to go home, or back to work, or school.
Removing yourself from exposure may mean leaving your home, your job or your school. How this takes place depends on where the exposure is coming from, who owns the water-damaged building you are being exposed to, and if you need to continue being in that building. If your home is moldy, get out of it until you can remediate it or move. Be careful where you move to as it can be moldy too. Be careful where you stay temporarily, as it can be moldy too. If you are unable to smell the mold, ask someone who can to help you. You can also test the temporary living location before moving into it. For sure you need to test a new home before renting or moving into it. Some people have great olfactory senses and can sniff mold out easily. However, many people who are sick from mold will have trouble smelling the mold, until they are actually on their way to recovery. As they heal, the get better and better at sniffing out mold. I tell people if something does not smell right, walk on by and don't linger. Your sense of smell is a warning instrument to keep you healthy when it comes to odoriferous volatile compounds that molds/bacteria/building materials emit in water-damaged homes.
Removing yourself from exposure is complicated but don't let that stop you from doing it. Some people are so sick they simply walk away from their home, job or school. Others try to remediate their home or work. Getting a business or School to remediate is more complicated, and you should first check your state laws to see what your rights are. If you can prove there is mold in the apartment or business, and it appears to be causing issues for you, and others, you will be able to force the owner to remediate. However, if you can't find it, or it is remediated poorly, and you are the only one getting ill, it may be easier to leave than try to force the issue. I suggest if you live in a rental, or work, or go to school in a moldy building that is making you sick, that you first examine your legal options. This can be done often on the web. If you are having trouble with brain fog, you may need to have someone help you. Also, consider that you may need to take samples and test them yourself to get anyone to pay attention to you. If you test samples yourself, be sure to take photos of where the sample came from, and take copious notes.
Getting rid of mold exposure may mean getting rid of some, or all of your possessions. If your home is moldy, there are probably mold spores, bits of mold spores, mycotoxins, volatile organic compounds, endotoxins, and other toxins on your belongs. They may be confined to one room, or part of a home, or could be everywhere. That can be determined to some degree with testing. Please do not take moldy possessions to a new home, or anywhere else with you. If you go stay at a friends non-moldy house, but take your moldy possessions with you, your continued poor health will come along also. Read my article on cleaning mold and odors off of your stuff.
In addition to avoiding moldy buidings, also avoid moldy foods. Some people will consume foods commonly known to have mold, and wonder why they feel bad.
Living In Moldy Apartments
If you live in a rented, water-damaged apartment, or house, the easiest thing to do is move. If however, you want to stay put, you will need to convince the owner that there is a problem. Check the laws in your state to see what rights you have as a renter living in a water-damage building, and realize that you will have little control over how the remediation is done. You will either need to move out temporarily to protect yourself from the remediation debris, and toxins, or if remediation is extensive you may simply need to find a new home period. If the remediation is undertaken in a manner that is not appropriate to remove all the mold, mold spores, bits of spores, and numerous types of toxins, you may still have to move. Since you will need to leave the rental while the work is being undertaken it might just be easier to simply move. It is important to understand that people who try to stay in their home during remediation often end up much sicker. The same thing goes for people who remediate their own home.
You Own A Moldy Home
If you live in a moldy home that you own your choices become more complicated.
You have to decide if you will remediate the problem and stay, remediate and leave, or just walk off and sell it as a "moldy" home. Why, you might ask would I remediate and leave? If you are a person who is genetically predisposed to mold sensitivity, you may not be able to stay even after remediation. You might plan to, but find out you simply can't deal with what is still left in the building, or the toxins off-gassing from the paint, varnish, wall board etc. might be too much for you in the delicate state of recovery you are going through. This happens much too often. Is it because the contractor did a poor job? Is it because you are simply too sensitive? The fact is that as a society we are just figuring out that we have created homes that are conducive to mold and bacterial growth, and we are just now figuring out how to remediate these homes and rebuild in a healthier fashion. This means that no contractor will have all the answers. Even those attempting to do a good job for you may fall short of getting rid of all the mold, mycotoxins, bacterial endotoxins, volatile organic compounds etc. that are in the home. Many contractors think you just remove the mold and that is all there is to it, so to begin with you need a contractor that knows how to remediate a moldy home for the sensitive person, or you need to educate yourself and control the remediation. (Start with the articles I have written on this website about moldy buildings.) The contractors job can be checked by re-testing the home after the work is finished. You can, and must re-check for mold and mycotoxins after the contractor is finished, and someone other than the contractor mush re-sample the building. You have to wait until dust accumulates to re-check and then I would suggest you should re-check a few times if you continue to have symptoms. Usually people wait to re-check the first time around 4-6 weeks when enough dust has settled.
People who try to stay in their home during remediation often end up much sicker. The same thing goes for people who remediate their own home. Details on finding mold in your home, remediation of the home and other specifics regarding moldy homes can be found here on this website.
You Work In A Moldy Building
This is a tough one as how this goes when you bring it up to the building owner, or your boss all depends on that specific individual. I suggest you first find out what you legal rights are in your state, and go from there. Even if you get them to remediate, you will generally have little control over how this is done and many people report continued health problems after remediation is completed in a business building. Sometimes if the building is large, you may be able to move to another part of a building if the toxic exposure is confined to one part of the building. If you really want to stay there, you will need to carefully consider all options. Some bosses in this situation will let you work from home if you can do the job from there. We won't go into any details regarding remediating work spaces as the worker has little control over this. There are attorneys who deal with these kind of cases if you want to take it on. However, most people are too ill to do this.
You Go To School In A Moldy Building
This illness is a disability, and a moldy environment creates a situation where a child, or adult can not learn due to this genetic disability. If you are going to get the school to do anything, this needs to be what you bring to their attention. However, we are also talking about a government that does not have the money to remediate all the schools. We are talking about big buildings, and the cost of remediation is usually very expensive. (The fact is that the government does not have enough money to remediate all the moldy buildings owned.) It is thought that half of all buildings in the United States have some amount of water-damage. Be aware that if you try to get a school to clean up its act, you will be putting a lot of effort into the project, and you will have little say in how remediation is accomplished, and it will be likely that even after remediation, you will still continue to have health effects in the building. Most schools will try to work things out with you if they can by having you take classes from home, or they may even pay for you to go to school elsewhere if you can find a non-moldy school alternative. It is usually so costly for a school to remediate, that they will look for any other alternative first. We won't go into any details regarding remediating education spaces as the student has little control over this. There are attorneys who deal with these kind of cases if you want to take it on. Most people are too ill to do this though. Some parents have taken schools on to allow their child to remain in a school. I really appreciate their efforts as they are putting this issue in front of the school and local politicians. They will ultimately make life easier and safer for future generations once we are educated as a society about our current devastating construction practices and how they lead to moldy buildings.
Next read about Cleaning Up Your Home And Your Stuff. This is an important step and needs to be done as soon as possible if you plan to continue living in the same location.
If you have other toxins, such as environmental toxins, mercury amalgams in your teeth, other heavy metals in your body, chronic infections, or other emotional, mental, physical stressors, they too must be dealt with. However, removing one from a toxic environment such as from a moldy building is first and foremost. Once that is done, I often see people get well on their on. However, if not, or if the process is slow, it is good to look for other stressors that may be causing a drain on the body.
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