You think you have toxic mold, now what?
Toxic mold is increasingly problematic in our built environment. If you recently discovered mold in your home either visibly or through an over the counter air sample, you may be feeling overwhelmed by what next steps to take, especially if you think you’re one of the 28% of the population who are particularly susceptible to mold illness.
If you’ve been struggling with ongoing health issues and believe that mold is the root cause of them, these are some initial steps you can take to get on a healing path.
Leave the Moldy Environment
You cannot heal from toxic mold while your air quality is compromised. This doesn’t mean you have to be gone forever, but staying with a friend could be helpful while you are figuring out next steps.
This may seem a bit drastic, but people oftentimes begin to feel better as soon as they leave the mold environment. I personally felt symptoms of muscle cramping, food sensitivities, itchy skin, and difficulty sleeping subside within days. After being out of the home for 2.5 weeks, my skin would begin to itch and my joints would ache after re-entry to my mold contaminated home.
Call a Mold Specialist
While you’re out of the house, start researching mold specialists in your area. Consider joining a toxic mold support group on Facebook, like this one, to ask others for recommendations in your area.
When you’re searching for a mold specialist, it’s important to make sure they recognize the severity of your health issues and how mold can relate to them. I’ve put together this guide to help you ask the right questions in order to find a qualified mold specialist.
Purchase an Air Purifier
Before you go back into your home, purchase a high-quality air purifier that filters mold. There are several air purifiers on the market, but the one I purchased is called Molekule. The Molekule uses PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) to remove pollutants. This filter claims to destroy more pollutants than a traditional HEPA filter (commonly recommended for mold). The technology breaks down pollutants at a molecular level through a photocatalytic reaction and then the sanitized air goes back into the room.
After running the air purifier for a few days I stopped noticing itching sensations when I returned to my home. The Molekule takes 60 minutes to purify a 600 square foot area and can easily be transferred to another room thanks to the handle and light(ish) weight design. I keep it in the living room area until an hour before I go to bed, then transition it to our bedroom to purify the air while we sleep. Thus far it has been working really well.
If you’re interested in getting your own Molekule air, you can get $75 off by using this link.
After you purchase your air purifier, get it set up in your house for a couple days before you go back. Many people will experience noticeable improvements.
Contact a Physician Who Specializes in Mold Detoxification
Once you know (or think you know) you have mold illness, work on finding a physician who specializes in mold detoxification. My personal experience was that my local naturopath was not confident in treating mold + heavy metal toxicity so I was forced to go elsewhere. In my research, I found that the majority of mold specialists charge approximately $400 for the initial appointment and $200 for follow-ups. None of those costs include the functional tests required to determine if you have mold or other health issues (blood tests, urine tests, and hormone tests are recommended that can cost between $500 and $2,000). I am personally going to Nourish Medical Center in California because they were able to see me via video conferencing.
Fortunately, I am armed with several labs like blood work from the past four years, a recent heavy metals test, and a mycotoxin test. My advice to you is to get as much of this testing done before you go into your initial appointment so you don’t have to pay for more follow up visits. See if your current functional practitioner will help you order them!
This one is really hard, isn’t it? I’m sure you might feel like your whole life is unraveling right now, but I try to remind my clients and myself that sometimes things fall apart so they can fall together. It’s really hard to see the bright side of illness, but the only way you get out is through. Keep your chin up and put one foot in front of the other. At least you’re on the right path, you know? What if you had stayed in that toxic environment for even longer and developed more health issues? There’s always a silver lining if you let yourself find it, I promise.