Whew!! It's been quite a year for us and we are thankful, in advance, for your continued support in the coming year, 2011. The past year has been a challenging one with trials and successes alike. We'd like to thank each of you for your support.
We'd like to close this year with one final message regarding safeguarding your health.
According to this article, Researchers Divided on Toxic Mould, Jay Portnoy, MD, a physician at Children of Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAI), reported an escalated number of asthma patients into his hospital, which he attributed to toxic moulds. "Some doctors now say there is no evidence at all that it causes harm. Others say it may be causing a lot of symptoms. I come out in the middle. There seems to be a relationship between mould and illness, but it's hard to prove. We can't blow mould in people's faces to see what happens. That wouldn't be ethical."
"Mold is more of a transient annoyance," counters Emil J. Bardana, Jr., MD, professor of allergy and immunology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and also a member of the AAAI, counters: "House dust mites, animal dander, and cockroach allergens cause many more problems."
Nevertheless, Portnoy maintains that there is a growing body of evidence that penicillium and aspergillus (this one showed up in my blood test), which are usually found indoors and smell bad, and cladosporium, present in outdoor air and less odoriferous, are not good to have around. (Researchers Divided on Toxic Mold)
Regardless of the outcome of this debate, we, the Executives of VICSA, will still pursue the goal of educating us on this topic and assist with providing guidelines to remain healthy, because a healthy officer is a productive officer, right?!?
How Toxic Mold Acts on the Body
According to Portnoy, mold attacks in one of four ways:
- First, you could be allergic to it. This occurs in 10% to 20% of cases. A skin or blood test would pinpoint it as an allergic substance.
- Second, substances called ergosterol and glucan in the walls of the mold cell can cause hay fever-like symptoms. You don't have to be allergic -- anyone could react to these.
- Third, molds release organic compounds such as benzene and acetone, which would raise alarms in any workplace and are linked to nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Again, you don't have to be allergic.
- And last, molds, like other organisms, don't want to compete for food and nurturing, so they expel mycotoxins to kill competitors such as bacteria. In the case of helpful mycotoxins, we call these antibiotics and use them to help us. But in the case of some molds, the mycotoxins target cells within our bodies and may cause problems such as cancer, stillbirths, and bleeding in infants. Stachybotrys makes a lot of these harmful mycotoxins.
So, with this, we’ll go to the next article we would like to share titled Allergy Treatment Begins at Home. This article is a bit long, so it will be summarized here, and you can click on the link above to read the full article.
The best way to treat allergies is avoidance. There are simple things you can do at home that will assist you in ‘living well’ and kick some of those pills and inhalers (if you are like) that you must use on a constant basis to even make it to work.
Regular cleaning is the first way to keep your living space mold and dust free. There are those simple three other items we keep telling you about:
- Keep the home cool (between 68 and 72 degrees F);
- Maintain a low humidity (between 40 and 50%); and
- Make certain there is good ventilation.
- As mentioned above, clean more often, especially the bedrooms.
- Wash your linen frequently in water at least 130 degree F to kill mites found in the bedding.
- If the carpet can’t be replaced with hard wood, tile, or linoleum, then it must be cleaned thoroughly and frequently.
- Allergic persons should not vacuum and should remain out of the area for at least one hour.
Use cleaning products that have the active ingredients ammonia or bleach. (We recommend switching to green cleaners for everyday cleaning as you maybe hypersensitive to the harsh chemicals in traditional cleaners.)
Remove all carpet (if possible), especially those in the bathrooms. (If you flip over your carpet/rug, that black stuff is exactly what you don't want it to be.)
- Wash shower curtains that have large mold stains with bleach and water and spot clean small stains.
- Purchase shower curtains with a mold inhibitor.
- Larger areas, especially under the house, should be treated with either Orthocine, Captan's powder (8 oz in a gallon of water), or bleach (mix 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water).
- For even more extensive molds under the house, buy a 5 lb. bag of Bordeaux mixture (mostly copper sulfate) from any regular nursery and mix it with 15 to 20 gallons of water in a large tank sprayer. Spray the areas under the house, the ground, and all wood thoroughly at least 3 to 4 times a year for the first several years. Ziram can be used in a 1-2% spray solution
- Lower the humidity level in the house by investing in a dehumidifier.
- Use fans for proper ventilation.
- Clean visible mold from walls and ceilings.
- Keep firewood outside since the bark is covered with mold.
- Add mold inhibitor to paint before applying if it will be used in a damp environment, especially on brick and cinderblock walls in a basement or shady areas.
- Mould tends to grow in closets, as they tend to be dark and damp. Dry shoes and boots before storing. Consider a chemical moisture remover (desiccant) such as calcium carbonate flakes or crystals. Available brands are Damp Rid or Dri-Out Dome, which is readily available through allergy catalogues and home improvement stores.
- Do not carpet the bathroom.
- Mold grows in refrigerators. Keep them clean and defrosted. Remove spoiled food, preferably before it gets that way!
- Correct seepage or flooding problems and remove water- damaged carpet.
- Carpet and pad should not be laid on a concrete floor since this is a great place for moisture to accumulate, resulting in a flourishing population of dust mites and mold.
- Remove moldy stored items from the basement and keep it clean.
- There were plenty other topics like air quality tips, dust covers, carpet powders, and cockroaches, but we’ll that for you to read on your own.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us email@example.com with your questions. The President, Ms. Shaina Smith, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not claim to be professionals in this topic but we can help you find answers from the professionals.
As always, it has been a pleasure serving and fighting beside you, and we promise to continue.
Be blessed and Happy Holidays.
Motto: Serving with Excellence to Secure the Future