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Alexia in Washington, DC

Hello,  my daughters and I have been having unusual symptoms for about one year now. I found mold in my home and I’ve even showed it to my primary care physician; I bought a “Do It Yourself Mold Test” from Home Depot. The results came back positive for mold.

Unfortunately, my doctor couldn’t give me any help. I recieve medicaid, and researching this topic I see that it is very deadly. My doctor told me that mold is a higly legal issue and that he could not help me with the issue. I don’t know what else to do. I can not afford to get tests done and I can’t seem to find a doctor that will accept my insurance. I need resources if anyone one knows how to help please let me know.

Matthew and Asya in Everett, Washington

A view of the mold, from under the bed.

As a newly wed my wife and I moved into an apartment in Everett, WA to be closer to Boeing. I myself did not want to commute 3 hours to work everyday because this would be very hard on our new marriage. I wanted something small and inexpensive till I got on my feet with my new job, so we found a nicely sized one bedroom on the ground floor.

The door next to our front door I thought was where the boiler room was, later I found out that it was a door to the outside court yard. Our first week in our new apartment my wife said our bedroom carpet was damp, and then she told me that our bed and bedding was damp. I told her that it was probably the door to the outside made our room cold and that’s what she thought was damp. To be honest I thought it was just cold.

I had talked to our manager at the time about the black mold in the bathroom and how to get rid of it. He told us that we needed to run the fan longer then we have been and leave the door to the bathroom open when we were showering. I said well I can deal with that no big deal. About the 2nd week I noticed mold growing around the corners of our bedroom by the window were the rubber liner is above the carpet. We told our manager and he said the room was too cold and a little moisture was coming in. I thought okay well no big deal we sprayed it with bleach water let it sit and wiped it clean. My wife and I are pretty weird about our stuff and where we live being clean, we spend about the same amount of money on cleaning stuff as we do food for her and I. We clean every week and sometimes twice a week.

Another view of intense mold growth

Our manager stopped taking phone calls and didn’t answer his door, when we would see him he would say that he was busy. Later we found out that he was being let go for some reason. About 2 months in the mold was coming back in a couple days instead of a week. We grabbed our new apartment manager and told him about the mold, he told us that our bed was too close to wall and that is why this happened, and said that he would get to the rest of the things that needed fixed when he could. My brother and myself moved our bed 12 inches away from the wall and the window. When we moved it we noticed on the head board there was mold growing but not too bad, I have sinus problems and my nose doesn’t smell things unless it is right in front of me, blowing in my nose. This had been getting worse for me since we moved in and since Spring was coming to and end I thought I was just having allergy problems that I never noticed before.

Another angle of mold growth, under the bed.

We sprayed the mold with almost straight bleach on our bed frame and then made our bed. About 2 weeks later the mold on the wall was alive and growing faster then ever. Our white cat slipped under our bed frame and when she came out there was green stripes all over her. My wife was taking pictures of everything and then she snapped one of under the bed. The whole underside of our bed frame was covered on mold and not just that it was about 2-4 inches long. We pulled our memory foam mattress off the bed and there was mold coming from under our platform bed to the top and on our cover for our mattress, when we unzipped the mattress cover it was imbedded in our memory foam bed. Our new apartment manager was walking down the hallway and I stopped him to come in an look, when he did he said to stay out of this room, and he would look for another available unit for use to move into. I said okay my wife and I slept on our couch that night and the next day he showed us units and we picked one. They were putting the finishing touches on our new apartment and said that they would move everything. I said there was no need that my wife and I would move everything because it was Sunday and it was getting pretty late. While we were moving the mold expert came in and said we were not allowed to move anything in that room to our new apartment. He said if it left it had to be disposed of. All our clothes were in there, my wife and I bagged all our clothes and took them to the laundry mat. $75 later all our clothes were washed with vinegar and pretty strong cleaning soap. The manager said that if we did that that we needed to save our receipts and they would work something out. After our clothes were dry a lot of them smell like mold only the clothes that we use normally were okay and didn’t smell funny. We bagged the ones that smelled bad and took them to my mother’s house and washed them all on sanitary mode, and after checked them. No luck with getting that smell out. My manager told me that they would replace our bed and furniture that was not saved. I just need to give them receipts, we gave them receipts for everything that we could and made a generic list of low prices it would cost my wife and I to replace clothes that we lost, I went low because not all of our clothes were new, there were some items that my wife was very upset about. One of them was a Cache calf leather and fox fur jacket, skirt and matching handbag. The cleaner said that it would have to sent away and there was no guarantee that it would not smell bad. This set last year her Aunt paid over $5000 for.

We have been in our new apartment for about 3 weeks, 1 week of that a letter was submitted to the manager and to the owner with our rent check. We have about a ¼ of the clothes that we had and I am forced to sleep on a couch. I bought a memory foam mattress because I was in a motorcycle accident last year that left me with pretty bad back pain, all of the money that I spent fixing my back has left me feeling like my pain and problems are coming back again. I sent them a letter asking for $4500 to replace everything or help with the cost. I left my phone number telling them if they wanted to talk about this that I was willing. I have not been rude, aggressive or any negative behavior toward the manager or the owner. Since my wife and I moved here we have been very good tenants. I have told a small amount of people about this and they were all family. I told them no hard feeling about anything it was the negligence of the past manager. I have not looked into legal. My wife has been having skin problems since we moved here, I have been having breathing problems and am highly allergic to black mold. The last time I came in contact with the stuff I broke out in hives from head to toe and have to go to the ER and get a shot, fluids and was watched for 12 hours.

I am very thankful if anyone takes the time to read this and send me some advice, I just want what was wronged to be made right. And I don’t want out of our lease, this is one of the cheaper places to live in this area. Thank you again.

Questions:

Mainly, what are our options?

Emiy in Spokane, Washington

I came home a few days after Christmas to find water leaking out of my ceiling, running down my wall. I had only occupied this unit for a litte more than three months so I was shocked and figured this was a new issue and informed my landlord immediatly. I was even more shocked when the response was to call in the morning if it has not stopped. This would be one of several leaks and floods over the next three years that I was a prisoner in this dump.

Woodhead properties should be ashamed of themselves and will hopefully have to stop being a slum lord when they see the extensive medical records my two year old daughter and my five year old that say in black and white just about every symptom relate to mold exposure, including A THREE NIGHT HOSPITAL STAY AT SACRED HEART MEDICAL CENTER with an “unknown illness”. The X-Rays clearly show her little lungs coated in the black soot. I have had water pour our of my living room ceiling and our of a hallway closet. Never having any resolution…simply wait it out.

The musky smell that goes along with this disgusting poison was so overpowering I could not even sleep in my bedroom. Not to my surprise, my upstairs neighbor recenty discovered a four foot area in her sons closet COVERED in black mold. They have the audacity to tell me there is no mold in my walls…that her having mold does not mean I do… disgusting. Lucky for me I was able to escape…not without out them trying to stick me for bs but no worries…I WORK FOR AN ATTOREY WHO WILL NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS!!

Marilynn in Medical Lake, Washington

Our family moved here to Spokane, WA from Portland,Oregon area to specifically escape mold expecting that the weather was going to be like it was 50 years ago when my husband remembered it being dry and sunny almost all the time.

I have had to follow the most restricted anti-candida diet for years and years and when I realised that I was still having severe mold symptoms despite following the diet I expected we needed to have our house examined for mold. We had the ARMI dust samples done from Emsl and it came out as having a 397 count of Eurotium mold. I was put in touch with a toxicologist,who suggested that we still needed to contact an industrial hygienist to do a more thorough testing and get more specifics about what other type of mold that might be hidden as my symptoms were severe compared to the rest of my family.

According to the industrial hygienist and some googling I did it seemed that most of the mold was coming from our dirt crawl space and that my husband could fix the problem by overlapping 6ml plastic,laying piping and installing some type of fan underneath to draw the air out and then do a deep cleaning of the house. My husband will be starting this procedure after he finishes some other minor projects first so he won’t have to crawl unnecessarily on the plastic in the future. In the meantime I have been sleeping in a tent for at least a month and wearing safety glasses and a mask when I’m in the house and going to use a sauna to keep me going till we get everything taken care of as far as the house mold is concerned.

After discussing any other possibilities of further hidden mold the industrial hygienist said that doing thermal imaging which the toxicologist recommended would really soak us for a lot of money. He thought we should try taking of crawl space and see what happens.

Now we are trying to figure out where to go for a biotoxin inflammatory illness specialist for our biotoxin inflammatory symptoms as we realised I have been exposed for several past years in other water-damaged homes and we never made the connection before. But we live 1300 miles from the closest mold-recognised doctor and we do not want to switch doctors in the future in case we have to move to the desert. Since it will be very costly we also want to make sure the treatment will be worth it. We are not even sure if just going to a mold specialisr will be adequate to overcome our health issues while still living in a very moldy climate. Our circumstances do not permit a move currently. For the past two or three months we tormented over the dreaded possibility of thinking we didn’t have any choice but to have to move to the desert and desert our family and lose our house just because of our or mostly my mold poisoning.

We are now risking the possibility that a mold specialist treatment’s will allow us to live here a longer and also improve our quality of life beyond a survival level. I have contacted a couple of local doctor’s possibilities but haven’t heard back . At the same time I question that a local doctor is knowlegeable enough on how to treat biotoxin illness. I certainly cannot imagine living another year here in this location without some radical medical intervention. Since the crawl space will take at least two weeks to take care of and hopefully summer or late spring will be here it may be hard to tell what intervention is actually working. Thankyou for letting me share. I wish I had discovered this blog site sooner.

Questions:

  • Where can I find a good doctor? The closest biotoxin specialist is in Santa Barbara but that is still 1300 miles away and is also in a very humid climate so we could probably never move there.
  • Does any doctor know how to interpret mold poisoning blood test results? I left a message for ‘real labs’ but have not heard back from them as well.
  • Do scratch tests do more harm than good? That is all my local M.D. could do for me. I am wondering if any other allergies like pollen may have masked or made my symptoms worse.
  • Has anyone ever had vcs screen testing done through Dr. Shoemaker and how did you get any definitive results for failed eye screen testing or tested positive for biotoxin inflammatory illness and how has this screen testing been of help to you?
  • Has anyone ever tried craniobiotics treatment or homeopathic treatment for biotoxin inflammatory illness? There is a specialist who does this hwo is in driving distance and done some and I have heard amazing testimonies but still find myself somewhat sceptical.
  • Has anyone overcome mold -poisoning or biotoxin inflammatory illness while remaining in a high humidity climate? If so, what did you do and would you recommend that to others?
  • I am wondering how much of my mold issues are from transporting non-porous items from previous homes and can non-porous items such as paintings be tested for mold?
  • Do any of the biotoxin specialists also do any dietary treatment?