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Sophia in Austin, Texas

by Jonathan

We were in a house with mold. After moving out, we made the mistake of bringing all of our things with us. Now we have gotten rid of all of our clothes and furniture, but it seems that we may have gotten it in our carpet. There seems to be just enough in the house that we are still not feeling well. I am on many supplements and detox things to clear this out.


Does anyone have any experience with this? If you detox it out of your body, it seems to then get on the bedding and towels. Is it still active at this point?

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Jonathan June 12, 2011 - 11:20 am

Sophia, thank you for your question! I have no personal experience with mold detoxing, so I’ll defer that to others. What, if anything, have you done or are you planning to do about the carpet?

ErikMoldWarrior June 12, 2011 - 11:30 am

Contaminated blankets seem to be purely toxins alone, and are longer active…. as far as I can tell.

I know people use all kinds of chemicals to wash their stuff, but over the years, my experience has been that if the contamination is dealt with in a timely fashion, plain old soap and water works just fine.
(And doesn’t expose you to MORE chemicals)

Mold Survivor June 13, 2011 - 7:28 pm

As not only a victim of toxic mold exposure but also a victim of cross contamination, I have learned the hard way to treat it like a fire and leave everything behind. There is no way to decontaminate the fungal fragments that get embedded in fabrics and they will continue making you sick. Here is an entry from Andrea Fabry’s blog momsagainstmold.org:

Toxicologist Dr. Jack Thrasher addresses the issue of cross-contamination this way:

The toxins produced by mold are basically free radicals, i.e. they have reactive oxygen radicals that bind to fabrics and can be released with time. Also, not only Stachybotrys, but other dangerous molds release fine particles as well as larger particles, e.g. spores. The fine particles (less than 1 micron) permeate fabrics and are not readily removed. In addition, the mold spores bind to fabrics and can lead to cross-contamination of the new environment.

Also, do not forget the presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria. They can be aerosolized and also contaminate furnishings and clothing.

Dr. Thrasher mentions the smaller particles. Smaller than mold spores. Let’s first consider the size of mold spores. According to Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Environmental Health and Safety link regarding mold spores:

Most fungal spores range from 1 to 100 microns in size with many types between 2 and 20 microns. People with good vision may see 80-100 micron particles unaided, but below that range, magnification is generally necessary.

To put things in perspective, you could place over 20 million five-micron spores on a postage stamp.

As for the smaller particles, a study conducted in 2005, and published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, demonstrates that “fungal fragments” may be deeply inhaled and cause significant problems. The study focuses on fragments and spores of three different fungal species (Aspergillus versicolor, Penicillium melinii, and Stachybotrys chartarum). All three were aerosolized by the fungal spore source strength tester. The conclusion:

Fungal fragments released from contaminated surfaces outnumber spores.


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