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MoldBlogger Interview: Lisa and Ron Beres

Q. Being advocates for healthy homes, how often do you get contacted concerning black mold and how to remove it?

Lisa: We get contacted quite often for mold inquiries from people all across the country, but most people are unaware if they actually have mold, the scope of the problem or how to properly remove it. Many people will experience hay fever like symptoms, but if they can’t see visible mold, they tend to think it doesn’t exist or isn’t a real threat.

Ron: We always start by advising the person test, not guess. Too many people unknowingly put themselves and/or their loved ones in danger by ignoring the visible signs of moisture or water damage and/or a musty smell. They assume it will go away on its own. Many people wait too long before addressing the root cause of the issue – typically a leaky water source.
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Black Mold Encounters – A Story about Mold Exposure

My first few months of college became a miserable experience. Not because I had trouble adjusting or was homesick. I became terribly ill. Most nights I obtained very little sleep because I was coughing so profusely that I fractured a rib and would often gag and throw up as a consequence. During class, I always had to choose a seat based on easy exit and carried a plastic bag in case I couldn’t get out quickly enough and my coughing fits turned into gagging and then to regurgitation. I sought medical care with doctors and became an experiment. No one knew what was causing my health problems. I was given allergy medications, steroids, etc. Nothing helped. By this time each cough was terribly painful due to the fractured rib. I remember one night I was so desperate to get some sleep and relief from the hacking that I called home crying. My dad came to visit the next day, and I visited the doctor again.

My sister, who was also my roommate in college, began to suspect something with the air-conditioning filter. She called several times to have it replaced. Finally, after several months it was changed. I began to slowly improve. Eventually I stopped coughing and my rib healed.

More Exposure

Fast forward about five years. My husband and I moved to the west coast. The first two nights we stayed in a building that had visible mold. I had by this time suspected that my problems in college were due to a moldy air-conditioning filter because after this, every time I was around mold I developed a headache, and sometimes other symptoms. By the next morning I had a pounding headache which progressed to one of the worst headaches of my life. Pain medications did not seem to provide any relief. I told my husband that I couldn’t stay in that place any more. I would prefer to sleep in the car.

We found another location to live and I recovered. I still develop symptoms each time I enter a building with mold. I am not sure why my husband or my sister did not have noticeable reactions to mold, yet I felt horrible. I do not know if that first experience in college is what caused my sensitivity to mold which persists today. I do know that toxic mold has ruined and altered many lives. I know that there needs to be a more pervasive awareness of toxic mold and the consequences of mold exposure. I hope we can share more of our experiences and expand the information available that can save others from this life-changing encounter.

Krystle Reeves assists in managing MoldBlogger.com. She has experienced firsthand some of the physical distress mold can cause and hopes to help others find solutions and information for mold-related issues.

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