Karen, I AM Somebody

Art and photo credit by Karen (along with the video)

Karen is a mold warrior.  Exposure at work made her sick.  She felt like she was going to die.  Traditional doctors dismissed her illness as “stress”.  She used retirement funds to get help and saw a mold doctor.  She was diagnosed with CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity).  She describes brain swelling and inflammation as “a very bad thing” when exposed to mold, gasoline, cigarette smoke, and perfume.  Her painting above is titled “Brain On Fire”.  Many environmentally poisoned individuals describe the brain inflammation in this way.

This video also paints the picture of the chaos, the fear, the panic and the solitude many mold sick people endure.  All in an effort to seek safe housing and safe air.  Many are alone and limited in their ability to participate in the things that used to bring them joy.  But, despite the struggle, or perhaps even because of the struggle, Karen is definitely somebody.


Is Toxic Mold A Factor in Your ME/CFS?

CFS beach


Studies of ME/CFS 

  • 2013 study ME/CFS patients 93% of participants  (104 out of 112) had at least one mycotoxin in their urine. 
  •  2015 UK Study 1 in 50 16 year olds are affected with ME/CFS
  • Teens missed average of more than a half a day of school a week
  • Girls 2x more likely to be diagnosed with ME/CFS
  • Most often occurred in families experiencing adversity, (poor housing, financial, other stressors)
  • 94% of children with CFS/ME reported being disbelieved



Erik Johnson Was Right


Erik Johnson knew toxic mold was a significant factor in his illness. He found clusters of mystery malady in locations where toxic mold was lurking and told researchers to study the link between CFS and toxic mold way back in the 1980’s. Erik served as a prototype for the Holmes CFS definition, as he was one of the 160 who became ill in the Lake Tahoe incident.


Erik walked out of the ampligen program, an experimental immune modulating drug treatment for CFS, to try mold avoidance instead, and within six months, climbed Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous USA, to demonstrate his level of recovery. In the years since, has taken many people with CFS on a “CFS History Mold Tour” and showed them how to do the same.


Feedback from Mold Exposed

  • We polled 144 Facebook Toxic Mold Support Group Members
  • 91% of those polled believed that their exposure to toxic mold played a significant role in their development of ME/CFS.
  • 8% Percent was unsure if mold had played a significant role
  • 1% percent felt that mold was not a significant factor in their development of ME/CFS.

Of course this does not mean mold is ALWAYS a significant factor or the ONLY factor in ME/CFS. What it does tell us is that mold CAN be a cause and needs to be considered by those who have ME/CFS. Toxic mold can be hidden and despite what many think toxic mold can even be lurking in new homes, it can be behind walls, and it can be directly affecting your health. Have you tested your environment to see if it is causing your symptoms? It could be just that simple..


Online Poll: Top Supplements for Mold Illness

Closeup of Echinacea extract pills and fresh Echinacea flowers and leaves best suited for alternative medicine ads

Recently, we polled Facebook Mold Groups and asked them what supplements are helping them the most with their illness. There were many answers but these were by far the top supplements chosen.

Magnesium (47 Votes)
Probiotics (37)
Charcoal (32)
Epsom Salts (27)
Gluten Avoidance (24)
CSM (Cholestyramine) (21)
High Dose Vitamin D (17)
Zinc (13)
Fish Oil (11)
Liposomal Vitamin C and High Dose Vitamin C (tied) (10)
Essential Oils (9)
Glutathione, Turmeric, and Full Extract Cannabis Oil (tied) (8)

Honorable mentions go the following…
Intramax (6)
Mostly Raw Vegan Diet (6)
Meat Protein (6)
Green Juicing (6)
Silver (6)
Milk Thistle (6)
Vitamin E (6)
Curcumin (6)
Neti Pot (5)
Bentonite Clay (5)
Baking Soda (5)
Digestive Enzymes (5)
Garlic (5)
Gluten free, sugar, dairy, egg, and corn free diet (5)
Fasting (4)
Chlorella (4)
Apple Cider Vinegar (4)
L-Theanine (4)
Alpha Lipoic Acid (4)
BEG Spray (4)
Activated Folic Acid (4)
Ionic Foot Bath (4)
Molybdenum (4)
Coconut Oil (3)
Coffee Enema (3)
Zeolite (3)
Rosemary (3)
Selenium (3)
Boswellia (3)
Thieves Oil (3)
MCT Oil (3)
Saccharomyces Boulardii (3)
CoQ10 (2)
Bee Venom (2)
Welchol (2)
Drinking Olive Oil and Lemon (2)
Oxygen (2)
Flaxseed Oil (2)
B-12 (2)
Calm (2)
Asea (2)
Spices, Cinnamon, Cloves, (2)
Vasopressin (2)
Weed (2)
Parasite Cleanse (1)
Dhea-S (1)
Noni Juice (1)
Restore (1)
DMSA (1)
Univera Xtra (1)
Moringa (1)
Trans Factor (1)
Boron (1)
Niacin (1)
Iodine (1)
Chlorophyll (1)
Chloro Oxygen (1)

Igniting the Torch


By Margaret Novins

As noted in the entry in September, Sher Bailey passed the torch of her Facebook group, Black Mold Symptoms, to Sandy and myself. We asked Kelli to join our team. This month Sher offered an opportunity to take over this website.

First it needs to be stated that there is no personal gain involved in this venture. If funds are generated in the future, it will be fully disclosed and transparent. Any profits will be used for the good of the mold sick community. Currently, running this site is an expense and a labor of love. We don’t advocate or discourage any medical or environmental protocols. Individuals are expected to make decisions on a personal level. A variety of information will be shared here.

Sher did a wonderful job of bringing awareness to the topic of toxic mold over the past year. Her message was far reaching. She continues to share her journey on her website sherbailey.com. In fact, we encourage people to read where she is at in her journey now. She recently posted about depression so devastating it resulted in attempted suicide.  She is focused again on healing. See http://sherbailey.com/depression/

Mold and mycotoxin poisoning can cause depression. Dr. Mary Ackerley is an integrative psychiatrist who presented the keynote address at the Surviving Mold conference in November titled “Brain on Fire”. She addresses depression as an illness resulting from chronic inflammation and she identifies one of the conditions leading to this inflammation as mold exposure.

Sadly, Kelli knows this all too well. Part of her family’s mold journey includes not only losing her health, her home and her possessions, but she also lost her son Jared. You see… he took his own life at the age of 17. It can’t be denied that mold was a tragic part of his story. He even testified at a senate hearing about the horrible impact mold had on his family. Before Jared died he told his mom “I want to be somebody”.

Jared, you definitely are somebody. Your mom will make sure your story brings light to the darkness of this topic. Awareness. Hope. Change. Consider the torch ignited.

Toxic Mold: Reader Questions

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Y’all, there are currently (no exaggeration) hundreds of comments, questions, and emails about my toxic mold illness waiting for me to answer. I am so over my head.

I’m going to try to do a better job of answering as many as I can, here, on Toxic Mold Illness. 

Today I’m answering a question I see frequently. It’s from a reader named Kimberly who is super frustrated about being tested for mycotoxins.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_raw_html]JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyJTJGJTJGd3d3LmNjdi5hZG9iZS5jb20lMkZ2MSUyRnBsYXllciUyRjJKVHZmNEREdmpqJTJGZW1iZWQlMjIlMjB3aWR0aCUzRCUyMjk2MCUyMiUyMGhlaWdodCUzRCUyMjU0MCUyMiUyMGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyJTNEJTIyMCUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]If you have a question you’d like to ask, click “contact me” at the top of this page.

I also encourage you to join our Facebook group, where you’ll have lots & lots of people who want to help you find answers as well.



Be careful.

Things are going well with my treatment. I’m definitely beginning to see glimmers of health, and I can barely contain my excitement sometimes.

I’m having an easier time with the stairs now, unless I try to go up and down them too often. I’m able to walk around quite a bit more before I get so fatigued. I’m only in month three, so I know it’s early, but wow… is it ever an intoxicating idea that I could be “normal” in a few more months.

I’m struggling with some things I see going on in the Facebook group (Black Mold Symptoms). Currently there are nearly 5,000 of you who come there hoping for help, advice, and support. Amazing.

What concerns me are the folks who, although likely well-meaning, are presenting information as though it’s undisputed fact. I’m not sure what to do about it, other than removing people from the group. I hate doing that.

Here’s how you can keep yourself safe:

It’s imperative that you look for published, peer-reviewed, work on the subject of toxic mold. If you don’t know what that means, here is a great explanation.

If you’re told that peer-reviewed work isn’t important, stop listening.

When someone says a doctor is “the best,” ask whether they have personal experience with them.

When you are given a list of blood tests you absolutely have to have, or you are told to go take medicines or supplements, or you are in any way being “diagnosed,” remember that you’re not receiving this information from a doctor. You’re hearing it from someone you met on the internet in a Facebook group.

Protect yourself. Don’t take things at face value. Research. Read. Be careful.



Mold in My House – What Your State Says About Residential Mold

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]When it comes to mold in your house, there are no simple answers. That’s largely because there is no federal law which sets permissible exposure limits or building tolerance standards for mold in residential buildings.

How much mold is too much? Our government is essentially saying it just doesn’t know.

Below I’ve created a list of the fifty states in the US, and what, if anything, each state has to say about mold in your home – whether you rent or own.

I’ll continue to update it as I find more info.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1426452196066{background-color: #d5eded !important;}”][vc_toggle title=”Alabama” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Currently there are no Alabama laws concerning residential or commercial building mold standards, testing requirements, nor is there any contractor accreditation/certification for contractors performing mold testing or remediation activities.

If you rent and are having issues with your landlord, learn what rights you have as a tenant by reviewing Alabama’s Landlord-Tenant Law fact sheet or obtain the brochure A Decent Place to Live.

Alabama Public Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Alaska” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]The rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords with respect to mold can vary depending on the terms of the lease contract, the cause of the mold growth, and local (e.g., municipal) codes. For example, local property maintenance codes require that rental units be habitable and in good repair. If a rental unit becomes uninhabitable (not livable), this might constitute a breach of the lease. Refer to the publication, The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What it Means to You.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Arizona” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Arizona Department of Health Services

Call 12: Law gives landlords advantage in disputes[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Arkansas” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]”Arkansas renters have fewer rights than those in any other state. For example: Arkansas is the only state in the nation without an implied warranty of habitability, which means Arkansas landlords are not required to make repairs or maintain their properties. Arkansas is one of only 10 states that don’t prohibit retaliatory eviction.” Arkansas Times

While mechanical issues are covered by code, in cities where code exists, there are no guidelines for problems such as mold.

Read more here…[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1426452258990{background-color: #d5eded !important;}”][vc_toggle title=”California” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]California Department of Public Health [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Colorado” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Currently, I can find no definitive information regarding any laws or statutes covering mold in Colorado.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Connecticut ” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Connecticut Guidelines for Mold Abatement Contractors[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Delaware” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]State of Delaware

Contact the Delaware Division of Public Health[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1426452238916{background-color: #d5eded !important;}”][vc_toggle title=”Florida” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Florida Department of Health

For information regarding licensure of mold assessors or mold remediators in Florida – click here.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Georgia” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]”Environmental Health frequently receives mold complaints and inquiries from the public with problems in tourist accommodations, private residences and rental property. Program staff provides information to assist callers with their concerns but the Env Health Section only regulates the tourist accommodations segment (hotels, motels, etc). ” – Georgia Department of Public Health

A rental property may be subject to a local housing code. You can contact local county or city officials to determine if a code is applicable in your area. Generally speaking, these codes do not contain or enforce any mold related standard. Therefore, all renters should become familiar with how the landlord-tenant relationship works to resolve disputes or problems.

Georgia’s web site guide to free legal information and legal services.

 [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Hawaii” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Indoor air quality info @ Hawaii.gov.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Idaho” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]”If a landlord fails or refuses to make necessary repairs, the tenant can take steps to ensure the mold problem is resolved.” – Idaho.gov

Idaho “Mold in Rentals” information – click here.[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1426452275910{background-color: #d5eded !important;}”][vc_toggle title=”Illinois” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]In 2003, the Illinois General Assembly adopted House Joint Resolution 12, which established the Joint Task Force on Mold in Indoor Environments. This task force examined the mold issue in Illinois and made recommendations to the General Assembly about the regulation of mold in indoor environments in Illinois. In 2007, the Mold Remediation Registration Act was passed into law. This law requires that IDPH annually report to the General Assembly any federal research and regulations related to mold cleanup and standards for mold remediation training.

IDPH fact sheet[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Indiana” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Indiana State Department of Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Iowa” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Iowa Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Kansas” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Kansas Department of Health and Environment

 [/vc_toggle][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_toggle title=”Kentucky” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Kentucky’s new administrative regulation for mold remediation went into effect on December 7, 2012.  – Kentucky AG’s Office

Kentucky has not established laws or regulations concerning mold contamination.

Environmental Management Branch[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Louisiana ” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]According to Act 308 of the 2003 Legislative Session (R.S 9:3196-9:3199), a seller of residential property in Louisiana must provide a Propoerty Disclosure Statement, which should include information on previous or current mold problems.

Louisiana Department of Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Maine” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]I have found no info as of yet.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Maryland” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Mold Remediation Services – Maryland Home Improvement Commission

The General Assembly has passed The Maryland Mold Remediation Services Act. This law is printed in Title 7 of the Home Improvement Law, contained in the Business Regulation Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_toggle title=”Massachusetts” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Currently, I’ve found no info regarding mold in this state.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Michigan” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Michigan Department of Human Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Minnesota” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Minnesota Department of Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Mississippi ” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Mississippi State Department of Health[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_toggle title=”Missouri” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Montana” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Montana Mold Disclosure Act[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Nebraska” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Currently, I’ve found no info regarding mold in this state.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Nevada” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Nevada State Health Division[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_toggle title=”New Hampshire” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Standard of Care for the New Hampshire Mold Industry [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”New Jersey” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]State of New Jersey Mold Guidelines[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”New Mexico” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]New Mexico Department of Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”New York” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]New York State Toxic Mold Task Force Final Report to the Governor and Legislature


NY Department of Health[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1426452296221{background-color: #d5eded !important;}”][vc_toggle title=”North Carolina” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]

Landlord-Tenant Issues: Who’s Responsible For Mold & Repairs – WFMY News

[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”North Dakota” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]North Dakota Department of Health Indoor Air Quality[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Ohio” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Ohio State Bar -Mold: An Old Contaminant Creates New Concerns for Homeowners[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Oklahoma” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]OK.gov[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1426452319195{background-color: #d5eded !important;}”][vc_toggle title=”Pennsylvania” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Pennsylvania Mold Management Task Force Report

 [/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Rhode Island” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Dept. of Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”South Carolina” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Currently, I’ve found no information regarding mold for this state.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”South Dakota” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1426452341412{background-color: #d5eded !important;}”][vc_toggle title=”Tennessee ” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Department of Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Texas” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Rules & regulations regarding mold.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Utah” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Environmental Public Health Tracking[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Vermont” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Vermont Department of Health[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1426452356379{background-color: #d5eded !important;}”][vc_toggle title=”Virginia” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Virginia Department of Health[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Washington” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]

Renters, Landlords, and Mold

[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”West Virginia” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Wisconsin” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Department of Health Services[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Wyoming” style=”default” color=”Default” size=”md” open=”false”]Currently, I’ve found no info regarding mold for this state.[/vc_toggle][/vc_column][/vc_row]