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.


As my two-year-old granddaughter says, “This is my jam.” I tested positive for Trichothecenes via the Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay (ELISA) (the urine test at RealTime Lab.) As so many of you have asked to know more about that, I thought I would share some info with you. It very well could be that what is wrong with you right now is that this very same toxin is destroying your health.

The trichothecene mycotoxins are a group of toxins produced by multiple genera of fungi. Some of these substances may be present as contaminants from mold or may occur naturally in foodstuffs or in livestock feeds.  Symptoms may occur among exposed humans or animals. The likelihood of developing adverse effects following exposure depends on such variables as:  toxin type and purity, dose, and duration of exposure. Dermal exposure in some situations could lead to burning pain, redness, and blisters, and oral exposure may lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Ocular exposure might result in blurred vision, and inhalational exposure might cause nasal irritation and cough. Systemic symptoms can develop with all routes of exposure (especially inhalation) and might include weakness, ataxia, hypotension, coagulopathy, and death.  (source: CDC)

Trichothecene mycotoxin (T-2) is a naturally occurring poison produced by fungi. This poison can slow down the production of protein and nucleic acid in the body. A purified form of T-2 may have been used in Laos and Cambodia (1975-1981), in Kampuchea (1979-1981) and in Afghanistan (1979-1981). It has been described as “yellow rain” because it is a yellow fluid. (source: Illinois Department of Public Health)

Trichothecenes are a very large family of chemically related mycotoxins produced by various species of Fusarium, Myrothecium, Trichoderma, Trichothecium, Cephalosporium, Verticimonosporium, and Stachybotrys.

(the source for the following information is Wikipedia.)

Fusarium is a large genus of filamentous fungi, part of a group often referred to as hyphomycetes, widely distributed in soil and associated with plants. Most species are harmless saprobes, and are relatively abundant members of the soil microbial community. Some species produce mycotoxins in cereal crops that can affect human and animal health if they enter the food chain. The main toxins produced by these Fusarium species are fumonisins and trichothecenes.

Myrothecium is a plant pathogen, it is common throughout the world, often found on materials such as paper, textiles, canvas and cotton. It is a highly potent cellulose decomposer.

Trichoderma is a genus of fungi that is present in all soils, where they are the most prevalent culturable fungi.

Trichothecium is a plant pathogen infecting many hosts.

Cephalosporium  is a plant pathogen that causes Cephalosporium Stripe of Wheat and other grasses. It was first reported in Japan in 1930.[1] The disease can cause yield losses of up to 50% by causing death of tillers and reducing seed production and seed size.[1] The disease causes broad yellow or brown stripes along the length of the leaf and discolouration of the leaf veins.

Stachybotrys (also known as S. chartarum and S. alternans) is a greenish-black fungus that can grow on materials with a high cellulose content (such as drywall sheetrock, dropped ceiling tiles and wood) that become chronically moist or water-damaged due to excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation or flooding. (It does NOT grow on plastic, vinyl, concrete products, or ceramic tiles). Stachybotrys atra (S. atra) is a relatively uncommon mold. It’s spores do not become easily airborne; therefore, contamination of indoor air by S. atra is unusual.