SLAYADRAGON mold testing question

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by boltchik, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. boltchik

    boltchik New Member

    Hi Lisa,

    Unfortunately I have turned into quite the skeptic these days when it comes to dealing with companies that make a lot of money. So, here's my question about the lab I sent my mold test to.

    Does it not make sense that some type of mold would have grown in that petri dish regardless of whether it is toxic or not? You leave it open for one hour in the suspect location. (Mine being an upstairs bathroom). If there is humidity, it is going to gather some type of moisture. And then you close the lid. A couple of hrs. after I closed the lid, there was condensation on the inside top of the lid.

    After 48 hrs, 4 small spots of mold appeared. I would think that this would normally occur. The company says, if no mold appears, you do not need to send in the petri dish. If mold does appear, send $30 for lab analysis to identify the type of mold you have. Wouldn't you think that most people get the mold result and send in their money? Should I be so skeptical?

    The website goes on and on about the stachy mold that you described. I sent in the sample today. I will get my results in 7 working days after they receive it, they give it to me via email. It could be nothing, or if they say it is stachy, I am wondering if they will refer me to someone they use for remediation. Or they may just give the results, I am speculating. I could be thinking about this way too hard.

    I hate to feel like this but there are way too many people and companies trying to scam people. What do you think?

    Thanks, Kim

    [This Message was Edited on 08/07/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/07/2008]
  2. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Kim,

    The problem that I have is that I just cannot see how stachy could start growing in that petri dish.

    Stachy is very slow to "catch fire." (Wrong element, but it's the best analogy I can think of.)

    Most molds are like thin dry sticks. They don't need much to start burning.

    Stachy is like a huge heavy less-dry tree trunk. You need a huge bonfire to start it. However, once it gets started going, you don't need to do anything to keep it going. It will burn down the neighborhood all by itself.

    In order for stachy spores to turn into live mold, you need a large amount of water (such as a leak or flood) for 24-48 hours.

    After that, stachy grows nicely without any additional water at all. All it needs is some cellulose (usually wallboard and/or lint in duct systems) and a humidity of 60% or higher.

    (Most other molds need a much higher humidity than 60% to grow.)

    That being said....I just cannot see that you could grow stachy in that petri dish.

    You conceivably could get some stachy spores to land on the petri dish, but I doubt it. Stachy spores are very heavy and never get very far up in the air. Instead, they disintegrate so that they're not recognizable as spores and then hook onto dust. That way they can spread easily all over the house, leaving little bits of poison (or a whole ton of poison) all over everything.

    Lisette used some mold detecting kit from Home Depot (I think it was from Home Depot). However, she had found some mold and wanted to know what kind it was, and so used the kit to have it analyzed. (It did turn out to be stachy.)

    So all in all....if the test says you have stachy, I would want more information about why they think that this can grow in a petri dish. This goes against everything I've ever heard about that mold.

    On the other hand, if it says that you don't have stachy, that would not be a reliable measure either.

    Do you have anything in your house that might be mold? Of particular interest are things that look like dark smears of dirt on the walls.

    If so, then I would send a sample of it off to be tested.

    Otherwise, I'd look into that ERMI test.

    Best, Lisa
  3. boltchik

    boltchik New Member

    Thanks for your input. I am taking all of this info. and trying to make the right choices. If the stachy doesn't get very far up in the air, it would make sense that it would not land on the petri dish. The petri dish was about 32" off the ground on my sink area. I suppose I could set one on the floor.

    The more and more I think about it, I feel I made need more testing like you suggested.

    There were some small spots of mold around the bathroom window, but I was thinking that was the regular mold/mildew that one gets in the bathroom area with moisture. I always clean it off with a bathroom cleaner.
    As far as dirt smears go, I'm not sure. I may have remembered one, but that was not in a suspect area and I think it may have been the kids (dirty little hands, Lol!)

    Well, thanks again for answering my question. I really appreciate your input. Kim :)
  4. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Even if you put the dish on the floor and caught some stachy spores though, it still wouldn't come to life.

  5. boltchik

    boltchik New Member

    Sorry that you have had to go through so much with mold poisoning. It looks as though you and slayadragon both have given me advice to go for further testing. I am also in So. Cal. If you get the name of a competent remediation company and it turns out I have stachy, I would be interested in that info. It's hard to know who to trust.

    I hope your family is being supportive and that you get the answers you are needing soon. Thanks for answering my post, I appreciate the info. you gave me. I take it Dr. Lin is in So. Cal? What area? I am in Riverside county, but near the San Diego county line in Temecula.

    Thanks again, Kim :)

  6. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    "Slayadragon says blood tests might not show infestation with stachybotrs, but I'm not sure why they wouldn't."

    What kind of blood test would show mold poisoning of any sort (much less a particular sort)?

    Dr. Shoemaker says clearly in "Mold Warriors" and on his web site that mold toxicity need to be inferred by results of a variety of tests (HLA DR genetic, MSH, C3a, C4a, etc.)

    Apparently ImmunoSciences used to have some kind of mold panel that Dr. Guyer really liked. They're not running tests these days though.

    If you find a test that can measure stachy or other molds in the body, I certainly would like to know about it!

    On another note, if you have CFS and merely move out of your dwelling, probably you won't get a lot of improvement.

    Getting rid of all belongings and then avoiding moldy places as you go through day-to-day life is likely necessary.

    Apparently CFS sufferers have extreme sensitivity to mold, with their complement (C3a and C4a) spiking with even a small exposure to it.

    This makes it similar to a peanut allergy in terms of significance.

    Getting away from the mold infected dwelling will give some improvements, but not get people to full wellness.

    If you want more info, feel free to contact me at ya hoo (same name).

    I'm in the process of writing a "manual" laying out the relevant issues that a group of us (erikmoldwarrior, khaly, josh/545, forbearance, lisette) are discovering as we attempt to deal with the issue of mold.

    I should be able to finish it soon. Hopefully ProHealth will allow me to provide info on the board that will allow people to access it.
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I think by far the best way to find out if you have a mold problem in your house is by testing not the dwelling but yourself.

    The way to do this (we think) is to get out of the house for a couple of weeks.

    Bring nothing from the house with you. No computer, no clothing, nothing. Buy whatever you need.

    You need to go to a place that is pretty free of mold for this to work.

    A tent in the desert would be ideal, but that's not practical for everyone.

    Otherwise, I suggest a place that feels good to you. I think that having a "homey" feeling is the best way to determine if some place doesn't have poison mold in it.

    Try not to go a place where you've put a lot of your stuff from home. That will ruin the experiment (or at least make the answer less dramatic).

    After two weeks, return to your dwelling.

    If it has mold in it, you almost certainly will have a terrible reaction....far worse than you did when living in the house.

    Be prepared to evacuate if so.

    If you don't feel any different when you go back to the house, the possibility that mold is an issue for you will seem to be a lot less.

    You still would want to get that ERMI test done though, I think.
  8. jenbooks13

    jenbooks13 New Member

    I got tested in about 2002 with Marinkovich's panel and I was off the charts on almost all molds. He told my doctor that it was highly unlikely to see such extreme results without mold in my environment.

    At the time I was just not aware of all that I am now. I kind of shrugged it off. Now because of Lisa's posts and my own experiments in my home, and reading on sickbuildings, I understand better. In fact, in the room that is the worst, I believe because of 75 years of weather exposure for this building, and the fact that they spent from 2000-2004 repointing brick and replacing girders, that there was enough water/wind damage to create pockets of wall cavities where there are mold spores that flare up in humid conditions.

    To the person with the window/bathroom spots, just use a moisture tester. I had some spots during the winter up near the top of the window. We moisture tested and the wall was dry. So it was just from condensation, and I wiped it clean with bleach. That kind of surface mold is pretty harmless imo, that's what people mean when they say "mold is everywhere."

    A serious infestation in your wall cavities, behind structures and from unknown leaks, is the problem. You can get a moisture tester and find most unknown leaks (if you own your place or care to).

    I think the idea Lisa has about get rid of all your belongings is likelier to be true with the molds that produce noxious toxins. For those that simply produce spores and are allergenic, I believe they could be degraded sufficiently with ozone, sunbaking, heat, or other means. Of course, I think it really depends on your own biotoxin load, your own genetics, it may be somewhat variable. Also, permeable materials are unfortunately less likely to be able to be "cleansed". I wonder if books can be cleansed. Think of the surface area of all those pages. And older furniture is less likely to be "clean" than, say, the surface of a mirror, or metal.
  9. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Who does the Marinkovich’s panel?

    The one thing that upsets me about Dr. Mary Beth Short-Ray’s mold book is that she says that stachy needs a constant water supply to grow.

    That is totally wrong. Once stachy gets going, it grows perfectly fine without any water at all. All it needs is 60% humidity or more. (And don’t think a dehumidifier will solve the problem! When stachy dries up, it release far more spores than it does when living.)

    For instance, I had a leak in my roof more than 10 years ago. The remediators said there was no evidence that there had been any water intrusion for a very long time. Nonetheless, they found a bunch of mold under two layers of drywall.

    The book to read with regard to really good information about remediation is called “Mold: The War Within,” by Kurt and Lee Ann Billings. There are some good interviews with top people in the back of it.

    So a moisture tester doesn’t do any good with regard to finding stachy either. It seems the only way to find out if it’s there is to look for spots of it and test them, or to do an ERMI test.

    Oh, definitely, the only kind of mold I ever talk about is poison mold!!! The other kind, in my opinion, is just a nuisance. The good thing about mould-works is that they identify all sorts of poisonous and non-poisonous molds as well as a poisonous bacteria. Other companies don’t seem to be as comprehensive.

    If you get a mold remediaton and your stuff doesn’t bother you, certainly you can keep it. (If the problem is really bad, you might want to get rid of porous items such as clothes, carpets, mattresses and upholstered furniture.) That’s what normal people would do. It’s only those of who are super-sensitive that need to worry about throwing stuff out.

    So far, those CFS sufferers who have tried the test about leaving their home and then coming back to it have gotten really sick upon return or become very ill just from exposure to possessions. (So far we have six: Erik, Forbearance, Khaly, Josh, Lisette and me.) And those of us who have avoided mold for more than six months have achieved health of 70% or more, from a baseline of 0% to 40%. (Josh started at 50% and reports now being at 90%.) Forbearance and Lisette have just started the process, and so it will be interesting to see what happens with them.

    I find 100% batting average in terms of mold reactivity and improvements to be extraordinary, especially since none of us had any idea that we had mold exposure. I certainly am not going to say that poison mold is a factor for all CFS patients, but it definitely seems to be a real issue for some of them.

    WIth regard to possession: Erik says that if you put them in storage for about 5 years, the poison will denature and you can get them back. (This may not apply to porous items.) I’m selling most of my stuff though.