MacFawn's Blog

Mold Detoxification How to Remove Harmful Mycotoxins From Your System

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, December 28, 2015

 Once you've been exposed to mold, it's important not only to remediate the mold from your home(s) and business(es), but to remove it from your system as well. Mold's mycotoxins, biotoxins and endotoxins have a great propensity to 'hide' within cells, thus rendering them difficult to test for and identify with standard laboratory examinations. Dr R. Shoemaker has been a pioneer in both identification of biotoxin pathways in the body, but also in formulating treatment regimines for those who have been exposed to toxic mold using mycotoxin binders. 

Mycotoxin binders are substances that have a great propensity to detox the system of harmful environmental toxins via the GI tract. By ingesting binders such as chlorella, fruit pectin, clay and food grade charcoal (all available at your local healthfood store), one can essentially detox their system using these substances (among many others) by ingesting prescribed amounts (under the care of a trained  practitioner) which will in effect, bind the harmful mycotoxins to itself and exit the body via natural digestion processes. 

For obvious reasons, substances such as clay and food grade charcoal must be consumed in small (and explicitly recommended) amounts so as not to interfere with natural digestive processes. Chlorella has been well evidenced not only to work well as a mycotoxin binder, but also as an anti-inflammatory and detoxifer for many other harmful internal pollutants. Fruit pectin, like chlorella has also been evidenced to have a great propensity to remove heavy metals from the system and has been used in alternative medicine for treating cancer. 

Family Effected By Mold Needs Your Help

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, December 21, 2015

Generally speaking, while we know mold's toxic byproducts are some of the most deadly known to man, we tend to overlook the individual case studies of persons/ families whose lives have become consumed by mold. We recently learned of a devastating case of mycotoxicity and these folks need y(our) help.

Mr. Parsons and his son were living in a dwelling that, over the years had instances of leaking moisture that eventually resulted in long term and chronic exposure to a myriad of mycotoxins that invaded their health, their bodies and yielded their livers incapable of metabolizing toxic substances, a reduction of 50% of [Mr. Parson's] lung capacity and a host of problems that can only be treated in ways their health insurance will not cover. If you are reading this, it's not too late to make a donation to these folks.

Things To Do Around The Capital Region This Holiday Season

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Friday, December 18, 2015

There is lots to do and see this holiday season in the Albany area and all around the Capital Region! A personal favorite for holiday cheer and historic landmark in Albany, is the Palace Theatre. Tonight, the Palace will screen the Christmas favorite, 'It's a Wonderful Life.' Tickets for films at the Palace Theatre for adults is $5 and for children, $3.

Also performing this evening, December 18th 2015, is Disney on Ice at the Times Union Center in Albany. And if you are a fan of the full Christmas Story experience on the holidays, you can enjoy a special stage performance at the Capital Rep Theatre this evening only!

Tomorrow, Sunday and Monday evening, watch as the stage comes to life for A Charlie Brown Christmas special, a rendition hosted by Albany's own Park Playhouse. If you are closer to Schenectady, you can also enjoy a special stage performance of A White Christmas at Proctors Theatre downtown; another amazing historic landmark.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your relationship with snow) it doesn't look like we will have a white Christmas here in the Capital Region with the 60 degree forecast ahead, but Proctors will make a White Christmas possible after all!

Finally, if you haven't made your New Year's Eve plans, now's the time to start planning. We have First Night in Saratoga and lots to do in Albany this year! Moe is coming back for another encore NYE performance for all yee jamband fanatics if First Night doesn't strike you as something you'd like. MiSci is hosting a special Noon Year's Eve for a special child friendly New Year's Eve celebration of the New Year at 12:00 PM at their site in the RPI Tech Park. For a comprehensive review of all Capital Region events, galas and family friendly activities, sign up to receive our newsletter each month and never miss another great Capital Region event again!

The Problem With Home Mold Testing Kits

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

There are many issues homeowners face when mold becomes a reality of the home environment. As such, consumer industries often exploit intrinsic human fears for health and safety by offering products that are advertised as being accurate, effective and safe with the ultimate function of leading the buyer to believe that they will make a more informed choice moving forward. Mold testing kits are one of these product types in many ways. For the do it yourself types, these kits will establish values that will inform the individual generally that 1) there is mold present 2) that it needs to be cleaned up.

The problem with these kits are many. Mold is ubiquitous to the environment and as such, mold test kit results can often be misleading. Consumer Reports have repeatedly indicated that 'mold test kits are unreliable' and advised AGAINST using them. This reliability factor has been attributed to a number of different reasons including but not limited to: mold re-existing in the test itself, no expiration date on the kit thereby rendering some kits outdated and unable to perform testing properly, inability to track certain species of mold that are hazardous and misleading consumers to believe that a 'positive' spore count is cause of remediation.    

 If a mold test kit is expired and doesn't pick up on certain species that can lead to exposure to carcinogenic mycotoxins, the consumer lives unaware of their long term exposure. If the mold test kit indicates values that lead a consumer to believe that the mold must be removed, people will often move forward with attempts to do so and put themselves at risk for exposure without proper training or PPE. If mold test kits are expired and not functioning properly, the test becomes moot and moveing forward with any decision hence, would be an uninformed decision.

Mold test kits are similar to an antibiotic prescription when someone falls ill with a virus. There is a type of illusionary effect that consumers take on in which they are led to believe that they are taking action in light of a problem. Ultimately, if a space is truly effected by mold, the best and only decision to make is 1) where you will stay for a day or two while it's being remediated and 2) which Industrial Hygenist will preform the mold test for you 2) which mold remediation professional you will hire to service your structure. The Industrial Hygenist is an Environmental Scientist who will not only test for all relevant types of mold, but will then move forward with a remediation plan that the mold remediator will put in place and execute before the clearance test. This process is a type of insurance plan that insures that you will have undisputable verification of the types of mold in your home or structure, what LEVEL of mold presence is in the structure as compared with what is naturally occurring in the environment, that it will be cleaned effectively without spreading deadly spores and toxins throughout your home and that it will be tested to ensure that it has in fact been remediated. Generally speaking, this process can also ensure that the root cause of the problem is addressed as well so that the mold doesn't re-appear in time.

AFB1 and AFM1 Two of The Most Deadly Known Carcinogens

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Thursday, December 10, 2015
MOLD FACT: Did you know that [Aspergillis] one of the TOP 4 MOST COMMMON TYPES OF MOLD IN THE HOME produces toxins that are among the most dangers human carcinogens known to man?
These [Alfatoxins] are in fact so dangerous that the FDA has mandated a maximum of 5 ppb (parts per billion) in food and dairy!
There is a well established causative link between aflatoxin and lung/ liver cancer(s). [AFB-1] found in Aspergillis species; which can be found on surfaces in proximity to mold and hence ingested, inhaled or absorbed is generally the culprit in non smoking related lung cancer cases. [AFM1] is the metabolic byproduct that is metabolized inside the body when one ingests food items (with AFB1). AFM1 as any other substance in the body is then metabolized by the liver, where it can wreak havoc on the liver and effect DNA / cell replication leading to liver cancer.
It is imperative that if you have reason to believe that your home or business could have mold, that you address it with caution and call in a professional. It is NEVER a good idea to address mold without proper respiratory protection and other PPE. Mold remediation is a complicated process in which the area is contained so that it cannot spread and all airflow is controlled. Simply placing an air cleaner in the affected region can actually cause more harm than good if the air is moving and mold spores (and Aflatoxins) are spread about the areas proximal to air cleaning unit(s).

The Most Common Molds Inside The Home: Effects

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The four most common types of household mold and their relative mycotoxin(s)/ and mycotoxic/ endotoxic effects. The effect column is a basic generalization of health hazards associated with respective species. However, this can be seen as the 'tip of the iceberg' when it comes to health hazards, as they are too enumerous to count. The scientific evidence contrary to the CDC claims that mold can only affect immunocompromised as been refuted and validated by the scientific community and hence, action has been taken by congress to eliminate mold exposure.

What We Know About the Many Mycotoxins of Mold

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, December 07, 2015

The conundrum with mold exposure and health risks associated with such exposure, is that mold itself is not harmful to humans. Like any other life form however, mold has the ability to release it's own toxins and it does this by way of small molecular arrangements that carry on much like the way mold itself. In this respect, these by-products of mold can be seen as the culprit in terms of what is actually causing health issues in a case where there is mold present in the environment.

There are many types of mold, each having it's own biological specificity and each with toxins that also carry specificity in terms of what types of problems they can cause for the human.   What we've discussed so far are the Aflatoxins produced by the [quite common] household mold Aspergillis, which can lead to all sorts of problems including: liver cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, asthma, bronchitis, dermatitis and more; Cladosporidium is noted by the CDC as being one of the most deadly fungi known to man causing sinus, skin and brain infections. Cladiosporidium was traced back to an out break of fungal meningitis recently in many states too! Another common type of household mold is Stachybotrys, which produces a very deadly mycotoxin called trichothecenes. Trichothecenes induced mycotoxicity has been associated with pulmonary hemorrhage, general lethargy and [also] liver cancer. Believe it or not, Trichothecenes has been used as a biological weapon [a.k.a. Yellow Rain] whereas those effected almost immediately experienced blistering of the skin, headache, fatigue, general confusion and loss of heightened senses due to the neurological damage that particular mycotoxin causes. 

 Aspergillis (associated with aflatoxins) Cladosporidium and Alternaria sp. (including Stachybotrys) are all very commonly found indoors and especially in Mold Remediation jobs. All too often, homeowners don't understand the extraordinary danger in approaching a job where these species are present. It is critical that proper personal protective equipment, respiratory ventilation, air filtration and containment be used when in the presence of these types of mold. Simply utilizing an air cleaner will only make matters worse by creating airflow that could spread the mold throughout the structure (thereby affecting more people). The first thing that needs to happen with ANY structure suspect of having mold growth, is to have it tested by a qualified Industrial Hygenist so that you know what exactly you're dealing with. Then and only then, can a true plan be placed in action for remediation. If you have any questions, please call us anytime. We are always here to help! 1-877-MAC FAWN or (518) 785-6719

Rubber Duckies: Carriers of Deadly Mold

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Thursday, December 03, 2015

All too often, mold is ubiquitous to bathrooms and kitchens. However, it is seldom that the root cause of the problem originates from a children's bath toy. Often in a case of black mold remediation, we seek out the source in terms of where moisture might enter a room due to structural inefficiencies such as a pipe fracture, broken roof shingles allowing moisture in and other such circumstance. In a residence where children reside, there is another culprit that may contribute to the dissemination of mold spores throughout one's bathroom, and that is our favorite yellow friend, The Rubber Duckie. Springfield Indoor Air Quality performed an independent study that aimed to examine the mold spore count in a variety of small children's bath toys and what they found was frightening. The standard count of mold spores this outfit uses in similar special confines is a baseline of 30. In just one toy selected, there was a mold spore count of 4554. On examination using microscopy, the primary mold type in this particular toy was cladosporidium.  This particular mold is one that has been evidenced to lead to sinus, skin, eye and even brain infections. In many states, cladosporidium was linked to many cases of fungal meningitis. As such, it is imperative that if you recognize any discoloration in any of your children's bathtoys to discard of them immediately.

The 33rd Annual Victorian Stroll This Sunday

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

There is lots to do and see this month as the Capital Region lights up with holiday spirit. Each year one of the most festive events of the season, The Victorian Stroll transforms the streets of various communities including: Downtown Troy, Downtown Saratoga Springs and Hudson.

 The Victorian Stroll in Downtown Troy is an event that people wait for all year. Located in the historic downtown district of 2nd Street, nestled in amongst boutique shoppes, eateries and art galleries, the Victorian Stroll in Downtown Troy will happen this Sunday, December 6 from 11:00-5:00. This festival is the Northeast's largest free holiday festival bringing in more than 100 entertainers throughout the day. With music, dancing, arts and crafts, great food, rides for children and lots to do and see, the Victorian Stroll downtown on Sunday is one not to miss.