Lots of people suffer from conditions, such as depression, chronic fatigue and asthma. Most, however, do not have symptoms that come out of the blue after years of relative good health. When a serious, chronic health condition arises with little or no forewarning, environmental concerns may be at the root. For some people, the source of illness may very well trace back to mycotoxin exposure.
Mycotoxins are small, but dangerous molecules released by mold and fungi. When mold is able to grow within an indoor environment, these tiny molecules may enter the air and contaminate surfaces. People who are exposed to them through inhalation or other contact may become sickened. The symptoms and conditions mycotoxins may produce will vary based on the type of mold involved. Asthma, chronic sinus complaints, fatigue and even depression may all trace their roots to these contaminants. Serious, potentially fatal conditions are also linked to certain mycotoxins.
When mycotoxin exposure is suspected, it may be strongly recommended that people undergo testing. A simple urine screen may be able to confirm or deny the suspicion and determine the type of mycotoxin involved. Doing so can be important for these reasons and more:
- To identify the potential cause of illness – When people who enjoy generally good health are suddenly afflicted by a serious or chronic illness, understanding the source may lead to a cure or better treatment. If asthma, for example, was never a concern before a move into a home with a musty basement, mycotoxin contamination may be the blame. Knowing the cause may enable more adequate and effective treatment.
- To provide proof for environmental mitigation – When an illness is traced to “sick building syndrome,” having the proof of causation can be very important for ensuring the root issues are addressed. Landlords and employers, for example, may be reluctant to work with an environmental inspector to properly clean up water-damaged, mold-infested areas. When proof of contamination and exposure is available, the likelihood of mitigation taking place generally rises. This can help those who have been sickened enjoy cleaner, safer indoor environments. It may also serve to safeguard the health of others.
Mold is a perfectly natural part of the environment. When it is allowed to grow unchecked indoors, the mycotoxins produced may pose serious risks to people. Getting tested for mycotoxin exposure can be important for addressing health-related concerns and making sure damaged environments are addressed properly and safely.