The laboratory director of RealTime Laboratories talks about health concerns associated with water damage and mycotoxins.
Carrollton, TX, June 16, 2017 – When pipes break, roofs leak or water heaters rupture, many property owners view these concerns as pressing emergencies that demand immediate intervention. After all, fixing the source of a water leak can be critical for restoring a building or home to good working order. Once the source of a leak is fixed, some property owners may view repairing any associated water damaged areas with a reduced sense of urgency. This can be a mistake, experts say.
Dr. Dennis Hooper, laboratory director at RealTime Laboratories, stresses that water-damaged environments serve as perfect incubators for indoor mold growth. By leaving damaged organic materials, such as drywall, wood and ceiling tiles in place, people may inadvertently create a recipe for disaster.
“Water damage promotes the growth of molds that may prove toxic to humans in indoor environments,” explains Dr. Hooper. “When mold growth continues unabated, mycotoxins may be released into the environment. These toxic molecules have been strongly linked in numerous studies to a diversity of health concerns, ranging from chronic respiratory complaints to potentially life-threatening illnesses.”
Mitigating water damage immediately following a leak or rupture is strongly advised for property owners for these reasons and more:
- Safeguarding health – Cleaning up water damage before mold even has a chance to grow is the ideal for protecting health. If mold growth is already evident, it is often best to work with an environmental inspector to ensure safe removal and restoration of the property. Getting mold out of the indoor environment is important for removing contamination concerns.
- Preserving property – Mold allowed to grow unabated will eventually damage the integrity of organic materials, such as wood and drywall. Immediate intervention can protect property from more extensive damage.
- Reducing costs – Addressing water damage sooner rather than later may also save property owners money in medical and repair expenses.
“Most studies on the effects of mold and mycotoxin exposure have traceable roots back to water-damaged buildings,” says Dr. Hooper. “Making all necessary repairs following a leak or rupture can protect property and health alike. If mold and mycotoxin exposure are already suspected, it may be advisable to consider a urine panel text to confirm or deny human contamination.”
If mycotoxin exposure is a concern, a simple urine panel test can provide the information patients and doctors need to act. Mycotoxin panel tests may be ordered by physicians. In some states, patients may also order test kits for laboratory testing on their own. It generally takes about 10 business days for results to come back after samples are received by a lab.
To learn more about mycotoxin testing and the danger water-damaged buildings pose, visit RealTimeLab.com online.
About RealTime Laboratories Inc.
RealTime Labs (RTL) is the only clinical laboratory certified by CAP and CLIA to perform mycotoxin testing on humans. The test uses human urine and we perform an ELISA test to determine the presence or absence of 15 of the most toxic mycotoxins. The tests are generally ordered and given to the patient during an office visit. To date, more than 100,000 tests have been performed and our provider base is over 2000 physicians.