What are Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds naturally produced by fungi that are capable of causing a wide range of negative health effects in humans and animals. Researchers have identified over 300 mycotoxins already and believe that many have yet to be discovered. So far, government regulations focus on mycotoxins in relation to food (which is very important) but have not dealt with the toxic microorganisms in homes.
Molds produce mycotoxins as a self-defense mechanism when they feel threatened. What makes them feel threatened? As of now, scientists aren’t completely sure. Some evidence points to WiFi and electromagnetic frequencies, but we just don’t know the answer yet.
Mycotoxins and Health
Mycotoxins produce a wide range of health symptoms including:
- Brain fog
- Respiratory issues
- Digestive issues
- Chronic fatigue
- Autoimmune diseases
- Neurological issues
Researchers are continuing to study the full effects of these toxins, but all agree that they are not what we want in your home environment. To ensure your safety, All American Restoration’s contamination remediation strategy always includes mycotoxins and we guarantee to eradicate them under our remediation standards. If you are not able to use us for any reason, here are some resources and research so that you can ensure that mycotoxins are eliminated from your environment. Everyone deserves to live a healthy and happy life!
Why Mycotoxins Are Dangerous
Mycotoxins cause mycoses and mycotoxicoses. Mycoses is the umbrella word for fungal diseases and occurs when we breathe the toxin in or comes in contact with our skin. Mycotoxicoses is the umbrella word for diseases caused by ingesting mycotoxins.
Mycoses range from annoying (e.g. athlete’s foot) to life-threatening (e.g. invasive aspergillosis). The fungi that cause mycoses can be divided into two categories: primary pathogens and opportunistic pathogens.
A) Primary Pathogens: affect healthy individuals with normal immune systems
B) Opportunistic Pathogens: affect immunocompromised individuals such as those suffering from diabetes or cancer
Unfortunately, the majority of human mycoses are caused by opportunistic fungi (149, 172, 245, 265).
How the diseases develop for both types of fungi are complicated and researchers are continuing to try to better understand how they affect the human body. We do know that some of the diseases only cause localized infections, while others cause systemic infections. That means they affect the entire body, not just one part. For many mycoses, toxins are inhaled, but direct exposure through skin contact is not uncommon.
Mycotoxicoses are examples of “poisoning by natural means” which means the body is affected by ingesting mycotoxins.
Symptoms of a mycotoxicosis contracted disease depend on a couple of factors including:
- The type of mycotoxin
- The amount and duration of exposure
- Age, health, and sex of the exposed individuals
Again, research is still ongoing. Scientists are continuing to look at different aspects like how pre-existing conditions (think vitamins deficiency or alcohol abuse) affect symptoms and severity of mycotoxin exposure. There’s a lot more about these toxins that we still need to understand.
How to Remove Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins bond to surfaces when produced, similar to a chemical residue. Kind of like when you wash a plate by hand but don’t quite rinse it enough, leaving that slick sticky feeling behind. Once it dries, it takes double the time to get all of that residue off.
When we realized the comparison, we tried using the chemical residue removal guidelines and found that it worked. The technique involves a thorough cleaning using an anti-microbial with a surfactant (a substance used to reduce surface tension) to help separate the mycotoxins from the surface we’re cleaning.
Seems simple enough, but it took us years of trial by error to fully develop a proven, successful system. When we started as a company, we noticed that the first time you wipe away mycotoxins, it actually brings more toxins to the surface than before. When we persisted and cleaned the surface again, the number of toxins finally decreased. When cleaned a third time? We almost eliminated all of the microorganisms.
1. Use Benefect Decon 30 for cleaning (it’s a botanical disinfectant with the optimum amount of surfactant to help separate the toxin from the surface)
2. Use a microfiber towel
3. Wipe at least 3-4 times to ensure the toxin is removed from the surface
That’s only the method for solid surfaces though. Porous surfaces (like fabric) are a bit trickier. And unfortunately, the toxins bond much more easily to these kinds of exteriors. For machine-washable contents like clothing, there are products such as the EC3 Laundry Additive that are 99.97% effective at removing mycotoxins. For problematic surfaces like fabric couches, we recommend our contents guide here to learn more.
Please note that each doctor and regiment is different. We ask that you consult with your doctor and licensed inspector to discuss the levels of mold found in your home before inquiring about services to remove these toxins.
Read more about mycotoxins
Please visit the World Health Organization website:
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