When someone discovers they have a mold problem in their home or other living space, they often wonder how to deal with the situation. The most important thing to do first is to follow the First Rule of Toxicology and “remove the person from the toxin, or the toxin from the person” (Campbell, personal communication, April 6, 2021). In this case, the toxin is mold and the chemical byproducts mold produces, including mycotoxins, are dangerous to human health (Campbell, personal communication, April 6, 2021).
In the case of water/mold damage, a person needs to stop the source of the water/mold damage as quickly as possible. Working with professional water/mold remediators is the wisest choice to ensure the building returns to a healthy state. If the area of mold contamination is more than 10 square feet (roughly an area greater than 3 feet by 3 feet), then, according to the EPA, it should be professionally remediated (2).
My husband and I personally experienced the necessity of working with professional water/mold remediators for our home after the severe February 2021 winter storm in our region of Texas. They did a great job of safely removing the water/mold damage and we now have a certificate of proof that our home has been fully remediated. Now we are in the remodel phase and our walls are being restored back to normal. Yay!
But, our mold issues are not over, as we have discovered another source of mold in our home – and that source is old books! My husband has been a bibliophile for many decades, which has resulted in him accumulating a large number of books, to put it mildly.
Well, it turns out that some people are very sensitive to mold in their environment outside of having a big water leak from a pipe burst. Some people are being exposed to mold from their collection of old books because mold loves to grow on paper!
We were fortunate to be able to communicate with Dr. Andrew Campbell after completing MyMycoLab mycotoxin blood testing. The results confirmed the presence of a current exposure to mycotoxins which come from mold.
So, having remediated our home as described above, we are now working on eliminating mold from any other nooks and crannies in our home, which is why we are focusing on the old books that my husband loves.
Dr. Campbell’s advice for treating books to free them of mold and mycotoxins is to treat the books with ozone gas (personal communication, July 7, 2021). This can be achieved with the use of the proper ozone generator.
Ozone (O3) is known to degrade mold and mycotoxins (Awuchi, 2021). The process of using ozone gas for this purpose is called ozonation. Ozonation is used in many different types of commercial applications to eliminate mold and mycotoxins, such as agriculture, and does not leave any toxic residue (Awuchi, 2021).
We are in the process of setting up an enclosed area for the books to be treated with the ozone gas. In order for the ozonation of books to be effective, they must be opened up (fanning the pages open) so that the ozone gas can penetrate into the book itself. This is a totally new adventure we are embarking on to help clean up our home in order to optimize our health. We will keep you posted on how this goes!
Life is always a big adventure! Stay well and May the Horse be with You Always!
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