When Brittany Murphy, the young Hollywood actress who appeared in the movies Sin City and Clueless, died in December 2009, it was rumored that either an eating disorder or an overdose of drugs had killed her. She was just 32 years old at that time. Nobody would have suspected her real killer if it were not for what followed 5 months later.
The death of her husband, Simon Monjack, in May 2010, raised suspicions about the real reason behind their deaths. Monjack was a British screenwriter, and was only 40 years old at the time of his death purportedly from heart failure. However, the similarity in their officially recorded causes of death?anemia and pneumonia?triggered speculations that their deaths were caused by toxic black mold sickness in their infested Los Angeles mansion.?Can toxic mold sickness really be deadly?
Toxic black mold exposure is indeed a potentially deadly health hazard according to Professor Malcolm Richardson, medical mycologist from the University of Manchester. Thousands in the UK are suffering from health symptoms from toxic mold exposure. British homes, especially the old ones, are highly susceptible to mold growth due to the wet and cold climate of the country. But Richardson feels that Britain is far behind countries like Finland and the US in general awareness about the hazards of toxic mold exposure.
John Frost and his wife Christine from Derbyshire had a terrible case of mold sickness due to a large-scale toxic mold infestation in their home. Black mold had spread to every room except their bedroom. They had to remove all their mold-infested furniture and John developed symptoms of black mold sickness manifesting as obstructive pulmonary disease. Later, the black mold disappeared when they replaced the roof tiles. The couple feels if they had more awareness about the symptoms of toxic mold exposure and its health hazards, they could have taken remediation measures much earlier.
Why do we have toxic mold growing in our homes?
Molds are fungi that thrive in damp places. Moisture inside the house precipitated by appliances like washing machines, clothes dryers, and dishwashers create an ideal environment for mold growth. Evaporation from bathtubs, kitchen sinks and from the pots of indoor plants also adds to this.
When the ubiquitous mold spores enter into the homes and settle down on damp surfaces, they grow and spread. They grow on carpets, tiles, walls, wallpaper ? just about anywhere. Flooding and high humidity due to rains encourage mold growth. So do poor ventilation and leaks from plumbing or water dripping from radiators. These indoor molds make tiny spores that are released into the surrounding air causing symptoms of mold exposure like allergies and other respiratory problems such as sinusitis and pneumonia. Even something as simple as walking on a mold-infested carpet can send up millions of mold spores into the air and produce mold illness symptoms.
Why some people are affected more than the others?
When mold spores enter the respiratory tract, symptoms of mold exposure such as sneezing and coughing arise in an attempt to remove them. The spores release toxins in their lungs, resulting in various toxic mold sickness symptoms. Infants and elderly people are the most affected. Allergy, sore throat, dermatitis, fatigue, headache and nausea are a few of the common symptoms of toxic mold exposure.