If you are looking for accurate information about toxic mold, you have come to the right place.
We know there is a lot of confusing and misleading information about toxic mold on the Internet.
We created this website to give you a place to go to help you identify accurate and reliable information.
If you find a website, article or document that says toxic mold isn't harmful, that will be your clue that the information may not be reliable.
It's important to know that the insurance industry has spent a lot of money trying to stop the use of the term "toxic mold." They like to "spin" the news to their advantage. They use those same tactics during litigation. They will spin the truth and alter the facts and the evidence. The truth is that many types of mold produce mycotoxins, so the term "toxic mold" is appropriate.
It's also important to know that there can be other factors (in addition to mold and mycotoxins) that cause illness in water-damaged buildings. For example, there could be various types of bacteria such as actinomycetes and streptomycetes. This is a complex issue, so you must be sure to hire qualified experts to help you. For a list of qualified experts, refer to our Resources page.
U.S. House of Representatives
State Legislature--find the website for your state legislature and identify your legislators using your address or zip code.
Governor for each state--find the website for your state government and locate the contact information for your Governor.
The truth about mold has been known for many years, but Big Business (the insurance industry and other naysayers) have spent millions of dollars denying the truth.....just like they did with tobacco. The tobacco industry denied the truth about the health effects of tobacco for 50 years.
Here are excerpts from a few reports from government agencies. Be sure to notice the year these reports were written.
According to the Massachusetts report, sick building syndrome has been known since World War I, but the first published research paper on the topic did not happen until 1948 in England.
From the 2009 World Health Organization Report--Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould
Indoor air pollution--such as from dampness and mould, chemicals and other biological agents--is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.
From a 1989 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Report for Congress on Indoor Air Pollution
U.S. EPA Report for Congress on Indoor Air Quality. Volume II: Assessment and Control of Indoor Air Pollution. August 1989.
Health effects from indoor air pollution cover the range of acute and chronic effects, and include eye, nose, and throat irritation, respiratory effects, neurotoxicity, kidney and liver effects, heart functions, allergic and infectious diseases, developmental effects, mutagenicity, and carcinogenicity.
In 1989 and 1990 indoor air legislation was introduced in the Congress that called for more direct focus on indoor air by establishing a national program to reduce the human health threat caused by such pollution. Although the Senate passed its indoor air bill, the Congress did not enact any of the proposed legislation. Similar legislative proposals were introduced in both houses of the Congress in 1991. These legislative proposals go beyond research and require more emphasis on source control and mitigation of indoor air pollution.
Note: More than 10 years later, in 2002 and 2005, proposed legislation about the health effects of indoor mold was again presented to Congress. It has now been more than 20 years since that original legislation was presented, and we are still waiting for Congress to take action.
From a 1982 report by the World Health Organization (WHO)
With the growing recognition that air pollutant concentrations often vary considerably according to location and time, and that people often spend 80-90% of the whole day within enclosed spaces, it is necessary to determine the total exposure of individuals and populations to different air pollutants in order to assess the adverse health effects associated with them. Epidemiological studies of the health effects of air pollution should ideally be based on personal total exposure, although in practice this is not always possible and personal passive monitoring is often the only feasible way of acquiring such exposure data.
From a 1991 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
“In the 1970s increased emphasis on energy conservation measures, such as using more energy-efficient building materials and reducing the air exchange rates of ventilation systems, resulted in increases in indoor air pollution in offices and homes. For example, energy efficiency measures sometimes result in lower air exchange rates for ventilation systems and cause pollutants, such as second-hand tobacco smoke, dust mites, carbon monoxide, benzene, and pesticides, to remain indoors and contribute to indoor air problems. Additionally, certain materials used in carpets, insulation, and home and office furniture contribute to the overall indoor air problem by giving off chemical emissions. Therefore, the elevated levels of such pollutants increase the health risks--headaches, fatigue, respiratory diseases, and cancer--for building occupants when such materials, along with air exchange rate reductions, are employed.
From a 1988 report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
From a 1989 report by the Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission on Indoor Air Pollution
The Commission's efforts confirm the seriousness of the indoor air pollution health threat, which worsened with the energy conservation efforts of the 1970s. More insulation and tighter construction led to lower ventilation rates and build-up of contaminants. Many 'sick' buildings have been identified where occupants suffer severe or recurring discomforts such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, eye irritation, and respiratory problems. Other conditions attributable to indoor air contaminants include: cancer; bronchitis; pneumonia; heart, circulatory and respiratory problems; impaired vision; skin rash; chemical sensitivity; birth defects; and mental, nervous and immunological disorders.
Note: This Special Commission was comprised of people from several disciplines including:
Numerous state senators and representatives and
o Massachusetts Department of Public Health
o U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
o American Lung Association
o Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations
o Harvard School of Public Health
o Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries
o American Lung Association
o Representatives from the building industry, etc.
From a 1999 Bulletin of the World Health Organization:
Exposure to mycotoxins is mostly by ingestion, but also occurs by the dermal and inhalation routes.
Mycotoxicoses often remain unrecognized by medical professionals, except when large numbers of people are
Aflatoxins are acutely toxic, immunosuppressive, mutagenic, teratogenic and carcinogenic compounds.
From a 1995 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Twenty percent of the U.S. population, nearly 55 million people, spend their days in our elementary and secondary schools. Studies show that one-half of our nation's 115,000 schools have problems linked to indoor air quality