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Time to Clean Up Damp Moldy Spaces for Improved Health

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As warm weather now approaches and we begin to air out our homes, this would be a good time to check for the presence of mold.  Molds love dark, damp places such as basements, closets, and attic spaces.  Mold also emits spores called mycotoxins into our air that can contaminate food and water, can attach to our clothing, furniture, plants, and pets.  With this contact, we begin to breathe it in and face experiencing mold sensitivities, mainly upper respiratory discomforts.

The body reacts with an inflammatory response which causes bronchial congestion, runny noses, chronic post nasal drip, headaches, and can lead to further discomforts, even brain fog.  Oftentimes medical intervention prescribes antibiotics; however, antibiotics cause the die-off of bad viruses and bacteria as well as good ones and sets up the body for increasing colonization of yeasts, such as Candida albicans.  As well, many types of yeasts and molds are insensitive to antibiotics.

It is important to properly clean up moldy areas.  Many commercial products contain harmful chemicals such as phenol, kerosene, and formaldehyde that can cause irritation to eyes, lungs, skin, and throat.  Debra Lynn Dadd in her book Home Safe Home and Annie Berthold-Bond in her book Clean & Green, The Complete Guide to Nontoxic and Environmentally Safe Housekeeping both recommend using borax and water or vinegar and water, dissolve in a spray bottle, coat the mold, then wipe up, careful not to spread any mold dust.  The recipe is 1 teaspoon to ¼ cup borax dissolved in 2 cups of hot water.  Another recipe is ½ cup borax, ¼ cup vinegar to 2 gallons of hot water.  You can also add the fragrance of essential oils such as lavender or lemon.

Another great suggestion for mold clean up is using zeolite bags, called “breather bags”.  These absorb bacteria, mold, and other pollutants in the air.  This is a non-toxic product and is also an ion exchanger, which means it cleans up the air.  Once used you can set them in the sun to “air” out which causes them to “de-sorb” the pollutants and then they can be used again.  You can order zeolite bags from The Dasun Company in Escondido, CA (800)433-8929.  I spoke with Merwins Hardware.  They carry two products that wick up moisture called Dry Air or Damp Rid.  These would be useful in drying up basement areas.  Another aid would be to install a dehumidifier in damp areas.  Molds cannot grow where it is hot and dry, so drying out spaces and keeping air flow will help prevent the buildup of molds.  For household air, a good air filtering system would be a wise investment if you suffer from mold sensitivities.

Krystle Shapiro is the founding member of The Sandpoint Wellness Council, owns Touchstone Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at 208/290-6760.  Please visit to read articles by all council members and to leave comments.

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