How to Test for Toxic Mold in Your Home and Body
Are you wondering if you have mold toxicity? Are you wondering how to test for mold?
Unfortunately, toxic mold syndrome is a real thing, with about 47% of buildings having some type of mold or dampness (not all toxic) and one in four people being genetically unable to identify and clear mold toxins. (1, 2, 3)
This article and video will help you navigate a possible toxic mold exposure and give you the first steps in how to detect mold.
Identifying Indoor Toxic Mold
There are many types of mold, and only a minority of them are toxic to humans and other animals.
Unfortunately, you cannot detect if mold is toxic by smell, sight or touch. You will need testing.
But some clues you could have toxic mold in your home include:
Humidity over 50%
A sudden flood or burst pipe
A slow leak in the walls or floors
A musty smell
Visible mold spores
Not everyone will react to toxic mold in the same way. One person could be symptom-free, and another quite sick. If you or someone you love is experiencing mysterious symptoms, please consider a toxic mold exposure.
Symptoms of Mold Toxicity
If you haven’t heard my story, I discovered my own mold exposure in early 2016. I had many of the symptoms below for years before discovering my mold issue.
Chronic digestive issues
Please note that this is just a partial list, as the emphasis of this article is on testing. If you are affected by toxic mold, it is causing inflammation and immune chaos that will show up in many different ways.
How to Test for Mold in Your Home
The key word in ‘toxic mold exposure’ is ‘exposure’. You will need to remove the exposure to toxic mold in order to even begin to heal. Therefore we are starting this article with testing in the home.
I will use the word ‘home’ as that is the most likely place you’ll be exposed to mold, since you spend the most time there. However, you can absolutely be affected at work, at school or any other place you frequent.
As I mentioned earlier, it is impossible to know if the mold you see, smell or suspect is toxic. You need to test. How to test depends on your budget and if you own or rent your home.
These are the options I would consider:
1) Mold Inspector
This is a good option if you own your home and live somewhere a mold inspector is available.
A good inspector will look for sources of water damage, test air samples and can test drywall samples. He or she can give you a full report. But this person is NOT a medical expert! He cannot advise you on what to do next for your health.
If you decide to fix up and then sell your home, you can have a repeat report to show that the home is now mold free.
2) Mycotoxin Dust Test
This is also a test I ran. An advantage of this test is that tests for the toxins that actually make you sick. This is the company I used, Real Time Lab. You could repeat this test if you want to inhabit your home again. Also it requires a lot of dust.
3) ERMI Test
I did not run this test when I was sick just because I didn’t know about it, but now that I am familiar I really like the look of this test. I had a client run one at home and one at work with Envirobiomics.
And advantage of an ERMI mold test is that is scores the danger level of your mold, which can help you decide what to do next.
“The Environmental Relative Moldiness index (ERMI) was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development (ORD) as a research tool to investigate mold contamination in homes. The methodology is based on using mold-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (MSQPCR) to quantify 36 molds and calculate an index number for comparison with a database of reference homes.” (4)
4) Mold Test Plates
Once upon a time I thought this way of testing was not valid, but I’ve since learned of a company, Immunolytics, that seems pretty reputable and helpful at getting you some answers at an affordable price point.
Advantages of mold plate testing are the lowered costs and the ability to run multiple tests. So you can test certain rooms, your car, your workplace--wherever you suspect.
What’s Next After Finding Toxic Mold
Once you have determined if you have toxic mold, you’ll need to decide what to do next.
After my own errors with how I handled toxic mold in my home, I generally encourage drastic action! Staying in the home and moving items around while remediating made me much, much sicker.
For some people, true healing comes from actually not living in a home and instead camping in wild areas, free of EMF, chemicals, and indoor mycotoxins. You can learn more about that in this book by Lisa Petrison and Erik Johnson, A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance.
However, I have heard some success stories of remediating a space and being able to inhabit it again. BUT you need to still be extremely educated and diligent in doing so.
Be aware that your brain is not working fully when you are sick with mold. You are also facing a major expense and inconvenience. But you can’t let these factors make your decision.
When it comes to decisions about a moldy environment, you need to make a decision based on recovering your health.
Toxic mold can lead to conditions that are fatal, nevermind it ruining your daily life. If you need to take out a loan, move in with a friend, etc, it’s what you need to do.
Mold Remediation 101
Mold toxins are not the same as visible mold spores, and the toxins are what make you sick. The toxins stick to carpet, clothing, books, and snuggle up inside your computer. They are on walls, in your sinuses and in your air ducts.
Mold toxins are extremely difficult to remove. So please don’t cut corners or try to do it all yourself.
The topic of mold remediation is huge. You can learn more through these resources:
Our Mold Week recordings: these are free and also come with a detox supplement guide
The Toxic Mold Summit: you can get free access for 7 days
US Enzymes: a company that sells remediation products and services.
Since I know I’ll get this question, I’ll try to address it…”but how do I know my next house doesn’t have mold??”
Unfortunately there is no guarantee you won’t encounter mold again. It’s best to make your next accommodations temporary, and not bring any porous, old belongings with you.
You can visibly inspect for mold, look under sinks, and ask questions. You can also notice how you feel. If you’ve lived in a mold-free environment for a while, you will become ‘sicker quicker’ with a new mold exposure.
How to Test for Mold in Your Body
I used to think that you would suspect mold in your home or feel sick, and that’s why you would test for mold in your body.
Sadly I now know that past exposures and food exposures that you were never even aware of could be affecting your health.
If you are in the 1 in 4 people that don’t identify and clear mold well, and you have mysterious symptoms that are not improving, you may have mold toxicity.
In many ways, the testing and remediation for toxic mold in your body is much more straightforward.
The mold testing I recommend is a challenged urine test with a private consultation with our coaching team.
“Challenged” means that we encourage detoxification in your body so that we hopefully push some toxins out in your urine. However, it’s possible to get a false negative if your body is just so depleted and overwhelmed that it cannot mobilize toxins. So far I have not seen this, but it’s possible.
One mistake I made was that I did not test for toxins in the early stages of my illness. This left me without a baseline for my change and progress.
The brand we currently use for mold toxicity testing is the Great Plains laboratory. Besides the easy, at-home testing, it offers some amazing add-on tests to identify other health imbalances and toxins.
We offer three options:
Mold Testing Only
Mold Testing + Organic Acids Test (OAT test)
All of the above plus non-metal toxins and glyphosate
These tests will cover key mold toxins, plus the option to test for co-infections, detox markers, and chemicals exposure.
With a private client who is positive for mold toxins, I will run the first test below, and ideally further tests on the list as well.
MARCONS nasal swab for nasal infection
GI Map Test for gut health and infections
We also offer the last three tests as a bundle called The Big Three.
Recovering Your Health from Toxic Mold
There is not exactly a step-by-step plan as each person’s mold exposure, genetics and health history are unique.
But I will share some of the things that have helped me the most below.
A. Avoid it.
You must avoid toxic mold exposure.
B. Bind it.
Binders are supplements that physically and electrically bind toxins on their way out of the body. Learn more here.
C. Brush it.
Dry brushing is a very affordable and effective way to move lymph, the fluid that gathers toxins from your body. Learn more here.
D. Flush it.
I know, know, it sounds so weird. And I do recommend you consult with your physician before doing a coffee enema. It took me getting really sick to be willing to try it, but once I did, I was hooked.
Personally I get immediate relief from fatigue and inflammation from a coffee enema. It helps clean your blood and produces a massive amount of the antioxidant glutathione.
E. Juice it.
Health can’t always come in a pill. A fresh, alkaline green drink is a great way to energize, and it’s not as hard as you think. Get my recipe here.
F. Sweat it out.
I LOVE sauna for detox. I feel like it basically saved me in the early days of my mold diagnosis. It has a million benefits including repairing cells, removing toxins, and lowering stress hormones.
Now that I’m in a mold-free home, I own a solo system from Sunlighten. But in those early days I happily used saunas at a gym and clubhouse.
These are not all the steps. You also need to sleep well, eat well, and address what is probably a long list of co-infections you’ve developed along with mold!
Get Tested Now!
Hormone Detox Shop is unique because:
A. Our coaches understand toxic mold very well
B. Every mold test comes with a private consultation
C. Every mold test comes with customized recommendations for your case, including supplementation
We are also unique in that we get down to business. You are in charge of your own health and you likely have already done a lot of research. If you are ready to test, you can purchase your at-home test kit today, and we’ll schedule your consultation when your results are ready.
If you are ready to test, please take advantage of it!
Questions? Ask below or contact us here!