Musty smell and cross contamination

Two more stories have come my way this week. The first is a woman in Colorado who contacted me after seeing our story on the news. She left her rental home in the fall of 08. She began researching mold illness soon after she became sick and determined the consistent "musty" smell in the house must be mold. She knew to leave everything behind, moved to a townhome, and quickly began the quest for medical help. She has purchased her own air sampler from Environmental Monitoring Systems. She will now be able to monitor air quality in future home and work environments.
When I talked with her this week she emphasized the strong smell that was her first clue to the presence of toxic mold in the home.
The second story involves a woman who re-located to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in 2006 for a 6 week work project. Within the first 3 weeks of arriving she found herself in the Emergency Room two times. When a co-worker came to see her in her residence he saw mold and told her to leave immediately. She packed up her belongings and moved to a different rental. Her husband and 6 year-old daughter soon joined her and within days her daughter became ill. The 3 of them went back to Alaska where the illnesses continued. Her clothing had cross-contaminated her home in Ketchikan Alaska. At this point she was unable to work, had 5 undiagnosed mini-strokes due to vascular inflammation, and both she and her daughter had MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity). They both became ill every time a cruise ship passed by. She sought medical help and within months had re-located to Benson Arizona. We talked this week and shared our stories. "Four months ago I could not have had this conversation with you", she said. "My brain wouldn't function this late in the day".
Both of these women are recovering. Not as quickly as either would like. But their determination has been an inspiration.