Book Review: Mold: the War Within

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Kurt and Lee Ann Billings relocated to Louisiana in May of 2005. On August 29th Hurricane Katrina tore through the southern coast, affecting the lives of millions of people. The Billings' home in Lake Charles did not collapse nor was it engulfed in water. It did become infested with mold, however, and the Billings were relocated to Montana to a Red Cross shelter. Their health did not improve, and after numerous treatments, the Billings found their way back to health through a variety of natural methods.

They have documented their journey in the book Mold: The War Within. It is one of best books I have read on the subject. It is filled with scientific evidence that mold is indeed harmful and includes numerous interviews with leading experts in the field.

The following is an excerpt from the first chapter, titled "Mold can't hurt you - or can it?"

Battle preparation is crucial when it comes to fighting fungus. We must create an internal biological terrain resistant to fungal invasion to ensure, at worst, that we lose only a few battles, not The War Within.

Mold is an unwelcome guest in homes anywhere, anytime enough moisture accumulates. It can grow inside the walls of our homes from a leak or from current energy efficient building methods that create houses that can't adequately "breathe," which prevents built-up moisture from evaporating. When enough moisture accumulates, from whatever source, a sick building situation can occur. So even if we are not in the heart of New Orleans or a surrounding area, we all have a vested interest in obtaining a "mold education." We cannot rely on others to educate us, as it could cost us our health.

A prime example of the importance of self education was seen post-Katrina. Richard Lipsey, PhD, a toxicologist who performed fungal and bacterial sampling in St. Bernard Parish on February 11, 2006, states, "I was shocked to find out that the Habitat for Humanity volunteers that I toured with, and who were trained by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), had been told that mold cannot hurt you and you do not need any protective equipment."

That statement "Mold cannot hurt you" told to the Habitat for Humanity volunteers echoes what we heard from medical doctors. This type of ignorance and propagation of misinformation will perpetuate ignorance and complacency. Without accurate information regarding associated health risks from mold exposure, people will not take measures to protect themselves. The truth is that fungal exposure can lead to mycosis, which is an infection or disease caused by a fungus, and/or mycotoxicosis, which is the toxic effect of mycotoxins on animal and human health.